Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Studio: Before and After

So I haven't been creating much art in the last few months for several reasons. One is that I've been concentrating on the marketing aspect -- something that's been neglected for most of my art career. So lately I've been on the computer making an Etsy shop, starting this blog, reading the blogs of other artists, creating business cards. etc. etc. Another reason is that other stuff always gets in the way -- my teaching, Master Gardener activities, yoga, my dog, and let's even go back to Christmas and blame that too. But probably the main reason is that my studio has descended into a godawful mess where I can't find anything I'm looking for, and there are not clean surfaces to work on. See exhibit A above.

So when I'd think about going out to my studio, then I'd remember that first I would have to clean up before I could ever get anything creative going. I would tell myself to just clean a little area, and then everytime I'm out there, just do a little more. I used to like to go out there even if I wasn't going to paint or make a collage -- I'd just sit out there in my comfy pink-striped chair and read a good book or some art magazines, or listen to music, or whatever -- and just enjoy my beautiful space. But I started noticing that I just didn't want to go out there at all, and that is NOT a good thing. I'm not sure how this happens...how the mess gets so out of hand. But it's certainly not the first time! I was about to leave for Slaton, and I didn't want to go out there and hopefully get pumped up about making art, and then come home and lose all my motivation because I couldn't work in my space.
This called for drastic measures!

So I hired my friend Paula to help me. She came the day after I got back from Slaton so there would be no time to get unmotivated. She was the perfect person for the job. She was actually looking for little cleaning/organizing jobs so I wasn't asking her to do something she didn't want to do. She's an artist so she understands my frustration and she has respect for my materials and my stuff. She's pretty ruthless and helped me get rid of stuff that was taking up space that had little meaning or relevance to my art. She was great about asking questions like "What would you think about moving that piece of furniture over to the other side of the room?" or "How useful is this to you where you have it?" or "How long have you had this anyway?" without being TOO pushy.

That box of exotic wood veneers from around the world that I've had since 1973 and have never used for anything? Chucked it. The sketchbooks from my Art Appreciation class from two semesters ago? Bye bye! The huge bag of lace that I was maybe going to use someday to apply textures to paintings? Taking it to Bluebonnet to sell for next to nothing.

This is one of my problems -- my studio is a multi-use space. I not only use it for creating art, but it's also a holding area for stuff i.e. antiques, collectibles, and junque that I'm going to take to Bluebonnet Square Antiques, an antique mall in Huntsville where I sell this stuff. Well, I sell some of it. My booth there is sometimes fondly referred to as "my museum" where the public is welcome to come and admire my very cool stuff. So all of that stuff has been moved to one area, and the last week of April is my target for getting as much as possible inventoried and into the shop. Here you can see two pictures of the same area -- before and after -- that really illustrate the magic worked by Paula.

We didn't get totally finished on that Monday but ran out of time. But a huge amount was accomplished! I still have boxes of stuff to sort through and purge and/or organize, but I can do that in my own time and that stuff is no longer in the way preventing me from working. It's slightly pathetic that I need to involve another person in cleaning up my mess, but we had fun and now it's done and I have no regrets! THANK YOU PAULA!!!

1 comment:

paula said...

isn't it rewarding to see b4 and after...ahhhh
what a fun post? i had fun helping you (working for you), and i dont think its pathetic you needed a push to get going. we all do. you spread yourself thin enough as it is. i loved your positive attitude and desire to declutter. it motivated me to push through things on my plate that needed dealing with. and thank you too!!!