Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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The Artist’s Way, Week One Check-in: Warrior Woman

[Note: my program week goes from Monday to Monday but my schedule may require that weekly tasks, dates, and postings overlap. For example, I did my second week artist’s date before I posted this first week chec-in.]

Week 1 Check-in:

I was able to start my week with an Artist’s Date, write morning pages every day, and do a couple of the prescribed tasks.  Now it’s time for the….(dramatic drumroll)… “The Check-in”, a summary of the take-aways of this week’s lesson.

The title of the first week’s chapter is “Recovering a Sense of Safety.”

Okay, so the first question that came to mind as I read the chapter was “what is ‘safe’?” and second, “safe from what?”.

The answer is that “safe” is my ability to make external creative expressions without being “attacked.” Creativity cannot thrive when it is threatened. What is the nature of the threats and attacks?  Who is threatening and attacking me? Easy: my own negative core beliefs about myself.  It is my self-loathing and lack of esteem as a Creative, those negative perceptions of myself as being unworthy of calling myself a writer or artist.

Whenever an attack comes, one needs weapons to fight back. Weapons are provided in the tasks given in the chapter. I selected two: rewriting any negative statements made in my morning pages into positive affirmations. For example, one negative comment I made: “My writing is simplistic and naive.” I rewrote it: ‘My writing is clear, uncomplicated, and straightforward.”

Another task was to create a “Hall of Fame” where I identify and contain my “monsters” and “champions”. I am not going into great detail here, but let me just say that anyone, no matter how close, who has not supported my endeavors, who smirked or yawned as I attempted to show or explain my work are my “monsters”. (You don’t have to like my work, but I do insist that you respect it, me, and my process.). Conversely, my champions are the ones who encourage my work. (Again, you don’t have to like what I do, but just wish me God’s Speed on my journey).

I started this program with my Artist’s Date, which I describe a couple of posts ago. Listening to those ancient drums shake the room stirred up something in me as well. They were like war drums calling me to war — a war to protect my creative spirit.

Into battle, I go.

Coming up next week: Recovering a Sense of Identity.  (I posted on my second week Artist’s Date yesterday).

ljgloyd (c) 2017   Image: Female Samurai warrior riding into battle.

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A Tour of my Creative Corner

Chapter 2 of The Artist Way deals with recovering a sense of identity and the drawing and reinforcing of boundaries around that identity. I think this was put into action in my second artist date.

My date last night consisted of spending a few hours tidying up and re-organizing the corner of my bedroom that serves as my office/studio.   Recently, I have been writing and blogging in my living room or spreading out a canvas in front of the television and making art there. In this second week of the program, I already sense that I was not giving my writer/artist identity enough respect, and by re-organizing my “creative corner “I am re-dedicating and sanctifying it as place to my writing and art.   I will return to creating in this space with as little distraction as possible.   Below, through the images, I’d like to take you on a little tour of that space.

Before I do that, I would like to note one curious thing.  I noticed that the books on the shelves are a weird, eclectic mix of topics:  Poetry, art techniques, writing, feminine spirituality, energy medicine, holistic health and Chinese medicine, and on the very bottom shelf behind my journaling supplies are books from my childhood and youth.  And to confuse things even more, there are some odd books on household management, belly dance, drumming, and geography thrown into the mix.  The books and their ordering reflect those areas that inform my identity as a creative person, with the bottom shelf the foundation in my childhood of many influential interests.  If this bookcase was an art installation piece I would entitle it “Self Portrait in a Three-D Literary Experience.”

Without further delay, here is my creative corner:

The Writing Chair

The Writing Chair

Japanese print split curtain to hide plastic bins

Japanese print split curtain to hide plastic bins in the corner

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Mixed media supplies within easy reach

Journals and journaling supplies

Journals and journaling supplies

ljg (c) 2017


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Starting The Artist’s Way, Again

homegirl cafe angelas green potionI was gliding across the blogo-vlogosphere this weekend and I noticed a large number of Creatives are engaging in The Artist’s Way program and posting their reflections and insights on their social media platforms.   (For those readers not familiar with the book/program, please click here for a quick explanation.)

I have attempted to do the program several times,  but I always got bogged down by the author’s meandering and unfocused writing style and would eventually give up the reading.   However, the tools the author insists that Creatives follow in overcoming their expressive blocks and reclaiming the inner Artist have been amazingly useful.   One tool consists of writing “morning pages”, three pages of long hand writing done every morning upon waking.  Even if one is not a writer, this journaling activity helps the Creative break up and move through blockages.     Another tool is the Artist’s Date, a regular activity to stimulate and refresh the creative output.

I was so inspired by what others have been doing with the program that I decided to give it another go.  I went on an Artist’s Date this weekend (see the previous post) and this morning I did Morning Pages writing.    I will try to do the readings and I intend to post my Check-ins each week here.

I don’t have the courage and lack of vulnerability to vlog about my experience, so I will stick to writing about them here.  However, I will enjoy other Creatives’ vlogs, such as this one by Burgess  Taylor.

Later….

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Feeling the Vibe

The purpose of an “Artist Date”  is to refresh and recharge the Creative’s spirit.   Yesterday’s visit to Motherland Music did just that.   I had a couple of other reasons to visit this particular place on my “date”.   First, I wanted to get a proper mallet for my frame drum, but I also wanted to check out their weekly drumming class.   I liked what I saw and intend to take this course sometime in the coming months.

The “artist date” also serves to provide fodder for subsequent creative works. In my case not only did I get inspired to practice on my drum at home that evening, but it also drove me to engage in some photography and videography which I have never done on my smart phone. (There was a learning curve involved here. 🙂    I also taught myself how to use YouTube’s Video Editor to make this short video below.

Altogether, a very successful date .

Ljgloyd (c) 2017