The God of Artists

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher C...

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us equate difficulty with virtue — and art with fooling around.  Hard work is good.  A terrible job must be building our moral fiber. Something — a talent for painting, say — that comes to us easily and seems compatible with us must be some sort of cheap trick, not to be taken seriously.  On the one hand, we give lip service to the notion that God wants us to be happy, joyous and free.  On the other hand, we secretly think that God wants us to be broke if we are going to be so decadent as to want to be artists.  Do we have any proof at all for these ideas about God?

Julia Cameron

You may have noticed that this week’s post have a bit of a theme about what it means to take our life and our art seriously.

I read the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron around the time it was published back in 1992.  It’s a book that changed my life by expanding my beliefs about work, art, spirituality and talent.  I return to the exercises in that book every so often, and have been writing in a journal daily since the early 1990’s mostly because of that book.

I didn’t become an acclaimed artist by reading Julia Cameron’s book, but my life started to become a work of art from that point forward.  I took her following words to heart from the Artist’s Way:

“Making art begins with making hay while the sun shines. It begins with getting into the now and enjoying your day. it begins with giving yourself some small treats and breaks.  “This is extravagant but so is God” is a good attitude to take when treating your artist to small bribes and beauties.  Remember you are the cheapskate, not God. As you expect God to be more generous, God will be able to be more generous to you.”

This approach changed my life for the better, so every so often I write about Julia Cameron’s ideas and books in case she they could help you too.  I recommend the Artist’s Way and her follow-on books to any of you who are trying to write your destiny!

Daily Contemplation:

Are you generous with your inner and outer artist?

Do you believe that God or the Universe is extravagant and wants to share some of that extravagance with you?

Does God love and cherish artists?

23 thoughts on “The God of Artists

  1. eof737 says:

    Excellent review… I can’t believe I haven’t been liking your posts even though I read a bunch of them… Did a glitch occur…? as I saw some I thought I had liked in the past.

    • Karen Wan says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I just saw a bunch of likes today and yesterday, but before that I hadn’t seen too many from you. Sometimes the system does strange things. Thank you for all of these, btw! 🙂
      As always, I love your posts and I’m just catching up from a few intense weeks of moving and not doing much with blogging. I should be a much more consistent reader starting this week!

  2. jamieaaron03 says:

    I’ll try to remember that book next time i go to the library. I need a little motivation lately. I think God gives us our talents and abilities so we can use them to make others happy.

  3. livvy1234 says:

    At sixty-three, I have decided to take my first beginner’s drawing class which begins in the fall. I have always wanted to paint or draw, but never felt worthy enough to try it. I have all sorts of negative messages that come up. A few weeks ago, I had a dream which I remembered when I awoke.

    My grandmother’s essence came to me. She handed me a stop watch that had three rhinestones embedded in the face of the clock. Then she left.

    I went downstairs to make a pot of coffee and feed my dogs. I walked over to the calendar hanging on the inside of my pantry door. I looked for the picture of the month of September. There was a photo of half a horse standing in a field. He was a very kind looking horse. I started to tear up looking at him. I carefully cut the photo of the horse off the calendar, went to the store and bought drawing materials, and have since started to set my office room up as an art studio.

    Then the image of a butterfly came to my mind. The butterfly was lightly touching – just about to fly off the horses back. What does all this mean for me? It’s later than I think. My earthly time is limited. The horse is telling me to go further into the forest than I have been for many years, and the butterfly symbolizes my spiritual self. I am not wasting time anymore. I have started to draw the horse, and found it very calming – just like a meditation. Art IS a form of meditating. Right now, I am up realizing how hard it is to draw the upper leg joint of my horse. I love this horse.

    I am getting this book. Thanks for mentioning it!

    • Karen Wan says:

      That’s beautiful what you’re doing! I was just a re-reading a section last night about excuses we give on why we can’t be an artist. She spends a bit of time talking about how we can let our age stop us from being the artists we can be.
      It’s wonderful that you’re letting your art come forth. None of us know how long are clocks will keep ticking, so it’s good to be an artist now.

  4. Three Well Beings says:

    I read the Artist’s Way, too, quite a long time ago, and was part of a small group working our way through it and the exercises. I really do believe the premises are true, and it wouldn’t hurt me to take another look at it. Thank you for pointing the way. Debra

    • Karen Wan says:

      The Artist’s Way was such a popular book for a long time, and it’s one of those books that you can go back and have a new view than you did in the past. I was looking at some of the answers I had written in the book years ago, and have to say I have a new perspective on some things. As always, thanks so much for your comment, Debra!

  5. stephenedwards425 says:

    Okay Karen, you are not going to believe this…Susie and I are currently working our way through this book…it is awesome…we are using it to free up our collective creative juices while developing our new company (probably a few hundred posts worth of content there).

    Let me join you in urging your readers who want to be more creative either as artist, business person, lover, or life in general, this book is the best first step you can make.

    Be encouraged!

    • Karen Wan says:

      Stephen, sometimes, it seems you and Susie and I are telepathically connected! 🙂
      That’s fantastic what you’re doing! I would imagine the Artist’s Way is a great book to help in developing a new company, because it’s about so much more than just being an artist. I hadn’t thought to use it that way!
      Thanks so much for your comment!

      • stephenedwards425 says:

        To say I was quite shocked when I looked at your post would be a tremendous understatement…then I started laughing, because somehow you and us exploring the same book without any prior discussion just seemed right.

        Be encouraged!

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