Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron

Having owned The Artist’s Way, (by Julia Cameron) for several years did me no good until last year when I actually ‘did’ the program. The program is a twelve week commitment to your creative growth. During the twelve weeks I did weekly exercises from the text, had weekly ‘Artist’s Dates’ - a short time playing like I did when I was five years old, and did twenty minutes of writing each morning in a practice that Cameron calls ‘Morning pages’.
This process was great on so many levels. First committing to a twelve week process and finishing it was awesome -- I started and finished something! There was also growth through the exercises. Each week there are tasks or writing assignments designed for reflection into your creative past, look for causes of blocks, or reconnect with the sense of play present in childhood.
The ‘Artist’s Dates were particularly challenging for me. I am very serious and not prone to ‘wasteful activities such as “play and recreation”. The act of taking myself out for the purpose of play - just for the fun of it - reconnected me to the wonder of my youth... One thing I did discover is that I always play when my camera is in my hand - though I had never noticed before.
Since the conclusion of the program I have begun to exhibit my work, lecture, have been asked to hold a committee position on my local quilt guild board, have become the regional representative for SAQA and have begun to enter juried competitions. I also continue to take myself too seriously and then stop myself! It is an ongoing process, but Julia Cameron lays out a set of things to consider and practice to express your inner creative genius.
If you were wondering -- The Artist’s Way is not only for artists... it is a program for “discovering and recovering your creative self.” In the book she talks about the many lawyers, teachers, doctors, housewives and such that have benefited from the program in addition to artists, musicians, writers and the like. Pick up a copy, commit and start!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I was just recommending that a friend join Twitter with the express purpose of following Pam RuBert aka PamDora. As I was looking for a link I went to her site - was rooting around and stumbled on this article about organizing sketch books. Great information. I am off to add tabs to my sketch books right now!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Curious who our members are? I was - I went to the SAQA website and looked up names. I started with the people who have contacted me, we will work our way around the region in upcoming blogs.

Kathleen Loomis is from Louisville, Kentucky. Her blog is found at

Fun, inspirational and whitty: her blog explores aspects of regular life as well as issues of art and creation. Kathleen has created such great works as the moving display of flags, one for 4,083 fallen soldiers in Iraq. It juried into Quilt National, 2009. Seeing that piece at the Dairy Barn (Athens, Ohio)

This piece really created a moment of pause and reflection for me. Not only remebering those who have given us such a sacrifice, but also of the beauty of a small object repeated en mass and the clarity and beauty it can display.

Diana Welte lives in Maysville, Kentucky which I understand from her is right on the Ohio river. So ‘right on’ that she has a view of the river from her pad atop Maryville. She comes from couture and has a great eye for the little details, like her deft use of beads. Her sense of colour is wonderful -- pale or bright there seems to be an unexpected pairing that leaves it feeling fresh and new. You can read her blog at

Marylin League hails from Memphis, Tennessee where she creates clothing and art and is busy with her own business but also is active in a local guild and MACA (Memphis Association of Craft Artist - local branch of TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artist)

and keeps up a blog


Her blog talks about her work creating beautiful art quilts and great clothing as well as the trails and triumps of family life. She is particularly fond of creating fabrics, dying, discharging and printing. Her work reflects the mojo that comes from creating on a canvas she has created.

Nysha Oren Nelson (that would be me, your rep) lives in Somerville, Tennessee which is outside Memphis. It is the country which is a “constant source of inspiration and renewal” for the artist and teacher.

Nysha writes a blog about everything; work, inspiration, consumer activism and many SmileBoxes with photos of work and nature.