I actually got around to awarding myself an Artist’s Treat yesterday. The first one since September. The Artist’s Treat is recommended by Julia Cameron, of The Right to Write and The Artist’s Way. One needs to get away from the thoughts and ideas, the black-and-whiteness of words on a page and from the constant need to hit a deadline.
One needs colour for starters. And life. So actually anything will do. I chose a museum and art gallery – preceded by a ride on the tram.
There’s also a need to do nothing. I remembered a similar exercise from my MA in Writing for Children, University of Winchester, when we were invited to walk around the cathedral without any expectations. I was taken by surprise, and hey-ho, the story that came then is appearing at last, 13 years later, in the Bridge House 2011 charity collection.
Yesterday’s treat was a visit to Bury’s Museum and Art Gallery. I found out more about the Sculpture Trail, which some of my colleagues are working on and which is partly situated in the country park opposite where I live. Paintings are always good, anyway, for bringing colour. The latest installation tells of a life and a death and interfaces with serendipity. It was good to talk about this to one of the guides.
Then, an amble through the rest of the town centre.
Retail therapy just does not do it for me any more. Maybe the sitting in a café and leafing through the brochures I’d picked up at the museum was a luxury. Even so, I’d have rather been at home getting on with my creative and critical bits and pieces. I don’t think I need a hobby any more. The treat begins to feel more like a chore.
However, I suspect the contrast is still necessary.