About canmexartistway

I am a happily retired teacher/expat to be now relocated to the spectacularly beautiful Harbour City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. During snowbird six I decided to morph from snowbird to Mexpat! I'm taking the 'scenic route' geographically and metaphorically during the next 5 to 6 months as I downsize, downsize, downsize in preparation for an international move in the fall. Follow my blog at www.theaccidentalmexpat.wordpress.com

101 Fabuloso Artist Dates!

  1. Visit an artist’s supply shop.
  2. Spend some time outdoors with your journal, sketchbook, craft supplies, etc.
  3. Go for a walk, and take your camera with you to document the experience.
  4. Stop by the library, and check out some CDs.
  5. Set a timer, and spend an hour working on something you’ve been putting off.
  6. Create an artist’s workspace in your home.
  7. See an Oscar-nominated movie or a foreign film.
  8. If you don’t have an artist’s blog, start one.
  9. Visit a “creative” shop that has nothing to do with what you actually do–an art supply store, a fabric shop, a music store.
  10. Grab a stack of magazines, and clip whatever looks interesting or cool to create your own inspiration board.
  11. Support the local arts scene. Go to a local festival, music event, art show, play, museum exhibit, etc.
  12. Plant something. Start your own herb garden. Butterfly garden. Plant a tomato or some bulbs. Try a “guerilla garden,” and scatter seeds randomly somewhere to see what grows.
  13. Spend an hour going through your books. Pick ten to read or re-read and ten to donate to charity.
  14. Go to a thrift store. Give yourself 5$ to spend and find something really great that you can do something creative with.
  15. Take a walk on a nature trail. Take your camera.
  16. Write a letter – longhand, on pretty paper – to an old friend.
  17. Give yourself a beauty treatment – a cuticle treatment, a foot soak, exfoliation, hot oil treat, etc.
  18. Go sit at the pond and play in your sketchbook.
  19. Visit all of your childhood playhouse and fort sites.
  20. Sit in the driveway and make designs with pretty rocks. Sing campfire songs.
  21. Sit in the porch-swing and lean your head back as far as you can and look up at the tree branches backward. Think of as many Shakespearean poems as you can while you are doing this.
  22. Send a care package to your best friend or to a family member… just because. Take time and care to put loving and thoughtful things into it. Be creative. Make things. Be as careful with the packaging as you are with what you actually put into it. Include notes and loving sentiments. Get as much from it as they will in receiving it.
  23. Go to Home Depot with 10$ in your pocket. See what cool things you can find there to create and art project with that 10$ (only). Go crazy.
  24. Wine and dine yourself… go to dinner and a movie.
  25. Choose a fantasy mentor. Take time to read their books, watch their videos, learn about their life as an artist. Let them inspire you.
  26. Go cloud watching.
  27. Spend some time browsing around Etsy.com and create a Favorites list – a list of items there that speak to you on a creative level – to refer back to and be creatively inspired by.
  28. As a follow-up, contact some of the artists that created items from your list. Tell them that you admire their work; inquire about their technique; start a conversation. There is nothing better than being in contact with and becoming friends with fellow creatives.
  29. Try an all-day drawing marathon. Wherever you are, take your journal or sketchbook and start drawing. You could participate in a SketchCrawl event: http://www.sketchcrawl.com/
  30. Take yourself on a culinary artist date, and try a new cuisine, recipe, restaurant, fruit, vegetable, etc.
  31. Create a self-portrait.
  32. Take a walk with someone else’s iPod. Expose yourself to new music.
  33. Move your body. Try Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, bellydancing, etc.
  34. Spend a day naked.
  35. Write a poem.
  36. Plan a road trip.
  37. Write a letter to the person you plan to be in ten years.
  38. Write a letter to your parents. Tell them what you are grateful to them for. Send it.
  39. Go to the library and find a book on a topic that you know very little about but that looks very fascinating to you. Check it out. Read it.
  40. Schedule your yearly check-up appointments (eyes, teeth, physical, girl parts, etc.)
  41. Take a self-portrait everyday for a week.
  42. Have a massage or a facial.
  43. Take a creativity course at the local community college or community center.
  44. Go to an estate sale or a yard sale.
  45. Garden.
  46. Watch a movie you’ve always thought you’d hate.
  47. Make a list of one hundred things you love about yourself.
  48. Make a list of one hundred things that make you happy.
  49. Mix a CD of songs that inspire you.
  50. Mix a CD of songs that you’ve never heard before, that you simply like the titles of.
  51. Find a fun, new creative blog to read.
  52. Have a complete day of silence.
  53. Have a technology-free day.
  54. Watch a movie with the subtitles on.
  55. Write a Love List.
  56. Color a mandala (Thanks Abby!)  Get one here or here.
  57. Cook from scratch.
  58. Have a silent day.
  59. Take a day and go to a neighboring town and poke around.
  60. Go to a local market.
  61. Go to a u-pick farm.
  62. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  63. Create an accomplishment board
  64. Create a vision board.
  65. Make a “bucket list”.
  66. Make a list of things you want to do before Christmas.
  67. Make a list of thirty things you’d like to do before your next birthday.
  68. Organize your closet.
  69. Create a piece of artwork entirely with things from your recycle bin.
  70. Get a hammock.  Lie in it often.
  71. Go for a bike ride.
  72. Blare your favorite music while baking something delicious.
  73. Fly a kite.
  74. Take a hike (literally).
  75. Read a children’s book.
  76. Read poetry aloud… to yourself.
  77. Visit a plant nursery and plan your dream garden in your mind.
  78. Take a day for yourself, rent all the movies that your favorite actor or actress made and watch them.
  79. Go somewhere you haven’t been since you were a child.
  80. Drive.  Aimlessly.
  81. Give yourself five dollars to spend on items to use for an art project at a dollar store.  See how far you can stretch it.
  82. Walk the historical part of your town and make architectural sketches.
  83. Take yourself on a picnic to the park.  (Dogs can go too.)
  84. Go to a free museum.
  85. Create an account at Pinterest.  Mark pictures that inspire you and make you want to create.
  86. Create a Look Book.
  87. Take an hour and have tea.  Use your nice dishes, including the creamer.
  88. People watch.
  89. Collect fall leaves and then take photos of them in whatever neat compositions you can.
  90. Read an old journal.
  91. Watch a documentary (or read a biography) on your favorite artist.
  92. Finger paint.
  93. Take a walk around your town looking for heart-shaped objects (or any shape).  Take photos.
  94. Buy a box of 64 crayons and a coloring book.  Have fun!
  95. Go to an old graveyard.  Stay long enough to get spooked.  Notice all that’st there while you are there.
  96. Play tourist in your own town.  Visit the local tourism office and see what you might not have known before.
  97. Go to the hardware store.  Create an art piece with items on bought there.
  98. Play at a park.  Swing.  Slide.  Hang from monkey bars.
  99. Go to a cafe and write out any of the “bonus exercises” in TAW.
  100. Carve out an hour and write notes, letters and cards to those you love.  Mail them.
  101. Go to a pet store or shelter and play with or exercise the animals that are waiting for good homes.

