Here’s what I bought!

Years ago when I had my much loved, rather topsy turvy blog, Baxter Street, I would occasionally write about what I’d bought while out and about. The segment was called Shopping With Mother and was inspired by my Ladybird reader of the same name.

Meantime, in a recent g&d Live Call we were chatting about the Artist Date. This is a concept espoused by Julia Cameron in her classic book, The Artist’s Way.

‘The artist brain cannot be reached—or triggered— effectively by words alone. The artist brain is the sensory brain: sight and sound, smell and taste, touch. These are the elements of magic, and magic is the elemental stuff of art.’ Julia Cameron

This week I finished the first story in a new Junior Fiction series I’m toying with. It was time to celebrate. (Yes! PLEASE celebrate all your wins big and small!)

For me, celebrating meant cancelling THREE Zoom calls and playing hooky for the day.

It also meant skipping into the Bendigo Art Gallery to see the Mary Quant exhibition. (If you’re still in lockdown or restricted in some other manner, big illegal hugs coming your way!)
I’m not ready!

This was an artist date of the highest order; one that was not only inspiring but also highly motivating.

Ms Quant had an unflinching can-do attitude. An artist, a visionary, an iconoclast and by all accounts a  kind and grounded human being. How could anyone leave such an exhibition without  the slightest flutter of optimism and faith in one’s own gifts and dreams?

Not only did I leave wanting to write more stories, books and museletters, I also wanted to knit more, learn to sew (again), make more videos, teach more classes and generally do ALL THE THINGS!

But back to Shopping With Mother.

Exit via the Gift Shop.

Here’s what I bought:

Pretty hey?

The leather-bound notebook is from a bookbinder across the road from the gallery. I thought it was a magical looking notebook that belonged ON MY PERSON at all times and so into the shopping bag it went.

Also, see the little rabbit card? That’s by our very own Jess Racklyeft. I still get excited when I stumble across work by members of our community!


‘As artists we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative sources as we draw on them… I call this process filling the well.’ Julia Cameron.

Commit to a weekly artist date, dear reader, and watch how it lifts your spirits, and nurtures your enthusiasm and self-belief.

Even if it’s simply making time to watch the sunrise, or taking a trip to the local florist, making a private Pinterest board with a theme that lights you up, a colouring book and a blanket on the grass, a tea party in the backyard with a pretty cupcake and your best china.

Whatever excites your artist brain, do it. And do it weekly.

Fill your well; nurture your inner artist as you would a child—because therein lies the magic.

Jen xo

Our beautiful membership site, the Duck Pond, is open for a new intake this weekend, April 16 – 19, 2021. Click the link to check it out and see what we can do for YOU!

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