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!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Walking in this world

I doubt that anyone has been as positively influenced by Julia Cameron's original program on creativity, THE ARTIST'S WAY. I discovered the book in 1993 when it was a new thing and faithfully worked my way through the twelve weeks. A few weeks later I reworked the same program, this time with two friends. A year or so later I organized a church group of about ten or twelve parishioners who met weekly and discussed their newfound habits - writing three morning pages, the weekly artist's date and the completion of various tasks. By that time I had created a new life for myself and took off for graduate school.

Periodically, when I'm feeling down, I rework the program and have, fairly consistently, written the morning pages all these years. This week, while dusting and sorting my too-many books, I was reminded that I actually bought the sequel, WALKING IN THIS WORLD, but never completed the second part of the program. The timing is perfect to do that now. I've been casting around for new ideas, have been haphazard about writing the pages, feel rather stuck and could use some structure. So... twelve new weeks, beginning each weekend with a new chapter, new tasks and new hope. If any of you want to join me, please do!

Oh, the drawing. Well, WALKING IN THIS WORLD includes walking as one of the tools, so Demi and I set out in the rain and walked exactly one measured mile. I was keeping my eyes open for something I could bring home and draw, but what most attracted me were flowers and leaves that I would have had to pluck surreptitiously from yards as I passed by, something I would never do. When we reached the front door here at home I still didn't have anything to draw, so I picked up a geranium stem that was left on the ground from last week's pruning. The natural color is rather tannish, but I was working in a combination of dry and water soluble graphite.


  1. Well it works great for finishing your walk. I'd write on the page what you wrote in your post and see what you end up with after you are done with the program. So it did rain. I hope we get it. We heard raindrops for about 30 seconds but that's it so far.

  2. Hi Timaree --- I did write on the page, similar to the post, but then I cropped the page before blogging!

    Rain, lots of rain, really cold rain, here. Three feet of snow in the mountains already.

  3. We've been having rain too ,for ten days at least and feel fed up with it !!!
    Anyway you gave nice texture to this stem !

  4. Nicely done! I don't have her second book and never quite made it through the first one. I think, since I'm actually drawing again this time, maybe I try it again! Well, maybe after Thanksgiving, things are too busy just now.

  5. I read The Artists Way many years ago and also did the program. I'd forgotten all about it until reading your post. I might get Walking in the World and see what it's like, or maybe just go back to The Artist's Way. Thanks for a great post! nancy

  6. Thank you, Martine! A weak sun is now shining over northern California but I think it's only temporary....

  7. Nancy & Raena -- The Walking book can stand alone, you don't have to do The Artist's Way first. Everything you need is explained in the introduction. If either of you wants to work the 12-week program with me, let me know! It would involve reading one chapter each week and following the suggestions or doing the tasks and checking in with each other about any little sprouts of creativity (word used broadly) and generally using each other as someone to be accountable to so we don't give up.... Email me if you are interested --- bfbrannon@aol.com -- Barbara


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