Last weekend, when the cold weather did not even make it into the single digits, I took myself on an artist date to the Garfield Park Conservatory on the west side of Chicago. http://www.garfieldconservatory.org/
What is an artist date? You may be wondering. It is a concept that I was introduced to through Julia Cameron’s seminal book on creativity, The Artist’s Way http://www.amazon.com/The-Artists-Way-Julia-Cameron/dp/1585421464. She explains the artist date on pages 18-19.
"An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date....a long country walk, a solitary expedition to the beach for a sunrise ot sunset, a sortie out to ... an ethnic restaurant to taste foreign sights and sounds - your artist might enjoy any of these. Or your artist may like bowling."
It was glorious to leave the glacial cold for a couple of hours for a visit to the “tropics.” The air was warm, moist and heavily oxygenated. Mmmmm. The conservatory is huge there are multiple large galleries including the Horticulture Hall, the Fern Room, the Palm House, the Desert House, and of course a children’s area.
The experience of the warmth, and the greenery has, of course, made it back into my work.
Here is an abstract landscape that I made the very next day.