Seeking Solitude.. and the company of artists
on empty swimming pools, artist dates and old towns
I have a little time this morning all by myself. It’s comforting and offers me solace. I am determined to make the most of it . ;-)
I’m here because this writing brings me joy..and I do hope it cascades down to you . Last week over heat wave and more smoky skies I visited a local pool which is typically heaving with happy bouncy,splashing children and I arrived to find myself the only one in the pool ! of course school was still in and winding down and this public pool thought it might be a good idea to be open before the rush..I was a little gobstruck at first then overjoyed to learn I could paddle sideways or lengthwise and splash and float on my back for a luxurious 1/2 hour before a few enthusiastic swimmers interrupted my solo bliss!
On another hot blistering day I headed over to a lake nearby to try my luck at a morning swim ..Again it was early days before the throngs move in so the beach was heavenly quiet yet alas the water too cold for more than a toe to ankle dip! Feeling the soft sand and a gentle breeze from the waves was worth the journey.. Sketching a few feathered friends and sipping an ice coffee in the shade at a local cafe also were also lovely!
I communed with a sea gull..
This solitary time reminded me why I used to practise artist dates more often!
The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic”– think mischief more than mastery. 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 […].
-Julia Cameron author of the Artist’s Way
As artists and people we all have such different needs but time away from the ordinary everyday does tend to offer stimuli and open open our minds and hearts to new creative pathways. For me solitary time is just that. No appeasing others or accountability for my actions.. Higher sensory awareness to my surroundings . Getting out of my home intentionally to not do chores /groceries etc means I am treating myself to some unstructured “me” time. (if you have been a caregiver to children and or your elders or others this is especially important to incorporate into your life. )
Returning home I had a feeling of replenishment. This time offered me enough separation from my ordinary life to dig in to my art again.
This past week I participated in an online live drawing session withand a joyous support dog named Alex.. Also lots of information and photo reference of other gorgeous companion support dogs from the wonderful UK organization supportdogs uk! I appreciate when an artist is generous like this to organize a special fundraiser which benefits all!
This was another sort of artist date as although I was at home I was immersed for two hours in drawing and learning!
Lastly I signed up awhile ago for a sketch day in a town about 40 minutes by car from here with artists I have never met and it was a wonderful experience. Again learning about this little historical town and sketching, chatting with other artists topped up with a delicious lunch was stimulating in ways that I couldn’t replicate if i stayed with my usual comfort zone and habits. This outing offered both solitude (I travelled on my own ) and communion with other artists :-)
Attending a local art exhibit on “Art of the Tarot” and sketching with my local sketchers provided just enough social creative time to feel satiated.
I love my quiet time ..and need it.
I also need to connect with other artists to bounce off ideas,talk the “same language” and to surround myself with peers who understand the lifestyle.
Whether we live in a country setting or urban I believe we need this kind of connection to feed our artist brain.
When is the last time you took yourself out on an artist date?? Please share your experience in comments!
On another note I hope you haven’t felt pestered by emails from me regarding this new project! I had to meander around and tear a few stray hairs out before I landed on a solution to make this newsletter stand alone -rather than a thread of this newsletter as I had originally envisioned! So..If you are looking for specific content on growing your art practise -for personal or professional reasons please subscribe below! (You can unsubscribe if the fit isn’t right at any time-or just check out the posts if you prefer to opt out of emails :-) I look forward to you joining me !