On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Artist Date #1/2008

Are you familiar with the concept of an artist's date? My understanding is that Julia Cameron developed the term and idea through her creativity workshops which were later combined into her book, THE ARTIST'S WAY. Once a week, she suggests, you take your inner artist out on a date. No matter how young or fragile or silly, you let yourself do something you've always wanted to do. It didn't turn out? No problem, life is sometimes like that, but at least you gave yourself an hour or two doing something that sounded like a good idea when you planned it. And you went alone so there was no need to filter the experience through a companion.

We have two excellent hardware stores in our community. If we drive 10 miles east or west there are big box hardware stores. But for 12 years I've been passing a certain store about 20 miles from my home. There would be no need to shop there, but several times a week I've thought, "That looks like such a nice store, I'd like to go there sometime."

This week, knowing that I had a two-hour break in my schedule when I'd be passing that store again, I committed to making visiting that hardware store my first artist date of 2008. And then Beulie ate the toilet plunger so I even had a mission, something to shop for while I was there.

It was a wonderful store. I played with the nails, walked through every aisle and then climbed the stairs to the gift loft that I didn't even know was there. They had beautiful items on display, the kind where I would have liked to have purchased three of those and six of these. Instead, I went back downstairs and discussed the pros and cons of toilet plungers with a very nice staff person. The one I chose sort of looks like this:

And so far, Beulie hasn't eaten it.


  1. I like your drawing but I'm not going to ask about Beulie eating a toilet plunger. I don't think I want to know. Artist's dates are something I'd like to start doing too. You have encouraged me here.

  2. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is one of my all time favourite books. I've read it three times and enjoyed doing the weekly tasks. I used to write my Morning Pages religiously but I slackened off. You have inspired me to read it again, thanks, Barbara.

    Great job on the toilet plunger!

  3. Ann -- The toilet plunger disaster wasn't that bad. It was clean and dry and to her it was just like another chew toy!

    Serena -- I share your love of Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY. I also enjoyed her biography, FLOOR SAMPLE. Her newest book is about journaling to thinness -- it's due from amazon.com in a couple days. Can't wait. (Can't weight??) - Barbara


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