It’s Friday afternoon and I found myself with a bit of time and inspiration to show up here and share a bit from my Studio Diary. It’s the first week of a new season and that felt just right too. This is a quick and personal round-up of this week in my studio – and remember, our lives are our studios!
The big excitement is that classes are back in action. A new cohort of amazing artists has stepped into Devotion this fall. This week, we started getting to know not only one another but also each of the artist’s visions for the season ahead. I have learned over many years the power and transformation available within a season. I use that three-month measure as a container for all that I plan, prioritize and do. For me, this fall I am clear on my priorities: Devotion, my well-being and my loved ones. I also have some amazing projects waiting in the wings and as and when I have time, I will reach over and invite them into the studio to dance.
In addition to the new Devotion artists, I hold an ongoing mentorship circle for Devotion alumnae and we made a start on Wednesday. In the original program, artists are learning to create an unshakeable relationship with their art. In the seasons that follow, the mentorship circle helps hold and strengthen that relationship within the context of everyday life and all its opportunities and challenges. What is so deeply fulfilling to me is seeing the deepening clarity and confidence of each of these artists as they continue their practice of devotion. It is a wonder to witness.
And speaking of wonder, look at these dahlias! They are one of the richest blessings of this end-of-summer time of year. I was thrilled to see that our local farmer’s market has a flower vendor this year and when I saw these dahlias, they spoke to me! Earlier this summer a dear friend, a fellow artist and intuitive told me that dahlias wanted to work with me this season. I am happy to invite in the wisdom and beauty of dahlias! Of course, I could look up all the meanings these flowers traditionally symbolize but I prefer to build a personal relationship with these beauties, letting them speak to me directly.
Though we have started fall classes, we still have just under a week of summer left. I can tell the season is changing by the dark of the mornings, the chill in the air (though I insist on open windows) and the diminishing pages in my Studio Yearbook.
We’ve been through quite a time with the yearbook of late. The behind-the-scenes demands had started to take over and I found myself spending more and more time tracking packages and dealing with paper prices than working where my true gifts lie – creating work that wakes the untapped magic that lives in creative hearts. So I decided to let it go… and then to bring it back. The more I thought about it, the more DMs and emails I received, the more I talked to people about the practice, the more I realized the yearbook itself is a core offering here at the studio. The problem was with the logistics not the offering itself.
I worried that people would think it was a ‘ploy’, that I had it in mind all along. (I didn’t.) I knew that to keep it, I’d have to switch to PDF only, and I worried about that too. Would it be a barrier? Would people still want it? I didn’t know.
But what I did know, was this journal makes a difference. This simple daily practice has changed things for people, truly changed things. People have started drawing for the first time. They have started to take risks. They have recognized the beauty in their life. They have shared it with their sisters, their kids, their neighbours, their nieces and their dear friends. They have remembered what it is to dream. And it’s a part of my life. I use it every day and it matters. It reminds me to think like an artist every single day and I do.
So over the next week, I’ll start to draw my summer yearbook to a close. I’ll go back and fill in some things I missed. I’ll glue in pictures and have fun with washi tape. I’ll print out some of the pieces I’ve written and glue them in. I’ll look over some of the markers that have made this summer. Then I will close the book and have a fresh and beautiful slate for fall.
Okay, I have promised myself to keep Studio Diary entries easy and light so here’s a quick round-up of some other small or significant things that happened this week in the studio:
- On Tuesday, September 13th, I started officially writing my book about Devotion. I have been doing a lot of writing for it for the past two years but this time felt different, like I was no longer wrangling the invisible but instead moved into knowing what this book wants to be.
- I started slowly and intently reading the classic Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This book has been on my shelves for over 20 years but now, in the year where my word is ‘rewilding’, it is the perfect time to read it.
- I’m working on a secret project and, with the help of my sister-in-law’s sewing skills it is coming to fruition. I’ll share later when it won’t be a spoiler to the people it is for.
- I tried something really cool with my Studio Yearbook after the full moon. I identified 12 themes in my Full Corn Moon dreamboard and used one of the Focus Pages to do a bit of writing about what dreams live in each of those themes. I loved it and will do it again! (My dreamboards have taught me so much over the years.)
- Another way I can tell it’s getting colder is Shibumi is interested in cuddles, LOL!
“I identified 12 themes in my Full Corn Moon dreamboard and used one of the Focus Pages to do a bit of writing about what dreams live in each of those themes….”
jamie, sounds so fun , can you explain a bit more about what and how you do ? the 12 focus areas in the beginning of the season, or the Focus areas on each Mondays? Can’t wait to hear about it!