Creative treats for the artist in us

In the exquisite The Artist’s Way, the wonderful Julia Cameron exhorts us to give little treats to the young artist inside of us. Julia says:

As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing, We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them–to restock the trout pond, so to speak. I call this process filling the well…

She explains how to do this.

The artist brain is the sensory brain: sight and sound, smell and taste, touch. These are the elements of magic, and magic is the elemental stuff of art…In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun.

Well, if Julia says it, I am totally going to do it, I tell myself – The Artist’s Way has been inspiring and magical and hopeful. And so last week, I bought for myself the beautiful book Waiting for Wings, by Lois Ehlert. These days I feel like I am waiting for wings. I guess growth is like that; a funny process that involves feeling stuck and dark, but also hopeful and expanding. I feasted in the greens and mauves and yellows and oranges of this piece of art which tells the story of how butterfly eggs turn into caterpillars which turn into butterflies. The book is for 3-7 year olds, but that’s probably the age of my inner artist, so the book filled me with its beauty and wisdom. As Lois says:

Soon caterpillars hatch. They creep and chew. Each one knows what it must do: Find a place where winds don’t blow then make a case in which to grow. Caterpillar changes now begin– body and wings take shape within. When it’s time, each case is torn– wings unfold; new butterflies are born!

caterpillars

wings

Sometimes when we are in the delicate and vulnerable phases of transformation, it is okay to create a case for ourselves and find a place where winds don’t blow. This is self-protection. Protecting our blossoming creative spirits means that we will be ready to fly in that very wind, when it is time. What treat have you given the creative spirit in you? Maybe a little trinket, or fresh flowers from the garden? Maybe a herbal massage? Maybe a beautiful ceramic plate that comes from the earth and is painted just the color of yellow that brightens your soul? Do share this with those going through their own personal or creative transformations. Thank you!

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Maybe it is time
Smashed eggs and banana bread Our inner artist is a child – A lesson by Julia Cameron

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