(Some of these on the list may be similar to one another or repeats.  I didn’t go back and check for redundancy.  If they are shown twice, that just means they are really good!)

Now… YOUR TURN!
Name five (or more) Artist’s Date ideas to be added to our list.

Adventure Part Two…

Another fabuloso session and each week the time goes faster and faster. Naturally love this week’s theme and could probably easily do 12 weeks just discussing past adventure, current adventures and of course waxing at length about future adventures.  We use Phyllis’s beautiful deck of cards called Maps which is perfect for this particular theme.

48 Hour Challenge

Remember to think about the Adventure Challenge I left you all with last week. IF you had just 48 hours to go absolutely ANYWHERE in the world on your own for only 48 Hours without any consideration or barrier of money, logistics of travel or arranging for things at home. Just imagine ALL of that disappearing and poof!  The genie grants you this one special wish for only 48 hours so do think about making the very best use of it.

In our NEW sketchbooks (and of course if you have your own please bring it) we will start tomorrow by sketching this private 48 hour world…. and if you want to put a new/another wish of wishes in the magical wish box please do so!

Artist Walk

Since I’ve been back I’ve done a lot of walking because I only insure my car for six months so tomorrow, April 15th is the big day! Since there is no bus into this neighbourhood I’ve been mostly catching a ride into the nearest shopping area where there is a bus and then walking home to my patio suite in the ‘burbs.’ On sunny days it’s been great and I’m used to walking around the village. But the view is certainly different. Every walk in Ajijic turned up something interesting; sights or sounds or events or people. Walking back to the burbs is fairly uneventful and there s not much to see but I’ve gathered a few interesting found items that I will do something with later on. I also found a Starbucks card with money still on it so the universe dispenses it s endless abundance in many mysterious ways!

Again the artist walk is a solo walk without any music or cel phone distractions and the objective is to be very, very present in your surroundings. Because everyone has a dog in Mexico most people in my group there took their dog for a walk for their artist walk. Not being a dog person I’m sure this is all right if your dog is not too needy and distracting. Naturally like all things on the path of the Artist Way it’s entirely up to you! I’ve only had cats as pets and they look quite funny on a leash and won’t go where you want anyway so this has not been a factor with me.

You can drive to a park or other walkable place either in the city or in nature or you can walk around the neighbourhood you’ve only driven into and out. And from what I’ve seen other than the dog walkers the sidewalks don’t really get used that much here in the ‘burbs.’ When I was growing up the sidewalks took you to your friends house, it’s where you played hopscotch or other games and a place where it was okay to write on with chalk because it wasn’t permanent. It was also where you set up your lemonade stand to sell to passersby. Well, a kid in this ‘hood who did this would only have ONE customer…me!

