Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dream of Studio Space

When an artist doesn't have what one would consider a 'studio' space, it's necessary to make good use of what one has. I have read about artists who create in a 'closet studio', or in a tiny nook under the stairs. Because we have a small pottery/clay sculpture studio in the basement area of our wee cottage, painting/drawing/matting/framing has to be done somewhere in the upstairs part of the house. In many ways, I'm lucky that I don't have to work on a really small scale in cramped quarters, but I have always had to set up and take down after each painting session. I am limited to size, but in the last couple of years, I've been able to manage 30" X 40" canvases. I'd like to work bigger, but right now, I know storage would be a problem, so I will limit my size desires. Recently, I analysed my situation and realized I needed to be more organized and eliminate some of the clutter - a tricky task for someone like me. In the fall, I decided I would try not to move out to other parts of the house to work. Now that I'm painting more in oil/cold wax, it's not pleasant to have the odours throughout the house, as windows can't be flung open in winter in Canada.
This is a typical setup before I made some changes in my workspace.

Take a look at the mess in our daughter's former room. It is a smallish space, and there was hardly room to walk in, because I kept dumping things, let alone room to actually set up to paint.

So I spent about 2 or 3 days sifting through all the stuff, separating the 'wheat from the chaff', recycling as much as I could. And I ended up with a little corner and 2 medium-sized painting walls. It's not gorgeous, but it will do, and has made a big difference in the amount of time I am spending doing my artwork. For my larger pieces, I find I still need to take them out to another part of the house so I can stand back a distance to evaluate them. All in all, I'm feeling more focussed and creative by just making this small change in my environment.

These pieces are some of the oil/cold wax work from the "Somewhere South of Paris" show in Ottawa. The grouping on the right are fixed together as a multiple canvas work; the ones on the left are hanging as singles.

The last couple of days have been spent setting up my Etsy Shop - Elemental Abstract Art. Another learning curve for me, but it just takes working through the process to become accustomed to the workings of Etsy. I've listed a few smaller oil/cold wax pieces, and some collage work. Please click here to visit my new shop.
Have a creative, satisfying art weekend.

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