After reading the introduction in my new book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again by Julia Cameron, I completed the only task assigned in those first pages. I made a list of ideas for the weekly Artist Dates.
One of the foundational tools used during this twelve week creative course is the Artist Date. These once a week solo outings are assigned play. The purpose is to engage the inner artist, the inner child, and do something that feels fun and exciting.
I quickly began to anticipate these dates, when I worked through Julia’s first two books. I set aside Sunday afternoons as my time to do things I enjoyed, explore new places, or spend time outdoors in contemplative silence.
A strange synergy developed between me and the book, week after week. I deliberately avoided looking ahead at the next chapter as I completed one. And yet, somehow the activities I engaged in on my artist dates on Sundays connected strongly to the next chapter. I can’t explain how this foreshadowing happened. I only knew something magical was occurring.
It was with a sense of child like delight that I created a list of possibilities for upcoming dates with my inner artist. At the top of my list is a visit to the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As an elementary grade school student I got to visit the museum at least once a year, on field trips with my classmates. Philbrook is housed in a three story mansion that was the former home of Oklahoma oil pioneer Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve. I loved wandering through that massive structure, admiring the renaissance style villa as much as the pieces of art.
And as gorgeous as the house was, the grounds were even more impressive. The developing gardener in me was drawn outdoors to the formal and informal gardens on the property’s 25 acres. I have not visited Philbrook since my childhood, and yet I think of it often. Although there will be driving time to factor in, I look forward to returning to the museum on an artist date, and seeing this place with fresh eyes.
Other ideas that made my list include movie matinees at the local theater, sketching, reading or journaling outdoors, attending plays, musicals, concerts or classes, and having a picnic lunch for one in a park. I’m not limited to the suggestions on this list. It is a springboard for other creative ideas.
Julia writes, “The point of the Artist Date is for us to capture the wonder and excitement that we had when we were young.” I am experiencing wonder and excitement already. It’s going to be an amazing twelve week course.