An Invitation…

Hi Friends!

It has been quiet here for much too long. I have really missed you! 💕How are you? I hope you are warm, safe, and healthy in your little corner of the world. We are well here and taking extra-good care of one another. Everything seems to require so much more careful planning these days, doesn’t it? I really miss the good old days of spontaneity, traveling, and gathering with groups of friends in person.

Last year, I felt so very fortunate to connect with a truly wonderful community of artists through ArtistsForJoy.org and the Lumina Arts Incubator. Oh my, it felt amazing!! Artists of all kinds gathered, via Zoom, on Tuesday evenings to share a powerful, encouraging journey together. This international group included musicians, writers, photographers, potters, performance artists, painters, glass artists, songwriters, poets, quilters, mixed media artists, card makers (like me!), and so many more. Our 13-week Creative Cluster welcomed aspiring artists as well as professional artists. Everyone was so supportive and understanding as we all traveled along our interesting creative paths.

In recent years, I had slowly felt my creative well running dry. Creativity has always been an important part of my life and I knew that it was time to ‘fill the well’ so that my creativity could flow joyously again!

The key to my creative recovery was already sitting right on my bookshelf… just waiting to be read! Published thirty years ago, Julia Cameron’s groundbreaking book on creativity, The Artist’s Way, held the inspiration, necessary tools, and tasks I would need to find creative joy again. Although I had attempted to read it on my own, The Artist’s Way is meant to be worked through in community with other artists.

Last February through May, I could ever-so-slowly feel my creative spirit returning as our Creative Cluster met each Tuesday evening to explore our relationships with our own creativity. Reading one chapter of The Artist’s Way each week, writing daily Morning Pages, planning a weekly Artist Date, and trying a few of Julia Cameron’s introspective weekly tasks lightened my heart and taught me so much about my own creativity. 💕

Throughout the Summer months, I continued to write Morning Pages and plan occasional Artist Dates. In the Fall, I joined the next Artists for Joy Creative Cluster for another 13-week exploration of my creativity. Several artists also participated again, along with many, many artists new to our group. Oh my, I made so many more new discoveries about my own creativity as I worked through The Artist’s Way a second time!💕

Julia Cameron writes that Morning Pages are “the trail we explore and the trail home to ourselves.” Julia reminds us that “an Artist Date need not be expensive. The point is that it feels fresh and exciting to you.” Many of my Artist Dates happened right here at home! It felt so healing to play with watercolors in a sketchbook on a sunny, Winter afternoon. These uncertain times have a way of even changing the ways we nourish our creativity.

Now I’m eagerly awaiting the start of the next Artists For Joy

Creative Cluster and…

YOU are invited to join us! 😊

Our new Creative Cluster begins in February. The sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:30 EST, via a secure Zoom meeting. This 13-week adventure will run from February 15th through May 10th. There is no cost to participate. Participants are required to purchase their own copy of The Artist’s Way. (I’m using my older edition and it works just fine, too.)

We begin each Zoom session with a 30-minute group activity. Then we are randomly assigned to Breakout Rooms of 3 or 4 participants for 30 minutes to discuss the weekly topics, tasks, our discoveries, successes, and challenges. Finally, we gather again as a whole group for 30 minutes for a thoughtful creative activity. Each week, I leave with renewed spirit and gratitude for the chance to grow in new ways!💕

Our wonderfully, talented facilitator is Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez (Director of the Lumina Arts Incubator). Merideth is a Juilliard trained professional oboist, a podcaster, a creative coach, and is currently writing her first book on creativity. Most importantly, she would want you to know that she is a busy wife and mother of two delightful young children! Merideth brings joy to our weekly gatherings.

You can ‘meet’ Merideth on her inspiring podcast, Artists for Joy, available wherever you listen to podcasts. Each episode is definitely worth a listen. I enjoy listening in my little Paper Garden studio while I work.

You can register for The Artist’s Way Creative Cluster at:

ArtistsForJoy.org

No matter what creative passions fill your heart and soul, you will grow through Julia Cameron’s wisdom and guidance as you explore your creativity in a most welcoming community!

⭐️ Update: Follow the link above if you would like to reserve your space in the Fall Creative Cluster. It will begin in September 2022. Hope you can join us!

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the Creative Cluster. I look forward to hearing all about your current creative projects. Do you ever feel ‘stuck’ creatively? What do you do to ‘fill your well’ creatively? Hope you’ll share with us!

Thank you so much for stopping to visit today. I’m really happy to begin blogging and visiting my blog friends again. You always inspire me!💕

Take extra-good care,

💗 Dawn

P.S. In the blog archives you will find many posts about my creative journey!☀️

14 thoughts on “An Invitation…

  1. Soooooo very happy to receive your post today!! I have Julia Cameron’s book and am going to dust it off and dive in again. Thank you for your encouragement and welcome back!

    • Oh, Jo! It’s so lovely to hear from you!! Definitely dust off your book. You won’t regret it, my friend! Let me know if you decide to gather with the Artists for Joy Creative Cluster. This virtual community brings together artists from all disciplines that I would never have a chance to meet in person. We encourage and support one another’s dreams and passions as we grow together!

