Friday, 3 July 2015

Studio Space

I find my clothes are frequently smeared with paint or glue, from some project or other. It may not have been my intention, to paint or indulge in some other craft, when I dressed for the day in something nice, but, invariably, I’d suddenly find myself involved in a new project and my nice top or pants ruined.

So my habit now is to start the day in the stained and paint smeared outfit, and change into something nice if I find myself going out. I use these shirts with ease now, wiping my fingers across the fabric if need be, with no concern.

I wish the shirts were a colourful representation of my work, but they just look grubby.

I remember reading a story some years ago about a young man who moved into his late grandfather’s house. The older man had been an artist, and his studio was on the upper level of the garage.
I’ve never forgotten the description of the old hardwood floor, covered in years’ worth of paint, leftovers from all the paintings created in that space. It was nice that the man did not want to change it, but respected and valued the studio in memory of his grandfather.

I would have loved to have such a studio, but I’m not sure I could have left all the drips and dollops of paint on the floor. Too many years of conditioning, I guess. Whenever I’ve had a studio type space, it has been a spare bedroom, so a space that had to stay neat, the floor clean and paint free.

To have that kind of freedom, where you can say to hell with the mess requires a separate space, a designated space. One where you feel the freedom to just create, and not have to worry about walking through paint and stepping on the hall carpet when you go to the bathroom sink to clean your brushes.

My living space is small, and though I still make notes and create in my mind, I haven’t done much art since I moved. What I have done, I’ve managed to do sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter. It has good light and easy access to the sink and water. If I was going to do some serious work, I’d need to set up a little table for more space.

I remember seeing pictures of Jackson Pollack in his studio, the huge canvas on the floor, and the artist leaning over it, swinging his paint laden brush. Now there was a studio that would have plenty of paint on the floor...and the walls and most likely the ceiling, too. He was one of a kind.

My mother once had her ‘art room’ in a tiny closet, but she made it work. I think it all falls down to this, if you want to create, if you have a need to create, you’ll find a way to make it work, no matter what your space is.

I just need to get that ‘want’ and ‘need’ back.

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