Saturday, June 07, 2014

Making Art A Practice


Making Art a Practice is the latest book to be removed from my bedside.  Unfortunately, it is one of those books I now have to place on my wish list to have my own copy.

First off, I believe everyone is creative in some form.  It might be not painting the Mona Lisa, but fundamentally I believe everyone is and can be creative.  And that we need to use that creativity to achieve balance in our lives.  

Cat Bennett, the author, says "Our goal is simply to know ourselves as the creative beings we are and to make the art we're inspired to make.  It's never to late."

That's a comfort to me, considering I'm 56!

Bennett outlines five main aspects of the book:


  • "The first is to declare our intentions to make the art we can and commit to our practice."
  • Explore art making in all it's dimensions.
  • By practice, over come the negative and make it all positive.
  • Growing our art.
  • Connecting with the world.
While a lot of what is said in the book isn't new to me, such as taking time to view other's work and to draw inspiration from that (artist date - Julia Cameron), there was one thing which drew me right from the beginning - letter of commitment.

While there are 30 practices in the book, the first one was probably the most interesting to me - a Letter of Commitment.  You are to write a brief, one page letter to yourself, writing out what calls you right now, what you intend to do, what materials you will use, where will you find inspiration, and how you will begin.  Then you put it in a red envelope and put it under your mattress to 'sleep on it'.  

There is supposedly some feng shui involved with this practice, but also the act of putting what your goal is, in writing, gives you a direction and purpose.

The book focuses on traditional art forms, but I feel it could encompass just about any endeavor, like writing, sewing, walking.  I just need to get a red envelope now!

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