My most recent library checkout included Julia Cameron’s Letters to a Young Artist. You may recognize Cameron’s name as the author of The Artist’s Way. (Confession: never read The Artist’s Way. I think I tried once, early in my artistic career but got bogged down. It’s really only in the past couple of years that I’ve matured enough as an artist to knowingly tap into my artistic consciousness. Does that make sense? I’m just saying that early on, I was putting all my focus on mastering technique and it was more than I could do to look beyond and paint intuitively.)
Anyhow…I love Letters. Cameron’s position as the sage elder artist, stripping away the “mystique” of creating art, poking and prodding the younger artist “X” into confronting the stereotypes of the creative life – it is so relevant to what I am learning and have learned. As a Christian, I was a little uncertain when Cameron started referring to God (authors on creativity so often impose their idea of spirituality on the reader), but while I may not agree that we are free to define God however we wish, I think she see some aspects of God’s character truly. As someone who has always wondered what spiritual purpose was intended in my receiving this artistic gift, and her definition of God as the “Great Artist” was something I had never thought about.
I think of God as the Great Artist and I believe I will be sent what I need to make my art.
Letters to a Young Artist, page 62
I could quote a sentence or two from nearly every chapter in the book, and my library copy is sadly overdue. I’m adding it to my shopping cart on Amazon.ca, and I look forward to paging through when I start to lose faith, or get caught up in “seems” – you’ll understand the term when you read the book yourself!