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I realized something:  I need a vacation.  I realized it while I was journaling a couple of days ago.  I realized I really need to take some time to do nothing but make things.

So I’m doing an Art Retreat next week.  My day job doctor (I type medical records) is taking the week mostly off, so I am taking every thing except one off my schedule and I am going to let my Inner Artist off the leash to play and do whatever she wants — make things, not because they’ll sell, but because I want to, because I want to try new things or just whatever.

If you read my stuff at all you know, I’m a journaler.  I spend a couple of hours each morning reading (usually a self-help book or spiritual or classics/poetry), journaling, and meditating.  I ran across an exercise in Christina Baldwin’s Life’s Companion:  Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest, where you pick one part of yourself to dialogue with another part.  So my Everyday-Day-Job Self had a chat with Inner Artist self.  You wanna hear?

(M=DayJobMe A=Artist)

M:  So, we’re going to have some quality time next week, just you and I.  What do you want to do?
M:  Well, we can’t do ALL the things.  Pick a few.
A:  Why plan?
M:  Because that way we can be ready, and have all our materials, work space ready to go…
A:  That’s boring.
M:  I know, but if we don’t do all those boring things, we end up fiddling with materials or turning the house upside down looking for them, and never get to actually playing.
A:  Fine.  I want to walk in the woods with Bandit and take wildflower pictures.  And make a beautiful website to put them on, a Nature Notebook.
M:  Okay, great.  We’re ready to go on that one, just need to pick a place.
A:  And I want to make an altar cloth, or maybe another small sewing project I can finish in a day.
M:  Might need a fabric store trip for that, or not… we have a stash.
A:  OooooOOOoo…. we could do the fabric marbling on the altar cloth.  I’ve been wanting to do that.  Then fabric paint on it.  We need a cloth for every turning of the Wheel of the Year.  Beltane is coming up.
M:  I like the semicircular ones.  Anything else we need for Beltane?
A:  A light.  Flowers.  Tiny paintings.  Get the oil paints out.  Or maybe acrylic.  And maybe a wire tree for US, inviting whatever it is we want to bring into our life.
M:  MORE creativity.  More play.
A:  YES!  So maybe citrine and tiger’s eye.
M:  I wonder if this might be the time to explore opening an Etsy shop with spirit-centered stuff…
A:  I want to make tons of things in all different ways that are connected in Spirit, I’ve wanted to do that for ages… henna candles, wood burned crystal/incense/oil boxes — no wait, maybe do henna designs on those too.  Wire trees, sun catchers, tarot bags (there’s a one day sewing project), spirit art, fabric stuff, bookmarks… all the art I love to do, with a common theme, and constant innovation and experimentation.
M  Okay.  You play next week, and see what we come up with . There’s no pressure, though.  We could make things for just us if that’s what we want to do.  Just make a mess and see what comes of it.  I’ll make a list of materials.
A:  Yeah, you do the boring stuff.  I want to wander around in the craft store though.

So we did.  We wandered Hobby Lobby and what do you know, she wanted to make candles too (we needed a jar for dipping the henna candles in paraffin wax anyway…).
Next week is part Art Retreat, part Spirit Retreat, part Nature retreat.  We’re getting all the adulting and “boring stuff” out of the way this week and next week she gets to be the little girl playing in the finger paints again.  Oh, and I ditched the Facebook app off my phone, it’s a time suck and too tempting.  Now I’m just dropping in Facebook once or twice a day to upload pictures and projects and say hello.  Hello!  Pinterest, though, that’s a different story.

What would happen if you let your inner artist off the leash?  I might need to make a regular habit of it.