Studio Study

Today I thought I would share with you a glimpse at my studio.
Last August me and my hubby moved into a new rental space. It is the bottom floor of a house and has two bright bedrooms. One of these bedrooms is now my studio. When I was finishing up my masters program, one of the most daunting thoughts was to have to go back to making work on the couch again. I have never had the extra space that could be dedicated solely to making art…to have it now is a great gift.

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This is the studio as seen from the doorway. Large sheets of paper are taped to the wall and I am working on several things at once. Paints, pencils, my ipad …. everything is scattered about the floor and my two cushions provide a place to drink a cup of tea and take a break. I spend a lot of time sitting on the floor. A good lounge or lie down is quite often just what I need to get the juices flowing again. Just like at night when I lie in bed and then can’t get to sleep due to the sudden desire to make or write or think.

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This is my table. I like to think I will make work at it but mostly it is where things get dumped to be rediscovered later. The sewing machine lives there and that does get put to use, but the papers and pencils and books are just piled up. On the wall I have a map that I drew and onto that is pinned a crocodile made by my niece. I love that crocodile; she is only six but thought to take a scrap of sponge rip it for a mouth and draw on the eyes and teeth. I have pictures of her and my nephew pinned to the wall also. They remind me of the awe of making something from scratch. My niece is very proud to have an artist for an aunty and I want to keep making her proud of this fact. The framed picture of a cat is a painting I did when I was six. It won first prize in a painting contest for children under seven, and probably started me on the road to stubbornly ignoring common sense and trying to become an artist. I don’t remember painting the picture (it was painted at school and then handed over to the competition directors by my teacher), but I do remember the pride that I felt on the day of the award ceremony.

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Finally, this is a piece I have been working on recently. It is a crocheted abstraction of an island. When it is lifted into a cone shape, a snowcapped mountain emerges. I will most likely make several drawings of the wearing of this form, and then it may start a new life in another form. We will see where the studio takes me. Part of the power of having a studio space is that it is a place where accidents and mistakes are allowed to happen. Making work in my living room, each piece had to be extensively thought out and planned before being executed and there was no room for error. In the studio, mistakes are thrown in a corner and allowed to linger until sometimes they become something else, something interesting, something unexpected.

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