Before I had made any Artist Date plans an offer came of a lift to the city and I said yes. I arrived in the Merchant City area which I don't know very well without my usual plans and lists, and realised this was the perfect opportunity for an Artist Date - just to wander and look, without a purpose, but with my camera.....
I also popped into some posh shops (a bit outside my comfort zone). Gorgeous fabrics - tweeds with a twist. Not really my style, but I did enjoy looking.
This was too far outside my comfort zone though! So I stayed outside it.
..with your creative self.
I'm reviving a habit I picked up many years ago from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, and that is the Artist's Date. Essentially time out, once a week,on your own, doing things that spark joy.
It says a lot about my current habits that I am having to think quite hard about what they might be, and I have to be careful not to let it become just another thing on my to-do list! Not that I don't have fun (this blog is fun) but I need and like something different now and then. It's purpose is to delight and enchant you'says Cameron and to take you out of your comfort zone.
(Gulp. I can get very fond of my comfort zone., especially in winter.)
If you Google Artist's Date and/or Julia Cameron, check out YouTube, or click on See Inside on the book on Amazon you will get lots more detail if this concept is new to you.
This will be part of my Winter Plan, and I'll be checking in once a week with my friend M.
Will you join us? We are going for the widest possible interpretation of Artist and of Date by the way...
There are not many posts in this category (as I have said before we were taught to be modest about them).
I went out for a walk at dusk and found the road like a river although it had not rained very much, so i investigated and found the ditch which runs along the roadside blocked. Although by this time it was getting dark I couldn't resist going back to the shed for a rake and clearing the leaves and mud that were blocking it - the satisfaction of hearing the water gurgling along again was worth it!
And I got a nice photograph of the house from a different angle as I walked back home almost an hour later..
Don't be shy and tell us of your latest good deed!
NB I'm sorry that sometimes my replies to your comments do not appear directly below but get mixed up and appear in the wrong order. So confusing Weebly!
Altars, still lifes, islands of beauty, arrangements, gateways, shrines, tokonoma, homages, we all have a word for our groups of objects we love.
Secular or religious, for worship, as offerings or love tokems, about memories, healing, spirituality ....the things which are important to us in whatever way we treat as precious. It is a universal thing.
My arrangements are intuitive and spontaneous, often created on a whim, and I find I don't want to lay too much meaning on them but want to keep them lighthearted and fun. But after they are done I find it is rather nice sometimes, to put into words what they mean to me.
Of course another word is tribute. All the railings and benches in the town today were adorned with poppies in remembrance of the ending of the First World War and in tribute to those members of the forces who died in it.
One man's junk...becomes two womens' treasure!
I know you will enjoy a browse through the website of my friend Lucy and her daughter Cath.
(The Conservation Group made £464 at the Pound Sale.)
I like the sound of this word in French.
I remember seeing one on the top middle stone of the Rialto Bridge in Venice in the early hours one morning about twenty five years ago. It was a small candle, a leaf and if I remember rightly a piece of fruit. A beautiful mystery. A homage to beaury or love, an offering to the gods, who knows...
Another in a remote part of eastern Sweden - a large flat stone, almost circular, part of the top of a low wall. Something about it had prompted an unknown person to carefully place a tiny bunch of flowers in it's centre. A homage to nature perhaps
I've always called my little collections of things arrangements but looking at this arrangement on the bathroom wall - something to look at while I dry my hands - I see it as un homage to a friend in Sweden whose barn I sketched, to Venice, to joy and to hope in troubled times.
I'm referring to Amazon pricing.
I thought I'd buy a copy of Altars by Denise Linn (thank you Gail) and found one Used Good for the princely sum of £0.09p plus postage. I could have paid £233.09 for a Used Good copy, or a New copy was available for only £396.19!
No-one has yet been able to explain this to me.....
Here is the passage from A Year To Clear by Stephanie Bennett Vogt which got me thinking about altars.
Though we mostly associate altars with churches or temples, they can be found everywhere. The special flowewr centrepiece on a Thanksgiving table and the good china place settings are a kind of altar. The photos on the refrigerator, the grouping of rocks or shells from a favourite beach or summer experience, the portrait holding court over the mantel, and the wreaths we hang to celebrate the seasons are just some of the ways we remember and connect with something timeless, somthing larger than ourselves.
She suggests we look around at the altars we have created....
But firstly the shed! (I know you must be fed up hearing about my shed but these will be the last photographs. Promise!)
Whew! There are a few things I hope to sell, a good neighbour carted away a sizeable load for the village hall Pound Sale including a set of metal shelves, another load awaits picking up to take to the dump and the old tools which will be made into sculptures will soon be uplifted.
