I’ve read and re-read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron several times now. And each time, I have no problem with writing the recommended ‘morning pages’ – three pages of stream of consciousness writing aimed at getting rid of all the whining, grumpiness, pre-occupations etc that get in the way of actually being creative. The recommended artist’s dates are, however, quite a different story for me. (And I gather from the book that I am not alone in struggling to take time out to undertake inspiring activities.) For some reason, I find it very easy to schedule time in the diary for such dates. But I seem to find it very hard to actually stick to the commitment and go. I can always find things to do which are apparently ‘more important’.
However, in the last week, I’ve managed to go on two artist’s dates. This must be some kind of record. The trick seemed to be to combine the visits with some practical purpose.
I had promised The Son that I would go and have a look at his new student flat when he picked up the keys. So while he sorted out the paperwork, I went to have a look at the exhibition of Marc Chagall’s work at the Liverpool Tate.
I love Chagall’s colourful, dreamlike images – so it was wonderful to see the canvases close up. The exhibition of his work is apparently the first in the UK for around fifteen years and features over sixty paintings. It runs until 6th October, and you can book tickets online. I thought it was well worth a visit.
The second date was back in my home county of Yorkshire. I’d taken over some birthday presents for family members, and thought I’d pop into The Hepworth in Wakefield while I was there. The gallery has only been open for around a year, so this was my first visit. It’s a strikingly modern building (which I imagine was not to everyone’s taste in the city) which I think sits well in its surroundings. The Hepworth houses a permanent collection of work by modern British artists – including stunning sculptures by Wakefield-born Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. At the moment, two other exhibitions are running until September, showing work by Haroon Mirza and William Scott. I particularly liked Scott’s focus on drawing as a means of ‘exploration rather than explanation’.
These are two excellent spaces which have definitely provided me with inspiration – my head is buzzing with ideas. I must trick myself into keeping these dates more often.