I just spent two long days printing monotypes. As soon as they are dry, I will post a few of them for you. Hang in there!
I find that I can't just create art without periodically re-fueling my creative mind. One of my favorite ways to re-fuel is reading fiction. I love novels, particularly those with a female main character. That isn't a pre-requisite, but I do relate to female characters more easily. The book I just finished reading was a collection of short stories by Nadine Gordimer. I haven't read any of her novels, but after reading the short stories, I will add that to my "books to read" list. I am currently devouring Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune. It doesn't seem to matter what time I crawl into bed, I cannot seem to turn out the light without picking up that book and reading until my eyelids are heavy. I am also a big fan of National Geographic. I love to read it in the morning with a cup of tea.
Another way I like to fill up the creative jar is by watching movies. We just saw Avatar in 3D on Friday, and for those of you who have not seen it, GO! Go as soon as you can, and if possible, do try to see it in 3D, just because it is such an experience. We also recently watched a movie about Alice Neel, a favorite artist of mine. It is called Alice Neel (attention, Lily), and is available with NetFlix. It was directed by her grandson, and features quite a bit of dialogue from the great Neel herself, as well as interviews with her sons. I found it incredibly inspiring.
Of course, the best way to re-vamp is being in nature. I love to be outdoors, and I love to take time to examine and appreciate nature in all of her glory and wonder. Fresh air, exercise and a few scratching quail - what could be better? I am fortunate to live in a place where nature is right outside my doorstep. This desert is an awe-inspiring place, unlike any other place we have ever lived. I feel incredibly fortunate, in so many ways. Part of my job seems to require me to observe, and there is nothing I love to observe more than this world we live in.
The final thing I do to prepare myself for making art is writing in my journal. It is something I have done for a long time. I had kind of let my journal go by the wayside, until I read Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. She reminded me of how much benefit can be gained by just letting the thoughts roll out onto paper, without censoring or fear. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it.