I have made some progress at going on Artist Dates (as described in this earlier blog entry). My first experience was a visit to the New Bedford Open Studios event last weekend.
I wasn't expecting to consider art-related activities as Artist Dates, since I have such a tendency to over-analyze career issues, and open studios, like other happenings centered around art, tend to trigger my obsessive career-related planning. Also, I went to this event with my husband, and you're supposed to go on artist dates alone, strictly speaking.
BUT somehow I managed to keep my head from spinning into the "I should do this, I should do that" career management realm, and keep the experience a social one. This is mainly due to the fact that the artists I visited made me feel so welcome, and were so happy to talk with me about the joys of creating and the excitement of living the artistic life. So a wonderful experience, all around. (The picture, above left, shows me chatting with my dear friend, Alma Cummings, one of the artists participating in Hatch Street Studios in New Bedford). (Photo by my husband, Kevin Seward.)
I also have been inspired by a blog I just found, titled alltumbledown, written by a stylish young New Yorker who, while on a budget (she works at a small museum in Manhattan), manages to dress with panache. She documents her daily outfits on the blog, and I'm inspired by her ideas about personal style and putting together a unique wardrobe with flair and on budget.
So, encouraged by her blog, I took a spontaneous Artist Date shopping trip. Again, strictly speaking, Artist Dates are supposed to be non-monetary adventures, but I had seen an ad for some cool and cheap boots at Target and so decided to stop by and check them out. The boots didn't turn out quite as expected (gold buckles in real life, which didn't look as good as the silver buckles shown in the ad).
BUT I did find that Target has a wonderful selection of thick, comfy, stretchy cotton/Lycra tights in bright colors for only $7 a pair. As most of my wardrobe is black, bright tights are a fun way to bring in a little color punch (especially as the autumn temperatures start edging down). I managed to find a pair in hot pink that worked well with a hot pink skirt and a hot pink top I already had. So yesterday I was able to dress head to toe in pink and bring a little fashion cheer to a dreary, rainy day!
So while these experiences aren't the sort of deep-seated, soul-searching Artist Dates that Julia Cameron describes in "The Artist's Way," they DID awaken my senses and bring some cheer into my everyday life, which is, after all, the goal! More Dates to come ...