artist date

For the past four days, fourteen hours and handful of minutes I have been reveling in the surroundings of San Miguel de Allende. I sleep soundly at night, wake to the bells of La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, I wander the streets while taking in the details of the buildings, the texture of the cobblestone under my feet, and the smell of the local panaderia. I meander through galleries to explore the work by local artists and yearn to get back in the studio to create. In a word it has been blissful. Rejuvenating. In her book, The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron recommends that readers take an "artists date" which is a time to exist without censure or requirements; a time to just be, to explore. The goal of this exercise is to try it alone, without the distraction of another, yet for me, I have a lovely companion in my nine-year old daughter. Regardless, it has been lovely all the same as we go on this journey together.

As an artist it's easy for me to get bogged down in the familiar while continuing to create the same work over and over. Having a respite to take in new sites has invigorated my senses and provided a relaxing environment to nourish my creative soul. Cameron states that artist dates, "fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration."

Mission accomplished. Feeling that I could easily stay and continue feeding on the visual candy that surrounds me I am instead heading home in two days time, hungry to get back to work.

"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." -Julia Cameron