One of my favorite ways to break creative isolation is to get together with a friend for an art date. We bring our sketchbooks and a few art supplies to a cafe, and just let the conversation and creating unfold without a plan.
Connie Solera made this sketch of me as we talked over dinner here in Oaxaca, where I host her Paint Fearless Mexico retreats.
Before we even met in person, Connie and I had art dates on Skype, on many Friday nights after she put her son to bed. So if you are really isolated geographically, which I am here in Mexico, you can try this with your friends from afar.
Last October, when I landed on the island of hydra in Greece, my immediate thought was, Wow! This is paradise! How can I stay longer?
And right on the heels of that thought, before I even disembarked the ferry that brought me to the island, I realized: I already live in paradise. Mexico. The home I’ve made for myself and other artists in Oaxaca Mexico.
This was not what I was expecting AT ALL, especially since before leaving Mexico for Greece, I dashed off this blog post essentially saying Adios, to Mexico during an intense bout of homesickness for friends and family in the USA, combined with acute burnout over the perils of running a business in a foreign country alone. It all tests my resolve on a daily basis.
The creative process, and life for that matter, is not linear, neat, tidy or even very plan-worthy. At least not for me.
Writing Retreat Revelations
I went to Greece for a writing retreat, with so much resistance.
I’d hit a wall with the book I have been working on, and I really thought, “Well maybe I’m done with writing.”
Which wouldn’t be bad because I’ve always got painting. But still, being a writer has been so much of my identity and profession my whole life.
By day one of the writing retreat, I knew I would keep writing. I would keep plugging away on the book that stymies me. That I would surrender to what this particular writing project has to teach me.
So I had lots of epiphanies about my creative work, too. Thanks to the guidance and and encouragement of my writing teacher, Phil Cousineau.
And upon landing on the island of Hydra, a true paradise, I decided to stay in Mexico for the time being, and keep Art House going with workshops through Spring of 2020 when my lease is up.
Meanwhile, I continue to research where in the world (or the USA, or even where else in Mexico) I might land next. This decision-making process is big, and I’m trying to follow my heart, while being practical and not over-thinking things too much.
I’m sharing this, so whatever change happens next isn’t such a big shock.
There is something I have to learn about sharing my big ideas soon as they come into my head, especially when they affect other people.
Upcoming events are posted here, including workshops with Connie and Phil Cousineau.
I came home from Greece with so many epiphanies… and olives!
The corner market down the alley from my hotel in Hydra had olives vacuum packed in plastic bags, so I loaded by one carry-on bag with several kilos of Greek Olives to take back home to Mexico.
As for epiphanies, I am continuing to dwell on those, and share here when I feel audacious enough. The olives are long gone!
The connection between healing and creativity (in Greece!) is explored in this piece: Art Heals: What I Learned at the Oldest Healing Temple in Greece
Creating = Vulnerability
Sharing my work in progress and creative process is not something that comes naturally to me.
Blogging continues to be a big stretch outside of my comfort zone. But all of the best things (and people) in my life are here because of this daring… to show up and be seen, even though I feel terrified.
Thank you for being a part of my creative journey, and for allowing me to be part of yours.
What epiphanies are happening in your creative work (or life) these days?