A 12-step program for creativity

De Wardt teaching workshop based on 'The Artist's Way'



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"The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron.

If you go

What: Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" 12-week workshop

When: First class 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym, 1280 13th St.

Cost: $150 for program, $40 for required text

Call: Registration is required by calling 870-0384 at least 48 hours before the program begins.

— Susan de Wardt says she stopped drawing for 20 years after a college art instructor said she was wasting her parent's money by attending his class.

"It wasn't because I couldn't draw," she said. "It was because he wasn't an effective teacher."

De Wardt is now teaching a 12-week program based on Julia Cameron's book, "The Artist's Way," at the Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym.

"People don't have to be an artist to be in this class," she said. "It's really about recovering a confident authentic self."

The classes are based on a 12-step program where the weekly sessions act as a support group. The class is designed for anyone, but can be especially helpful to in restoring the confidence of those whose work has been rejected in the past.

"Somewhere along the line you got a bomb dropped in your lap that you're not good enough," she said. "This whole 12 weeks we will look at all those voices from the past and will turn them way down or off completely."

Participants should be aware that there is homework involved in the program.

"One fun thing you must do is have an artist date once a week," de Wardt said. "That may mean taking yourself out and buying some cool art supplies or going to a gallery to enjoy great art, or even going to your room to listen to classical music. Anything you can do to replenish your artistic side."

De Wardt said the primary goal is to restore confidence and enjoy art again.

"You don't have to be Michelangelo," she said, "but you can still put paint on paper and please yourself."

- To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204

or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com


flipside 10 years, 3 months ago

By "Michael Angelo" do you think she meant "Michelangelo"?


fish 10 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Michael Angelo is a graffiti artist that she is inspired by.


trouter 10 years, 3 months ago

By the way, if you have ever been to Florence or know anything about Michelangelo, you would consider a ditch digger an artist.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Otto is wise.

Otto, if you were not already married I would take you up on the challenge of an Engineering Date.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Heh. Tat of the week is thisclose to STD of the week.

I am glad that someone else said it.

I got kicked offa this site for writing that.

I read this paper on line for the yolks.


Don Carter 10 years, 3 months ago

Julia Cameron also wrote a great book for aspiring writers called 'The Right to Write'....it gives some good tips to move you along in your writing goals....I've got the art book, too......but my problem is sitting too long in front of this pc instead of working on my art and writing....some of my writing is at my web site CarpCircles.com where I go by Moe Beers. Art supplies have gotten so expensive I figured writing would be a cheaper mode of expression. Anyway...I miss living in Steamboat...but I don't miss wearing heavy boots for most of the year...I'm a flip flop wearing man at heart..cheers to yall, anyway...Give sweet Cordelia my regards....yo friend, Hollywood Don


dogd 10 years, 3 months ago

The quality and content of the Pilot/Today is an embarrasment. The tattoo crap will probably be followed up by a column where the obviously semi-literate Allison digs up some of the favorite and most interesting venereal diseases of the so cool slackers she thinks we want to hear about.

(which is not to imply that everybody she has attempted to write about is a slacker)

Susan: please allocate some money to hire people who can WRITE.


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

Hard to believe that someone would characterize Otto as "ignorant".

It is sad that "entertainment" is becoming the only economically viable export that the USA has to offer the global economy.

News flash. If you wanna be an "artist" and you cannot study mathematics, you should at least acquire some masonry skills or learn how to do minor car repairs.

You can rehearse your lines to your next play while you scrub my floors and serve me a nice meal. Never mind. Shut up and pull those weeds in my garden while I worhip the joy of compound interest.

ahhh hahahahahaahah

Alison Plean should put a sign on her head that says "Space for Rent"


Otto_Stader 10 years, 3 months ago

Because, trouter, people are engaging in magical thinking and fantasizing about things that can never happen for most of them. The very fact that the activity is compared to a "twelve-step program" ties it back to drug and alcohol addiction. There are actually people who are not so screwed up that they must retreat into substance abuse. Imagine that!

I think that art is a wonderful hobby. It's probably a lot cheaper than golf. I know for sure it's cheaper than flying. It's just not a viable career choice, regardless of education, for 99.9% of the population.

There are many artistically talented people who live quite comfortably and pursue their hobby because they were astute enough to know that you can't raise a family and have a decent place to live by publishing poetry, selling oil paintings or composing symphonies. They prepared themselves for real jobs instead of pi$$ing away their youth on a dead-end dream.

There was a time when you could live comfortably in Steamboat if you knew how to hold a paintbrush. It also helped if you knew how to load a roller and cut in around corner molding. As for mixing colors, well, they do that VERY well at several harware and lumber stores around town.

