The well of Providence is deep. It's the buckets we bring to it that are small. ~ Mary Webb
Using that spare copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach's book Simple Abundance, as an art journal, has got me back into the habit of reading one of her little essays each day. The one I read today described the ritual she has for getting down to the business of writing each morning -- one which is very much like my own. She says "I prime my personal pump in a very particular way because the repetitiveness of the process activates the right side of my brain where creativity dwells...The instantly recognizable ritual informs my brain that I'm now working. Before I realize it, I'm jotting down notes as if I'm taking dictation from Spirit. When I've got a rough draft written in longhand, I head into my office to work on the computer. Then the real writing begins. Once again I have coaxed Inspiration into helping me through the power of ritual." It got me to wondering if perhaps it was reading this essay the first time, so many years ago, that helped me to establish my little sunrise ritual. All I know for sure is, as long as I follow it, I never seem to have any trouble coming up with blog posts -- nearly two thousand of them now, if I'm not mistaken, counting Miss Becky Goes Abroad.
Ahhh, if only I was able to kickstart my art practice as easily as that! Just a couple of days ago, during this morning ritual, I scribbled things like "Must make sketching a habit! Must do it every day, until it stops scaring me!", and "Note to self: The more whimsical my sketching is, the less likely it is that I will beat myself up over my 'mistakes'.", and "Play, play, play with watercolors!" The trouble is, unless I am actually taking one of my online art classes, or watching a tutorial, and have a specific assignment telling me exactly what to do, I have a very hard time "gettin' down to business" when it comes to art. Does anyone else have that problem?
I kept on reading the essay and when I came to the part that said "You need to create a reassuring ritual for yourself to access your inner reservoir -- that place deep within you inhabited by imagination. Why not create an inviting one for when you work with your illustrated discovery journal?", it was as if a light switch had been flipped on. Why, all I needed was a better bucket to bring to the well!
I needed one that could hold my sketchbook, pen and pencil, watercolor pencils, a water brush, a glue stick, some scissors...
a journal in which to paste anything that inspires me, be it a color palette, a pretty script style, a doodle, or a particular technique I'd like to try...
plus a few books that inspire me, and some magazines to cut up.
Brilliant! But here's the important part -- I can't just leave this basket sitting in a corner, gathering dust, now can I? Sarah says "If you find that you can't work on it every day, pick one night a week that you can devote to searching for the visual images that reveal your authentic preferences. Make the process as appealing as possible. Perhaps, after putting the children to bed, you can take a long, leisurely soak in the bathtub. Then, after you are comfortable and relaxed, bring the basket containing your magazines, scissors, and journal over to your bed. Prepare a special hot drink to enjoy only at this time. Light a pretty candle on your dresser to invoke Inspiration." I'm thinkin' that, for me, the perfect time would be in the evenings whenever Hubby goes down to the man cave to watch a Sci-fi movie on his big-ass TV. And I'm thinking my ritual should take place snuggled in the corner of the sofa where the best reading light is, and it should involve a fragrant mug of my favorite chai latte. Why, I'm feeling more creative just thinking about it!