Artist date: Surprise stained glass window

The term ‘artist date’ is taken from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way. In short an artist date is a solo expedition to explore something that interests you, encourage you to fire up your imagination, to let go and play.

I set off on my journey yesterday with a fresh outlook on the test that was soon coming, I studied all morning and I finally felt pretty confident. I felt even better when I had crossed busy roads and found my destination with the help of google maps (both things I avoid) – this time I faced them.

I got to the reception of the test centre and was asked to get out my licence (this was my theory exam before my practical driving test) only to be told that I wasn’t on the list. BIG BREATH OUT ‘It’s not your fault’ I said forcing a smile, putting my licence away. I made a quick exit and started to well up, I rummaged about in my handbag and switched my regular glasses for my sunglasses and thought about it all.

First my mind raced with: I am crying in a public place. I’ve spent all morning learning about cars and roads, it feels like it was for nothing. I will be down as a no-show for my previous test date I thought I’d re-arranged. I’m going to have to pay for another test.

Next, I breathed more deeply and thought about all the good stuff I had learnt in videos lately.

Keep it moving. There is negative and positive. Breathe, when you breath deeply and slowly, your body will be calm and you can feel calmer.

Next I pulled out the things from this experience that were if at all positive:

I can use this time to study more, be more sure about it all and at least I know where the test centre is now.

I looked at my watch, I had one hour and a half before meeting my mum and a little money – I could take myself on a little artist date. So I did.

I took a walk back to the town centre, the Mr. called and looked up new test dates matched with my diary and re arranged everything with a confirmation email. That lifted a weight and I was ready to start my day again.

I first went to The Body Shop and picked myself up some coconut soap, people are raving about coconut products at the moment so I wanted to give something a try and make my shower time more enjoyable.

I made my way over to Holland and Barrett and bought a drink of 100% coconut water and banana chips (my favourite snack), I sat in the sun drinking my water and looked at a bookshop in front of me. The last time I had been there is was in peak time at Christmas and I could barely move. The layout of this shop is well set out, the balcony gives off an old book shop feel, so it is spacious and cosy at the same time.

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I went in, past travel and art to self development and spirituality as that’s what I felt drawn to. I picked up book after book till I felt happy with my pile. I sat at the chair and table, stretching out and looking around at the almost empty book store. Things were looking up, I felt better than before.

I picked up each book at random and read as little or as much as I felt I needed. I liked Healing Foods by Neal’s Yard, it had an encyclopaedia of fruits and vegetables along with their health benefits and suggested uses. At the back were recipe ideas, many pictures and manageable descriptions.

I read the first few pages of The power of NO, I liked how they listed our human rights with honest intriguing descriptions that make you re go over what you are free to do, but may have forgotten. I’m a little torn whether to buy this book but if your interested check out this review of the book.

Another book I felt really tuned into and I have yet to read anything by Dale Carnegie was How to stop worrying and start living. The title and the first few pages defiantly resonate with me, I am feeling myself worry less each day though I could do with some guidance. Sometimes the right book comes at the right time, perhaps that is now.

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While I was going through my books, I looked to my right at the wall next to the free table and chair I had chosen to go, I had sat beside a beautiful stained glass window. There stood a religious figure one arm held up in as if gesturing outwards, the other holding a brightly lit lantern.

Underneath were the words: I am the light of the world.

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Self Portrait 1on canvas 2012

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About Self Portrait 1 on canvas (2012)

This portrait was produced in 2012 and describes my feelings from 2012-2015, my worries and visions fit into my stomach area, looking back now this is an area all about emotions hence the phrase ’emotional eating’.

The outfit in the painting was the actual I was wearing, the paint marks show that painting really felt like my identity and way through all the woes of life back then.

The sun and the tree just appeared painting one day, the seed is the most important part as the seed symbolised ideas, hope and birthing my creative self.

The expression on my face in the painting is one of strength but also fragility.

In 2016 I followed up with Self Portrait 2.