Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DISCOVERY: My First (Art) Date

Dip and Dine Artists 2014
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron advises that we take one artist date per week while we are working on “unblocking our creative force.” Every year in Santa Fe, where galleries are lined up on every street and within walking distance of all things--artist dates come easy.  I look forward to this freedom all year long.

Why is it so hard to take time to play within our ordinary life, in our own home towns?

Have you noticed the new crop of places where you can eat, drink, and make art?  In Oklahoma they go by many names like" “Paint your Art Out,” and “The Tipsy Artist."   Two weeks ago I won a Facebook drawing to “Dip and Dine” – sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for Art Education.  All ages welcome.  I almost didn't go. 

My first artist date in almost a year and I thought of canceling- On myself! Clearly this was a case of stinking thinking- so I had to use my shrinking thinking skills:

Stinking Thinking:                                                                                 Shrinking Thinking:
“What will I do with IT when I’m done?”                                          “This is entertainment.  If I don’t like my art I can                                                                                                                                                                                          donate it.”
“It will be frustrating making what they tell me to make.”                 “No one is the boss of me.”
“I will be the only adult there.”                                                               “As if that is a problem- I love children.”
“There are so many things I could be doing with that time.”            “I deserve to spend time with myself being creative.”
“I’m too tired.”                                                                                           “I will nap when I come home if I need to.”

It was a great first date.  I think I will go out (with my inner artist) again.

How’s your dating life? Don't let stinking thinking hold you back- you deserve a creative break!

Here is a list of 10 more actual or virtual artist dates to try:

  1. Make a playlist of songs that change your mood- for the better.
  2. Spend a day in silence.
  3. Memorize a poem that you love.
  4. Write a poem.
  5. For mind-bending art check out COLOSSAL
  6. Watch a video about a place you would like to visit.
  7. Color with crayons.
  8. Make a collage with some of those old Oprah Magazines.
  9. Take your camera out for a walk in your neighborhood.
  10. Try a recipe
Dare Greatly! 


  1. How awesome that you had a great first date! Thanks for sharing your shrinking thinking examples to counteract your stinking thinking. Great models for me to turn that kind of thought around for myself.

    1. Stinking thinking is a pervasive problem and can get us to give up before we even get started- Glad this was a helpful example of fair fighting (with yourself!).

  2. I like the idea of making a collage. I saved cards I received when I was going through a difficult time with the intent of doing something positive with them. A collage of clipped pictures and prose from them that I can hang will be a wonderful reminder of how many good, supportive people there are in my life. It's a date!

    1. Sounds like a great date (great idea too)!