Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Shadow Artist Emerges

Conclusion of A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

I've been a "shadow artist" too long. It wasn't until I began reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron last week that I discovered the name for it:

"Artists themselves but ignorant of their true identity, shadow artists are to be found shadowing declared artists." 

"Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work."

The good news is, I've been working on emerging from the shadows, but I'm not out yet. I still have some work to do. It's one day at a time. Here are some lines from this inspiring book that are helping me to move along in the direction I know I want to go:

"Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves."

"Lighting illuminates." 

Art is faith. I'm a believer.


What is art to you? How have you emerged from the shadows?

P.S. Did you know Poetry's July/August issue is online for free right now? Yes, it is! Go read it! I especially like Tony Hoagland's poem "There Is No Word."


  1. I love and relate to this so much. When things are going well in my life I have no fear of leaving the shadows, but when things aren't going well, I find myself running back into the shade to hide. Right now, I'm lingering in the shadows, but trying to find the courage to step out in faith. Art is my act of faith, too.

  2. So glad to here you're going through The Artist's Way. I've done it three times, and learned something new each time through.

    1. I'm looking forward to working through it. Hope things are getting better with each day, Kathleen.

  3. Love that book! Except, I usually always get stuck at the point where she says to stop reading for a while.
    "Progress, not perfection..." A daily reminder.

    1. Oh no, I haven't gotten to that part yet.

      Yes, progress, not perfection. Thanks for stopping by, Melody. :)