A once a week Artist Walk is certainly doable so tie on those walking shoes and venture out into new or familiar frontiers near or far!

Artist Date

For me this is always the most fun and interesting and easy to do with or without money but I don’t mind doing things on my own and in fact I have travelled worldwide on my own about half the time and the other time with the ‘boyfriend du jour.’ It was actually my ex’s idea to go to Ajijc in the Lake Chapala Area south of Guadalajara but we split up shortly thereafter and a month later I bought a ticket to Guadalajara and went anyway for four months and had a superb time. In fact I had such a wonderful winter in the Mexican sunshine that I booked an apartment for five months this year and next winter will be the full six months less a day…SOB/south of the border.

Julia is often asked if they can do the Artist Date with a friend, husband, partner whoever and the answer is a resounding NO. And if you do your artist day to the same location with and without you will understand why. The Artist Way encourages us to be fully present in our lives and our experiences and when we are filling our creative ‘wells’ this is done best solo.

When I attended a street art fair I walked through the three blocks both ways; once on my own and once with friends and I enjoyed the event both ways but the experience was different. On my own I interacted more with the artists displaying their work, walked through slower, stopped and had a snack and a drink using my Spanish. I still noticed different works of art or commented to my friends on something I had seen earlier but my main objective was socializing not really seeing all the pieces individually and collectively and asking the artists questions etc. So try YOUR artist date both ways with and without a companion to find this out for yourself.

As a new arrived resident in Nanaimo I look forward to you all sharing your favourite insider locations for fabuloso artist dates!  I will add to this posting by making a list to expand our repertoire…

All Comments Approved…

Hello from Canada, I’m up late updating the Nanaimo Artist Way blog and noticed that as administrator well co administrator I had to approve the pending comments to have them posted so I have and all six are now approved and appear on the blog for what it’s worth. I’ve been back for six weeks and there are a great many things I truly miss about not being in Ajijic, Mexico for sure. I know that Easter is a very big event and I only got to see a posted video of the parade in Chapala for example. Close but no cigar…it looked amazing. I also really miss the vibrancy and colour of Mexico as well. From Centro Ajijic to the ‘burbs is a radical adjustment! No bottle rockets here is the upside, the downside is you don’t know or even hardly talk to your neighbours in the crescent where I live and conspicuous consumption is readily apparent as all the houses here have at least a one car garage but most have two car but the garages are filled with stuff and the vehicles are outside. And many people live in huge multi level homes not with their extended family but just their partner/spouse and probably a dog or two or three. My landlords just have a geriatric cat which is quite unusual actually for this neighbourhood.

But life does go on…obla di obla da and I’m back and have once again found my Artist Way tribe and this amazing group of 12 phenomenal women and I are journeying through the second book, Walking in the World. I envisioned 12, set up for 12 and this is exactly how many showed up. The Law of Attraction in action, I would say!

Buenas noches from NOB from the beautiful Harbour City of Nanaimo!  I miss you all…truly!

A Fabuloso Time Was Had By All!

Wowza! The whole weekend was a smash success starting with the Champagne Opening which had about 75 to 80 people at some point in attendance quaffing their way through nine, yes nine bottles of champagne. Good idea, Julie to get a case. Two days later after the throngs subsided and we had visitors right to the last minute before 4 p.m. four out of the six artists represented raised a half glass of champagne to toast the first ever La Luna Azul Arte Salon Open Studio!

Ella Fournier and Jan Manning were our golden girls chalking up the most sales but everyone in attendance got lots of positive feedback about our work and about how all the work was displayed in the hallway, el bano, the bedroom, the living room, kitchen and yes even the mirador and outside hanging from ventanas! We had every possible wall surface, easel and furniture surface displaying our wide variety of eclectic artwork ranging from 5 pesos for a mixed media matchbox to 12,000 pesos for Julie Mignards muy grande abstract canvases that were in and outside the apartment and mirador.

Many thanks to local troubador, Alfonso Nava who serenaded us and the whole neighbourhood for that matter with his fine renditions of new and old ballads. I took a few pictures of him perched on the ledge of my balcony which I will have to upload when I return as my beloved IPad Blanco was shockingly snatched right out of my hands at 9 30 p.m. last Thursday.

Regretably, I did not have the pictures and videos uploaded to ICloud so only the pictures emailed and posted here and Facebook are recoverable. I believe in the balance of karma so KNOW that no good will come to the hoodlum who brazenly stole my IPad and ran out the door of Toms Bar. Two bar patrons gave chase and one of my neighbours on Constitucion was able to write down the licence plate number and call it in to the policia. I know its gone forever but….And of course, it is not the IPad per se that is most important but my pictures and videos that are now only uploaded to my memory and heart.