Dixie Darr

In creativity, Learning on April 20, 2007 at 11:02 am

The Artist Date

“Your only assignment is to replenish the well.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

The artist date is a basic tool for awakening your creativity, according to Julia Cameron’s classic book, The Artist’s Way. It’s a solitary excursion or play date with your inner artist. Visit an art gallery, take a hike in the mountains, explore a junk store or watch an old movie. The choice of an activity is entirely yours. The purpose is to fill the well of your creative resources.

A couple of weeks ago, I took myself to the Ben Franklin: In Search of a Better World exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This tercentenary celebration of the birth of one of most beloved founding fathers will leave Denver on May 20 and travel to Atlanta and finish the year and the tour in Paris.

Printer, inventor, diplomat, writer and philanthropist, Ben Franklin accomplished an amazing number of feats in his lifetime. In addition to discovering that lightning contained electricity, signing the declaration of independence, and inventing bifocals, he also:

  • Created an early form of swim fins
  • Experimented with wind surfing
  • Wrote one of the earliest autobigraphies (which, in almost 300 years has never gone out of print
  • Established the first franchise
  • Served as Postmaster General
  • Co-founded the first public hospital and circulating library in the U.S.
  • Founded the University of Pennsylvania
  • Printed some of the earliest paper money and solved the problem of counterfeiting by including pictures of leaves which could not be duplicated
  • Invented a musical instrument, the glass armonica
  • Mapped the gulf stream

The scope of his accomplishments is at once astonishing and inspirational. If you can’t make it to the exhibit, check out the website or watch the PBS video of his life.

©2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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