My attitude about the 12-step article comes from having employed a number of young adults who had majored in art in college and then come to the realization in their mid-20s that they were going to be stuck waiting on tables for the rest of their lives because of the choices they had made a few years earlier. Personally, I think their parents should be horse whipped for funding such a frivolous program of education. Honestly, I know people who think that there's no reason to go to college unless the degree you're after prepares you for a professional license or certification. Anything else truly is a waste of precious time, money and natural resources (imagine how much CO2 could be eliminated from the atmostphere if we were not forced to provide heat, light and air-conditioning for art education at all the U. S. colleges which provide such programs).

Oh, by the way, it's interesting that you'd mention Cap'n Crunch. That's a favorite of pot heads, isn't it?

When you lament the lack of emphasis on certain subjects in the public schools, please concentrate on science, mathematics and English grammar. The answers to the global problems lie in science and technology, and in the ability to communicate those answers to the population. I seriously doubt that an art major is going to come up with a power source that doesn't pollute the environment. Show me a car that runs in the snow, lasts 20 years and costs about 1 cent per mile to own and operate. That one would beat hand-made pottery any day of the week.


Otto_Stader 10 years, 3 months ago

The true simpleton's excuse came out full-blown and explicit. "He wasn't an effective teacher."

Art requires talent. You can't teach talent.

What it comes down to is that a lot of people would rather mess up canvas or waste typing paper than work in Wal-Mart or deliver mail for a living. Self expression is a wonderful thing, but making a living from it is truly a matter of being in the right place at the right time to catch the attention of an audience willing to pay for it, and usually, getting the attention of someone in the business of distributing your products who is willing to take a business risk. Elvis and Johnny Cash and all those folks would never have become famous without the man who first recorded and distributed their songs. It was only later, after they were in the public eye, that companies like Columbia Records were willing to pay big money to sign recording contracts with them.

One thing that comes to mind, however, is that proof of Creation is all around us in the desire to create art, music and all the other man-made objects at hand. If God created us in His image, then we inherited our creative urges from Him. Too bad he gave us the urge to perform miracles without giving us the power. Maybe he knew that most of us would not be "good enough" and couldn't be trusted. Maybe that's why art teachers are blessed with an eye that allows them to tell people not to waste their time, huh?

If Art required people to take a lot of math, there would be a lot more business and social science majors waiting on tables in Steamboat Springs. I'd like to see some more of these 12-step programs for people who wanted to be accountants, engineers, doctors, nurses, etc., but couldn't make the grades. For example, an engineering "date" could be to go out and peform a perk test on a building lot, or construct a scale model airplane wing and stick it out the window of your pickup truck to see how much drag it could take before the structure failed.

One of the truest lines ever spoken in a movie was delivered by Ted Knight as Judge Smaels in "Caddyshack." "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too." In my own lifetime, I've paid a lot more money to guys who dug holes in the ground than I've spent on anything resembling art. Is there a lesson here?


trouter 10 years, 3 months ago

The above comments only show your ignorance Otto. However, you are not to blame for your ignorance in the world of art, because American culture does not value art, and you were probably never given a good lesson in art history or in landscape painting. There is a reason that so many people crave to express themselves and are only able to throw paint at canvas... because they were never taught how to use a paintbrush or mix color.

I raise my glass to the "ditch-diggers" and waiters/waitresses that you mock, who are doing what they need to do in order to follow their true passion. There are many, many well-educated (obviously more so than you) people who are passionate about art, collecting art, and supporting artists. There are many artists who need a venue in which to explore their creative urges and have never been given a chance because high schools like SSHS are too busy building new football fields than funding an art department.

The world would be extremely dull if it had not been for Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and even Van Gogh. Even Pollock makes for interesting conversation, though I do not prefer his work. Do you appreciate handmade pottery, or would you prefer to eat out of a plastic bowl made in China? Have you ever been to Florence and seen the architecture and sculpture?

What susan is doing is giving our world a chance to become more beautiful by nurturing the creative spirits of our community. Shame on all of you who mock art. And shame on you for mocking Allison Plean. I think she is a much better writer than her predecessor.


trouter 10 years, 3 months ago

Good for you boodog. Back to the article and Susan De Wardt's class. I think the art gym and the workshop are great ideas and they will benefit many people in Steamboat Springs. There is nothing wrong with positive activities and artistic cultivation in a a world where so many people are suffering. Thats all. Why bitch about it and be so negative?


Bobbie_Dooley 10 years, 3 months ago

By the way....

I have studied mathematics and engineering.

As a result, I have the dough to collect art.

The artists who create what I buy might as well be whores. But I love what I buy and I appreciate fashion and design.

Everybody knows that most of the talent who have achieved commercial success had to whore themselves out shamelessly to the suits in addition to having the ruck to be at the light place and the light time...if ya know what I'm sayin'


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