During the Creative Process
A studio in Paris. The things dreams are made of….
A studio in Kentucky.
Brings to mind the importance of being very specific in your dreams:)))….Kidding!
I love my Paris, KY home:)
My Paris studio is petite, with sloped ceilings and a west facing window.
I truly believe the greatest purpose our space serves is the signal to our hearts that we are literally making room in our lives for our gifts!
back in February when I had the insane idea inspiration to makeover my studio, I needed a dump truck sized scoop in order to even think about digging into it. Deciding that I wanted to replace the carpet with bamboo flooring meant everything had to come out…..(remember my storage tub debacle? Click here to revisit the story on that;))
Translation?? A long held belief that if we artists can just get our hands on the right brush easel paint paper canvas medium book viewfinder color chart camera pochade box panel carrier umbrella camping stool mahl stick wet panel carrier french easel gorilla box scraper palette knife varnish gesso marble dust fan brush paint jar… THEN we will become the best painter in the universe:))
So like I was saying, I was needing to eliminate a few thing before starting the makeover:)) One of my artist friends emailed and asked me to share how I waded through the clearing out portion of the project:))
Here’s how I decided what to keep, what to eliminate and how I made peace with it:))
Some of you may be appalled with my choices. I have friends who can’t stand to cut anything out of their art magazines….let alone (gasp!) get rid of them– I, on the other hand, have moved so many times that every time I have packed/unpacked an art book or magazine that I hadn’t cracked since the last move– had begun to question just why was I hanging on to all this stuff. The truth is, as artists, we pass through many phases on our journey to becoming. Our tastes and interests change.
Just because we loved it once doesn’t mean we are forever married to it:))
Solution: Magazines–I only kept those that were of extreme interest to me. If it was only one article that I felt I had to keep, I clipped it out and stuck it in an art book of similar topic.
Books–I generally know which ones are now old hat to me and no longer serving me. I let them go into the hands of those who are seeking exactly that information now—this included a lot of watercolor books:))
What about unfinished paintings? Or ones that are finished but never quite made the cut?
Solution: If they elicited a shudder, I put them straight in the garbage bag. If they had some redeeming value …. I scraped my signature off and sent them to Goodwill:))
What about random, once used but now sidelined items….and even sentimental items that once held significance, but there’s simply no room for them due to size?
Solution: On the sentimental stuff, I took photos and let the items go. I held fast to my sister’s mantra….if I don’t know what to do with it now, why leave it for my kids to have to sort through when I’m gone:))
Frame styles that reflect a past me, mat cutters from my distant watercolor days, pochade boxes that no longer suited me….all were bid a fond farewell. I also threw out tons of old photo reference that no longer reflected my interest and were of questionable quality to begin with:))
The more I purged, the lighter I felt. There are some awesome things about streamlining your artistic life. One is sharing the “wealth” with others (I had a gazillion stretched canvases that I gave to a friend since I really like to paint only on panels these days)! The other is the enjoyment of having ready access and really seeing the things you do love and use in your studio—no digging past a bunch of unused, untouched stuff.
It was simply the joy of starting over with an (almost) fresh canvas:))
All of my still life objects found a new home on these DIY shelves from Target. They are stored in the storage area just off my studio for easy viewing and access:)
My easel, a few frames and my old jewelry chest underwent some shabby chic treatment:))