Tag Archives: The Artist’s Way

fresh spirit

According to Andy Williams, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, is the winter holiday season. I tend to disagree. MY most wonderful time of the year is right now…Spring. I can’t help but love the beginning of Autumn but as far as daily routines go, this is it.


We here in Minnesota have experienced the longest winter in many, many years so the sheer joy of digging in the wet, black soil in the garden, dirt lodging deep into my nail bits, is a simple joy.  Seeing our four-year-old experience a new freedom while riding on two wheels, the constant running races in the backyard, or throwing a baseball to their father are moments we don’t take for granted. Riding on the trolley is delightful and curling up under blankets on the screen porch with puzzles and Spiderman books surrounded by family is my present heaven. Grade school teachers are forced to tame their students who have turned into bumble bees, unable to control their jittery knees while gazing out the windows.  BBQ’d meals, watching buds open, dirty knees, spring cleaning, dirty knees, impromptu wine sipping with neighbors, sunrise morning runs, falling asleep to a spring rain storm…I could go on. There is fresh spirit in the air.


It’s also the busiest time of year, this year even more so. School picnics and graduations, sports, band performances, Field Day, Field Trips and the like. For me, I enjoyed a Madison college reunion and a trip to NYC for the Stationery Show (more on this in a few days), not to mention rebranding Brown Ink, so my free time has been little to none. Which is why the reality of me keeping up with my The Artist’s Way journal became far from realistic the past few months. As some of you may remember, in February I wrote about my intention to journal every morning (also known as “morning pages”) guided by this thought-provoking book. I made it until the end of March before I surrendered. Between an early rising family and insomnia, any extra minute to snooze was needed and used.

There is no guilt towards placing The Artist’s Way on hold for another year or so. One reason is that I’ve been adamant about keeping up with my 5 Year Diary. With only six short lines available, I scribble out a few details of my day each night. There is a slim jim chance I will remember all the goings-on in my 39 year-old life years from now. And I want to remember. Writing in this journal makes it possible.

It’s a wonderful way to find a little peace at the end of each day. And as these days all blend together I’ll be able to look back at the beauty of the messiness and remember what I didn’t take for granted.

I’ll leave off with a quote my mother-in-law, Sally, sent to me the other day by Ralph Waldo Emerson (his birthday was May 25th). He wrote: “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could: some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in: forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”


Last week as Nick looked through our mail he questioned “Why are we receiving all of these postcards from strangers?” Ah ha, the postcard swap had begun. Had he forgotten a few weeks back finding me in the basement with a certain artist glow, as I watercolored and stamped postcards? It’s not that often I pick up a paint brush other than touching up nicks in the kitchen. So when I made a point of purchasing a paint set at Target (I admit, in the children’s section, but it’s still a paint set) I was nervous to see what might become of the piece. Being a perfectionist in certain areas in my life, I don’t usually gravitate toward challenges especially when it comes to the arts.

This time I surprised myself and was actually was pleased with it all. Honestly, the best part of the project was the unexpected enjoyment I felt creating art with my own hands and in a field where I do not ooze talent.

In the end, my attempt to create a Minnesota Fall sunrise turned out pretty well. Of course, the part of the assignment where we were asked to include a quote somehow escaped my mind which I find hysterical and so me. I can get a little caught up in the moment and forget the rules.

Hopefully the recipients in Ohio, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and New Zealand won’t notice the difference. From what I can tell from their postcards, these gals are laid back artists.

My favorite card was from Deborah who created her piece on an Artist Dates (watch for the term Artist Date later this month when I drool over The Artist’s Way). Watercolor paper with airbrush ink, stitched by a sewing machine was all she used. So simple yet lovely.

The idea for the swap came from Kara, who writes the blog I wanna be me when I grow up. She loves quotes and artful postcard swaps so decided to combine the two. I have a feeling there will be more to come. I know I’ll be joining her, this time with a quote and maybe, if I’m daring, a snowy Minnesota landscape.