My youngest son is a budding art historian. Thanks to a fantastic art history program at his school, his appetite for any and all art — from Yves Saint Laurent to Mondrian to Georgia O’Keefe —- is robust and delightful. He is as apt to reach for a colorful art history book as he is a comic book. As his mother, this is a bit like winning the lottery. Mind you, I still spend the vast majority of my weekends on a muddy soccer field, but having a child who will gleefully join me on an Artist Date is a thrill I shall treasure for as long as it lasts.
This past weekend, we ventured to the Seattle Art Museum together to take in the Seeing Nature exhibit before it closed. A mother-son Artist Date. (The blazer with sneakers was his doing, and I think we can all agree he completely rocked it.) Julia Cameron suggests weekly Artist Dates in her book The Artist Way. The idea is to indulge ones creativity by exploring something that interests you —- “think mischief more than mastery” she explains. “Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, what sounds fun?” Whimsy and play come so easily to our children, which is why I loved seeing these masterworks though the eyes of my son. I asked him to be my docent and lead the way through the exhibit. We enjoyed the interactive films which explained the history of many of the paintings. And we took notes, using the only flat surface available, because an Artist Date need not be stuffy. We thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We cared less about seeing every last painting and more about how it felt to be together and allow ourselves to follow our curiosity. I hope this will get you thinking about ways you can indulge your own artistry — either alone or with a child or friend. An Artist Date is a beautiful way to indulge your creativity.
xxoo – deb