Feeding My Soul: Figure Drawing Class at The Visual Arts Center

     Have you read Julia Cameron‘s The Artist’s Way:  A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity?  I stumbled upon a reference to it while reading a design blog about 3 years ago.  Curious and feeling at loose ends after completing a long-term fund-raising project that required a lot of creative energy, I promptly ordered a copy and delved in headlong.

     Ms. Cameron’s words in the first chapter granted permission to follow a new path:

No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.

She persuaded me to embark on her morning pages journaling routine.  That journaling eventually led to my having the nerve to start Avad Fan.

     The Artist’s Way also led to an acrylics class at the Visual Arts Center (formerly the Hand Workshop) in the Fan.  Then I took another class and tried my hand at drawing and watercolors.  Taking these classes has felt like unlocking a door from a suffocating space, and I now have an almost physical need to be enrolled in an art class.  Just knowing that I have a set time for creative pursuit frees me from the claustrophobia of my daily chores.

graphite pencils

     My favorite teacher at the Visual Arts Center is Lisa Fisher Johnson. We originally met through a local lacrosse travel team on which both of our sons played, and over the course of several classes she has become my artistic mentor. A graduate of the New York Academy of Art and a subscriber to many of Julia Cameron’s philosophies, Lisa ensures that each of her students feels relaxed and confident in her classes and constantly reminds us to leave our “’inner critics’ {one of Cameron’s well-known devices} at the door”.


Do you see your inner critic?
It’s pretty hard to banish her.

     I recently started Lisa’s 12-week Wednesday morning Figure Drawing class.  To say that I was uncomfortable in the presence of the live (i.e. nude) model is a bit of an understatement, but with Lisa’s gentle guidance and taking my own advice to lighten up, prudish me is now enjoying putting pencil to paper as we focus on the body’s volume. Time flies in these classes where my brain takes a holiday from the real world of schedules, errands and worries and exercises regions within hitherto untouched.

photo by Avad Fan

     The Artist’s Way helped me see that each of us unique beings has been blessed with a creative soul that is seeking outlet.  You can either feed it and allow it to thrive or starve it and stunt its growth.  Aware now of this creative spirit within, my goal for my second half-century is to nourish it and give it the opportunity to flourish wherever and however I can.

     So glad it is Wednesday!  It is time to feed my soul.  I’ve got my pencils packed and ready to go.


2 Comments on “Feeding My Soul: Figure Drawing Class at The Visual Arts Center”

  1. Laura Trevey says:

    Thank you for visiting Bright Bold and Beautiful! I am so glad I popped over to see that you are inspired by your art class ~ Dive in and discover your creative side!!

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