Filling the Well

I’m a late comer to the artists ranks. My younger years were filled with child rearing and accounting work, and being a homemaker. After my children left home, I moved west to fulfill a lifelong dream. I traveled around a lot for several years attempting to plant roots in California but instead landing in Phoenix. I worked various jobs and then joined the ranks of the unemployed when Learning RX closed its doors at the beginning of the housing crash.

I needed a life so I started a meet up group using Julia Cameron’s book called The Artist’s Way. My intention for myself was to become a better writer. What I got was a whole new career designing and creating jewelry and hand painting silk scarves.

How did that happen? Innocently enough I guess. Part of the Artist’s Way process is going on a weekly artist’s date, “to fill the well” as Cameron puts it. One weekend some of the women in the group went to a bead and gem show in Quartzsite, Arizona. I left with a bag of goodies, clueless what I was going to do with the beads I had purchased. A few weeks later a friend in the group showed me how to make a necklace. The rest is history.

I’m not so religious about weekly artist’s dates lately but one of the ways I fill the well is to browse through the dozens of magazines I now subscribe to. The magazines range from women’s fashion to coastal living. I scrapbook colors, textures, patterns and designs that catch my eye. Weeks or months can pass before an idea gels in my mind for a new creation from the images I have gathered. The evolution is subconscious but I’ve learned to trust the guidance because at times I’m shaking my head at the muse saying, “What?” (What do you want me to do!? Really! Combine those colors?! Use this (ugly) bead!?)

As much as the worker bee part of myself tries to dissuade the creator part of me from “wasting time” “filling the well” the creator part does come out on top a good share of the time. Hasta Luego worker bee. . . I’m off having fun this afternoon!


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