You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Artist’s Date’ tag.

(c) 2011 Trina Lambert

Spent yesterday mostly away from the computer—does yard work count as an Artist’s Date a la Julia Cameron? Well, I suppose for some it counts as a joyful activity, too, but for me, the benefit in turning to a physical and/or “domestic” task is that non-mental activities often help me jumpstart my creative thinking again, plus the task accomplished often removes a mental obstacle. As for yard work, I like choosing my flowers and arranging them a whole lot more than I like working in the dirt.

However, I can’t really enjoy the more creative aspects of planting if all I see is chaos in the rest of our not-so-great outdoors. So first I was just going to mow the lawn, right? Well, as with many ADDers, momentum is my great friend. Mowing led me to see certain weeds in the grass that just had to go. And, then I needed to mow over by our trellis of “killer” climbing roses. Seriously, when the roses have not been pruned, walking in that area of the lawn reminds me of poor Snow White’s run through the forest. Just ask my husband—we both know what it’s like to have branches grabbing at us!

Can you say obsessed? First it seemed silly to work in the yard and then shower for Pilates—I was going to sweat there, too. Already dirty and sweaty, why not do more once I returned home? When you’re like me, if you’ve got a bee in your bonnet, you better just keep wearing that bonnet and let the bee sting you again! Sting while the stinging’s good. (Thank goodness my young neighbor has informed me that not all bees die after one sting—that makes this metaphor corny but possible.)

Weeding and pruning. Don’t know about you, but I am long overdue for those activities, especially since last year kept me from most yard work—and from moving forward in my own life.

Yesterday in Pilates, my instructor wanted us to do an activity—for the third week in a row because it’s her new personal favorite—that I don’t think is good for me or any of us with lower back problems—which is most of the class.

Well, I modified my form so much that the activity really didn’t seem that worthwhile—and others did the same. I don’t know about them, but I spent a couple thousand dollars (yeah, read that and weep), put in a lot of extra exercise, had to stop moving way too much, and had to prune too many activities out of my life to have anyone else’s personal favorite activity prune any more from me.

Still, with the energy I didn’t use for that particular move, I came home and attacked weeds and any dead branches. Last year’s forced inertia left the lawn overrun by the detritus of nature and the house with other people’s possessions, so unless I throw myself into pruning and weeding, I will continue to be stuck where I am.

Some things will never again grow in my garden and must be cut away—without mercy—to make space for new growth. And, whatever else is toxic cannot remain to choke out that growth.

My body aches today while scratches criss-cross my body from those thorns reaching to hold me back, but I couldn’t stop myself. I wasn’t going to leave any more dead wood on my trellis even as I recognized the utter hubris of plunging into the thorns time after time. Truth is, I don’t mind a little pain if it moves me forward instead of backwards.

To everything there is a season . . . and this is a whole new season for me, baby.


(c) 2012 "Peep-i Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock's Peeps"

Spring Break for Christiana has come and gone—she’s already had to take a test. Nothing like jumping right back into school, right? Glad I never experienced that in undergraduate school—breaks were breaks because we were on the quarter system and had finished our classes.

So she spent some time away with friends and her brother Jackson before we picked them up at a Starbucks in the mountains—late, but can’t say they didn’t have that one coming over the years—to go skiing for a couple days. Skiing’s a lot of fun, but it’s also exhausting, especially if you’re trying to ski around injuries in the first place, which three out of four Lamberts (Sherman, Christiana, and I) were doing.

That’s why Christiana’s last ditch effort at home-based family relaxation on Saturday night was a good idea. Of course, it would have been a better idea if we hadn’t waited to do it until last minute on the same night Jackson really wanted us to watch a movie, but, hey, don’t expect us to change too much, right?

(c) 2012 Peep Harmony (Trina)

What did we do? We had our own Peeps diorama contest with the Peeps we had bought for the Denver Post’s Peeps contest. Sherman only, with Christiana’s help, had managed to meet that deadline on Friday night, but what were we going to do with the leftovers? Eat them? Right . . .

Now me, I was casual. I figured just go with a simple idea that could be done quickly. I got this idea of Peeps bunnies holding hands (well, if they had hands!) like paper doll chains. Then all I had to do was trace blue paper and draw some really rough versions of a couple continents and choose which obnoxious song I wanted to use to promote unity and world peace. (Yes, I’m just that way!) Although I tormented my family, both by singing and pulling up “It’s a Small World” on YouTube, I just didn’t want to deal with making all those hats and costumes! But hey, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” was also stuck in my brain. That song could also qualify for a family torture exercise. (You’re probably thinking, “You torture and torment your family for a bonding exercise?” So it seems . . .)

(c) 2012 Last Peep Standing (Jackson)

Jackson has the most elaborate ideas ever and he hates to settle for anything less than epic—which means he often does nothing. Sherman refused to allow that—yeah, nothing like a little dictatorship to help with a family bonding exercise to go along with that tormenting thing, right? Jackson got out the aluminum foil and red decorative sugar and toothpicks and soon there were knights lying in vivid pools of red with a lone Peep standing over them.

(c) 2012 We're the Lumber-Peeps and We're Okay (Christiana)

OK, so Jackson doesn’t have the lock on elaborate ideas. Christiana, his twin—the art major in case you have forgotten—has been imagining and completing elaborate dioramas since second grade (don’t think anyone assigned her one before that, but you have to know she had elaborate play scenes set up all over the house beginning in her preschool years!) Her finished lumberjack scene included a log cabin, twigs for a fire, real branches from the Blue Spruce, plaid-wearing Peeps wielding axes, mountains for a backdrop, and a powder sugar dusting of snow. Presentation, presentation, presentation has always been her mantra. And, yes, she continues to exceed the assigned required details for all her college projects. No, she doesn’t sleep much when finishing her assignments.

(c) 2012 Iditarod Peep Race (Sherman)

And, Sherman? Well, if he had Christiana’s youthful endurance, he would have gone as elaborately as she did. Instead he decided he didn’t really need to have to sew any more harnesses for the Peep-dogs (birds) pulling his Peep-bunnies’ sleds. I mean, how much can a marshmallow bunny weigh anyway?

By the time everyone finished, we really needed to relax with a movie. However, some might debate whether or not starting a movie at 11:30 at night is relaxing, especially for Jackson who had to be at work at 6:30 the next morning, but also for me, who had to sing in church choir, even if I didn’t have to be there for another three hours!

Like I said, Christiana is back in school where her projects need to be a little more elaborate than those made from Peeps. But I hope her work driving our little Peep Show was just the kind of Artist’s Date an artist needs to help her remember why art is fun—especially if that artist has to be tested on art first thing Monday morning after break.

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