Thursday, June 7

artwork is work, too

I'm getting back in touch with my artist self this week.

Agent A. and I have come to Taos for a retreat. If you don't know, Taos is a well known hot bed for artists and, come winter, skiers and snow bunnies. Two of my favorite writers of all time, Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg, have lived in this northern New Mexican community.

Child's play?
Still, it was an adjustment, leaving the hustle and bustle of our lives to come to this quiet country home that allegedly housed John Nichols while he was writing The Milagro Beanfield War.

"Is that a real thing?" Mountain Guy asked me when I proudly stated this accolade.

"Yes. Robert Redford made it into a movie," I retorted, as if the mere mention of Redford was enough to legitimize anything. I once met a realtor who called him 'Bob' and said they would go riding together. Bob, indeed.

So, here we are in the house of a writer who wrote something that Robert Redford made into a movie. Personally, I would choose Newman any day of the week over Redford, but the house is pretty cool.

The woman who owns it now has my taste, if I had a lot more money. It's amazing how expensive it can be to make a place look old and beat up. I call it rustic funk. Let's just say there is a lot of distressed wood, antique furniture and hearts.

In our landlady's shop today, I saw a bumper sticker that said "Artwork is work, too." I would have bought it, but I don't believe in bumper stickers. I have a bumper sticker on my car that says "Just say no to bumper stickers." No, I don't, but I wish I did.

But if I were the bumper sticker type....I couldn't agree more, though by times the work of an artist looks a lot more like play. Julia Cameron says an artist at work is much like a child at play: exploring and experimenting and napping frequently.

The value of inspiration cannot be underestimated, especially in this artsy town, where the creative energy is palpable. All around us, from the tree house outside to the folk art in nearly every store window, the result of artistic play is apparent.

Rustic funk?
And so, Agent A. and I are hard at work––exploring coffee shops and boutiques, experimenting with mosquito repellant (rather unsuccessfully, I must report), and pretty much napping whenever the urge comes on. It's been a beautiful thing.

And surprisingly, we've been very productive, making great headway in the various reading matter we had gathering dust at home; and while Agent A. practices clothing model sketches, I've attempted a portrait sketch myself. No, it is not ready for you yet.

Now, I think I'll sit on the patio and reward myself with a glass of Merlot. I'm sure Redford would approve.