As for Little Altars Everywhere (has anyone read the book of that name?) I've been reading Stephanie Bennett Vog on the subject of creating 'altars' about the house. I do it all the time in creating small still lifes of objects I love and it seems such a coincidence that I was reading about them just now in her book A Year To Clear. I read a little of it every day.
Here is today's little altar. I hadn't appreciated the possible symbolism of the one object from the shed which sparked joy being a spirit level until you pointed it out. Thank you so much for that! I also found the tiny key - no idea what it ever locked and unlocked....but it may have something to do with hearts.
Do you have 'altars' around your home?
Shall I write a bit more about altars? I find it very interesting
The shed was Barry's domain. He was the patient fixer of things, he mowed the lawns, replaced the lightbulbs, made the gates both red and yellow, cut the hedges, climbed the ladders into the loft, dealt with the mice, mended the fence, chopped the wood, and more. He also kept all the leftover bits and pieces from every job he did and hoarded sets of tools for cars and bikes long gone and collected more jars of rusty nails than can be imagined! Just in case.
In a fair world women would not be left to clear out their mens sheds.
But what a support team I have behind me! I loved all your suggestions - I will adopt the explorer/playful/inner child mindset, I will whistle up the courage, I will probably sigh and swear and laugh (my helper has a great sense of fun). Bribery is a great idea, and I am already thinking up ways to celebrate....
When I have Kondoed the shed I will have gone through every single item I own.
I have to confess it has been quite exhausting at times, both physically and emotionally.
And the sentimental is by far the hardest (I have corralled all the photographs and letters), though there is little of sentimental value in the dreaded shed!
I just love a quiet start to my day.
I remember last year Lotta mentioned the idea of a Winter Plan and one is slowly forming in my mind. It involves quiet starts and reading some books I've had in mind to read for a long time, like this one which I first saw in the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice in April (a little thrill as I write that - did I really go? Did that really happen?)
The leaves on the rowan outside the bedroom window have gone now and we have had two very cold, very sunny days. I think I will find a new notebook for the Winter Plan
Did anyone see the Orionid meteor shower? Although there was little cloud he moon was too bright. Some stargazing could be part of winter. I will plan some outdoor things to counteract the tendency to hibernate!
What will you do?
..about the state of the world. (Though it's good to have your emergency kit somewhere you can find it if you need it!)
Don't Panic is the title of an hour long video by the late Hans Rosling (a hero of mine). It is so worth watching and will change your world view forever. If you don't have an hour and have not seen it yet this 4 minute one should not be missed.
There is more - all fascinati,ng and a new book called Factfulness.
A chilly two degrees tonight, but little cloud so it may be possible to see the Orionid meteor shower if I can stay awake long enough.
I lifted the summer rug and put down the winter one today and will get the faux fur throw for the bed out of its drawer. The HeatGen t-shirts and tights are already being worn (I needed them for a concert in bone chilling Glasgow Cathedral on Wednesday!) and the big scarves are at the ready. I'm thinking thick soups and hearty stews. Must get the crockpot out of the cupboard.
And there's a category of things I've not considered yet and that's emergency supplies (thanks Julia for the reminder). I do need a new torch.....
Any advice on emergency kit anyone?
Stay warm (unless you are in the southern hemishere in which case - enjoy doing the opposite from us!).
Since my laptop came back this afternoon I cannot find anything!!
It all looks different and it may take me some time to re-orientate myself and make sure everything I need and want is still here somewhere. I lost my purse today - that was enough stress for one day thank you. (I did find it again thankfully.)
So where was I? Ah yes, I still have piles of stuff around the guest room but I have now sorted it into categories as follows..
Things to try to sell on eBay
Things to sell at the village hall fundraiser
Things to offer to family and friends (one gone already)
Things to donate to charity shops
Things to keep - just because.
I have found more treasures I had forgotten about - a lovely piece of old fabric and a favourite sundress. When I locate my photos I will show you them :-)
I was going to post the song The Last Rose of Summer but it was too too sad!
The invasion of the mice meant I had to get into the cupboard under the eaves, so while I was in there I pulled out the boxes to investigate exactly what was in them. The contents are currently spread all over the guest room - but it was the final cupboard in the house - nearly there!
And I've just had an offer of help with clearing the shed. Yay!
This wee town has been host to a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, Andy Warhol and now a tiny Degas!
The restored Burgh Hall has been a great success on every level (see here). I particularly like the idea of just one painting and associated talks and classes, and sixty or so people had already visited today when I arrived at about 2pm.
A quote from Degas which I had not heard before...
A painting is an artificial work existing outside nature, and it requires as much cunning as the perpetration of a crime.
..author of World Without Mind which caught my eye in the bookshop recently, has some interesting things to say! (6 min video).
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)