Montana Fowler Art

week one: recovering a sense of safety

21 February 2023

My artist mom gave me The Artist’s Way for my birthday years ago. Even though I’ve brought it with me on every move and occasionally used it for inspiration, I’ve never done the full twelve week program.

I feel lucky that I grew up in an environment that supported my creativity. As my friends will tell you, I got in many an argument in high school over people saying “I can’t draw.” (This crutch phrase we have accepted in our society perpetuates the idea that being a beginner somehow means we innately cannot do something.) People confuse the ability to draw with the ability to render a realistic visual in their head, but being able to draw just means being able to put pen to paper. That’s all art is, doing it! Regardless of how it turns out!!! (& you get better at making it turn out the way you want)

Anyway, so until this week I thought I was above the whole “recovering creative” concept because I paint all the time. However, in actually doing the reading and prompts for week one, I realized I need to set aside my arrogance and believe Julia Cameron. I’m not perfect at this.

Week 1 taught me that as much as I believe in encouraging other people to make art despite the result, that doesn’t mean I am as kind to myself. I beat myself up for the days I decide to work from home instead of go to the studio or do something else fun instead of paint. Why? I’m only making myself feel worse.

The root problem is that I don’t design my weekly schedule realistically. I always overbook, overcommit & then feel bad when I burn out can’t make it all happen. That overbooking comes from this avalanche of ideas my brain gives me every day: you should do the artist’s way every week, share your thoughts every week with your newsletter, host an open studio, host a painting workshop, film a studio notes, build new canvases, apply to residencies, send out new years cards, go to life drawing, mat more works on paper, film a video talking about your sketchbooks, visit more art galleries in Montréal, get started on the next collection… It’s honestly a fire hose.

When I figure out how to let off the pressure, then I will get unblocked. So now, I am writing down all my random ideas to save for later, and I am not stressing about what I am able to accomplish today.

Deep breaths. One thing at a time! Looking forward to week two….

If you’d like to join me on the twelve week program, you’re welcome to!

keep reading...

Not ready to pick a painting today? Curious about an inside look inside my process? I share the best updates in my newsletter, while giving casual updates on my Instagram (@montanafowler_cs_art). I love connecting with others over a love of art.