So I’ve been taking a month-long e-course called “Inside Out”.  It’s my kind of class in that it is a work at your own pace class (an excellent characteristic given my week without Internet service), it involves lots of messy paints and oil pastels, it relies heavily on journaling, and it included women from all over the country who are seeking ways to release their inner creative genius.  I had been watching the instructor’s website for several months and found her to be a genuinely interesting and creative person.  And she seemed like a pretty decent person to boot, so when I saw that she was offering a summer course in art journaling, I decided to give it a whirl.

Art has long been an interest and on-again, off-again hobby.  My grandmother, known to my family as Merdie, was an artist and accomplished craftsman, and I spent the greater part of my childhood working with her in her workshop.  She was my first creative teacher.  Many of the things I do with Harper Lee and Isaac are the things she did with me when I was little.  In fact, Harper Lee and Isaac have also been participating in the art class with me.  Isaac is a much more reluctant artist than Harper and he loses interest quickly, but Harper Lee has finished one journal and began another just a few days ago.  She is an enthusiastic art student, something I hope she maintains and cultivates over time.
I, unfortunately, have let my creative endeavors lapse over the years, but this class has been a great kick-start.  I have discovered that I could, quite happily, sit at a table all day long just writing and drawing and painting and coloring with not so much as a pee break.  Rob says that’s great if I can make money at it, and that seems to the only problem I have found with this new found passion.  I think one of the things I like most is the simple process of it.  I have been so obsessed with end products in the past that I’ve often lost the simple enjoyment of the creative process.  That class has given that back to me, and lo and behold, art is fun again, just like it was when I was a kid.  As my friend Rex says, “Is there a message there?”
Play seems to be an integral part of the creative process.  It is the combination of tools with the element of play that really allows for creative expression, so I’ve been playing a bit this week, and I have to say, it’s absolutely all it’s cracked up to be.  I think this idea could be applied to a lot of areas in my life.  For one, this blog.  I am probably the only person in the world who writes blog entries and then doesn’t post them because they’re not long enough, coherent or cohesive enough or they might offend someone.  Whatever.  I have so many entries that are so out of date, posting them now would be pointless.  Perhaps a little play is in order.  
My intention (because part of our class last week was all about setting our intentions, which is just another way of saying “figuring out what the hell we’re doing) is to play around with the blog a little more, loosen up and have some fun.  Now all I have to do is figure out all this computer stuff, like adding photos and art and changing formats and fonts, without having to call for Rob every two seconds.