Someone recently asked me to describe the last 3 months of my life. “All in boxes” pretty much sums it up.
It is no secret that we recently moved to a new house. The past three months, my painting process has been pretty much boxed up as well. I have been frustrated wanting to “do something” and then realizing that it was under the dust and debris of stacked boxes, packing materials and more dust. The garage which usually functioned as my creative studio space, had become the storage and staging zone for all of the packing materials, which of course did not fit inside the house. All my studio and painting materials had been packed up awaiting the “Big Move”. I did reserve my plein-air easel and a small amount of paint and brushes for paint outs. Though, free time proved even rarer event with all the packing, construction deadlines, or work and family needs.
Everyone thinks “new studio, exciting! Ha, I think, “Crap, where am I going to store all of it?”
I want to actually work without having to invest creative energy into cleaning up my studio just so I can paint. Which generally happens in the garage space and results in poor painting quality if any at all. Over whelming to say the least. Moving my studio has proved to be quite the undertaking. Thanks, to a few good friends and my weekly yoga, and more than month later I managed to breathe through it.
Logically, with such a big move, all my studio and painting stuff had to move as well. But what was I really going to need and use in the new studio. Everyone I asked that had a home studio suggested I would need lots of storage, good light, and work space. The first challenge was to get it all reduced down from what was a 2 car garage space to a single spare bedroom.
I intended to keep and store paints, paint surfaces, drawing materials and basic framing equipment. I reduced my studio supplies to the primary materials. I was giving up many of the old shelves and storage b/c they would not fit or move. This forced another purge of inferior art I had produced over the past few years during my fast paced graduate classes. It actually took most of 3 weekends to eventually pack up the studio and another day of realizing it was futile to try to keep the crap work for later resurrection.
Purging proved just as stress full to realize the pile of painting failures, I intended “to fix” someday was larger than I intended. (Little voice in my head repeats its mantra” not failures, learning cycles”). I did not need to preserve them for future sales. I had practiced the intended lesson. I could move on. Don’t worry, I still have plenty more to work on and eventually sale.
Yes, purging is good for art growth. It can be very emotional if you don’t have a good friend to help you separate all the stuff from the precious and best. It can definitely leave room for many more painting projects, big and small.
The next few blog posts will feature stages of sorting out my studio.