      Jo, I was looking through a special photo album recently and saw our photos from our Susan Branch gatherings. Such sweet memories! Hope to see you tomorrow at the ‘Cozy Evening’ Zoom gathering. It’s the next best thing to book signings and tea parties. All that’s missing are the hugs (and pastries)!
      Thanks for being here, Jo.
      Stay healthy!💗

  2. Dawn, it is so nice to see your post and to read of your artistic journey. It sounds like you’ve found a wonderful community, and that your inspiration is flowing into blogging, painting, and other things. You’ve been on my mind and in my heart. xo

    • Oh, thank you, dear Alys! The ‘Artists for Joy’ Creative Cluster has helped me to grow in so many ways as we explore Julia Cameron’s inspiration. Each time I reread The Artist’s Way, I make so many new discoveries about my own creative journey. It has been a truly remarkable opportunity! I thought of you as I was writing this post, my friend.💕 I think you might really enjoy this experience, too, Alys! Julia Cameron’s tools, prompts, and tasks encourage reflection, dreams, delights,… and action along our creative journeys.

      Alys, warmest thanks for your lovely expression of sympathy. Your thoughtful kindness truly touched our family’s hearts! A personal note of thanks will be on the way very soon.💕 It feels so nice to return to blogging. I have missed writing so much… and look forward to reconnecting with all of my dear blogging friends. (I just have to shop for a new laptop. Writing blog posts on my iPad just isn’t my ‘cup of tea.’🙃) I’m celebrating 2022 as my year of blogging! Heartfelt thanks for always being here, Alys! Sending huge hugs all the way to California!💗

      • Dawn, thank you for sharing your experience. I purchased Julia’s books several years ago, but I never got off the ground with them. I know a few others that have dabbled as well. I was pleased to read that it’s probably better to work through with a community. Perhaps one day.

        I’m really glad you are blogging again. It’s another creative outlet, and a chance to share your various projects along the way. You’ve had so much loss and grief, Dawn. My heart goes out to you. xo

      • I remembered that you already have The Artist’s Way on your bookshelf, Alys. A Creative Cluster feels a bit like a book study/support group. Someday, you might like to try reading The Artist’s Way, just one week at a time, with your special group of creative friends (in your spare time😉). Reading with even one friend works well… but with three or four friends, you often gain even more insights! The very moment that I finished reading the last page last May, I said joyfully, “I can’t wait to read this book again!!”

        Truly unimaginable loss and grief in such a short time, my friend! Last Spring, I was reading Week #8 of The Artist’s Way when both of my brother’s tragically passed away from Covid in the home that they shared. As hard as it was, I continued on with the support of my friends in our Cluster. When the new Creative Cluster began in September, I joined again. Two weeks later, my mom passed away, very unexpectedly. Again, I knew that my mom and my brothers would have wanted me to continue. Mom, Johnny, and Jeff were always huge cheerleaders on my artistic journey! So, I carry that encouraging ‘gift’ in my heart and it helps to soften my grief. Julia Cameron’s book has been an unexpected blessing as I also travel along the path of healing from so much loss in such a short time.🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

        Thank you for always being here, dear friend! I think of you so often, Alys. Hope you can enjoy some time in your colorful garden today! The sun is shining here making my snow covered garden glisten, like glitter. The temperature feels like -8° F. By the tracks in the snow, I can tell that the bunnies have been enjoying the garden!
        Sending my love and big hugs!💗

  3. That sounds lovely! I work on Tuesday evenings, but maybe one time in the future I can join in!
    Glad to hear you are well,
    Ericka

    • Gathering with artists in the Creative Cluster on Tuesday evenings has been such a joy! I love making new discoveries about myself as I travel along my creative path. So, I’m really looking forward to continuing in February!

      I think you would really enjoy gathering with other interesting artists of all kinds, too, Ericka! Julia Cameron reminds us that, “Making our art, we make artful lives.” You will always find the current information at ArtistsForJoy.org. You might also enjoy Merideth’s interesting podcast Artists For Joy. New episodes post on Fridays!

      Thank you for being here and joining in the conversation, Ericka. We are approaching the eight year anniversary of this quiet, little blog. (You have been here since the very beginning!💕) I am so very grateful for all of the wonderful people it has brought into my life! The blog comments always inspire me and are my favorite part of blogging.😊
      Hope you and your family are all healthy, Ericka!
      Take extra-good care!💗

  4. This is such a warm and inviting article. I am so happy to be in the same circle with you and to have been assigned the same breakout room as you. Thank you for this inspiring article. I invited a friend to join and she is benefiting from it immensely.

    • Welcome, Morenike! It is a joy to know you and to share our creative journeys. Each time I reread The Artist’s Way, I make new discoveries about my own creative path. Your artwork is so beautiful, Morenike! I am enjoying your new website and blog. Wishing you a very colorful, creative week! I am still busy in my little Paper Garden studio working on projects in support of the Ukrainian people. My Artist Dates have felt so meaningful in recent weeks. See you on Tuesday!💗

    • I’m so grateful to report that my creativity is returning… step-by-step, Karen. The combination of Morning Pages, Artist Dates, and weekly gatherings with my Creative Cluster is so inspiring! I have also begun grief counseling, through hospice, after the unexpected loss of my mom and both of my brothers within just a few, short months. My wonderful grief counselor has been encouraging me to use my creativity in ‘homework’ activities that gently nurture my inner artist. So many helpful blessings!
      Karen, I just read your recent blog post. I’m so relieved to know that you are feeling better again. Thank you for taking the time to write, dear. Take extra good care! 💗

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