Since starting the 12-week course ‘An Artist’s Way’ I have found that I have significantly increased my production of beads at the torch flame. This means that not only am I amassing beads for my forthcoming events, but I’m almost ready to refresh my Etsy shop with new collections. It’s early days, but I’m feeling very inspired and motivated doing what essentially means going ‘back to basics’ to my love of my craft! Yes - just making beads!
‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron is a challenging course in ‘discovering and recovering your creative self’, and I’ve been enjoying working hard on the tasks over my first two weeks with the book. Readers of my last blog post will have found out about the weekly ‘Artist Date’, and I want to just share my experience of week two’s Artist Date here too.
I’ve been really looking forward to this, and today - Saturday - I seized the opportunity to walk down to the village and spend some ‘me’ time in Clara’s, the secondhand bookshop. It was busy in the village this morning, with lots of ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’ and I made it into the bookshop just as it opened. Perfect!
I sort of knew what I was looking for, but sort of didn’t. I’d had a little thought about nature, and line drawings, small format, not too many words but enough to pique my interest, hardback, not too expensive - or indeed valuable, because my intention was to get my coloured pencils to it, and embark on a whole ‘artist relationship’ with it! I browsed shelves full of local history books, old Haynes manuals, cookery books, poetry books, plays and music scores, and hadn’t yet found my book.
But there it finally was, in the nature section. One of three volumes - I resisted the others - it’s ‘An Introduction to Nature 1’ by Richard Martin, illustrated by R. Stuurman. And perfect for this mild springlike spell in mid-February, Book 1 is ‘The beginning of Nature’s Year - The Trees - Birds’ Nests and Eggs - By the Lake and Pond - Frogs, Toads and Newts.’ The book, published by Blandford Press (no date evident!) is an amateur naturalist’s delight, and is set out beautifully with text, line drawings and colour illustrations.
On page 29 I learned that ‘the water flea has only one eye’.
Silver birches, so I understand, ‘give elegance to the landscape’.
And it’s heartening to know that ‘the earth provides nourishment for all Nature’.
I love this capital N for Nature - the author has given it emphasis and gravitas in its appearance as a proper noun - and rightly so, I’d say!
So, this is my book now - I chose it on my Artist Date, and I anticipate a fulfilling ongoing ‘Artist Relationship’ with it over the next days and weeks.