Sunday, January 13, 2013

Studio Practice

Paul and I share a space in a factory mill in Fall River.
We are so lucky our floor mates are more family than friends.
For the last few months, my daily to-do list has been a little overwhelming, with the selling of the church and looking for a new place. During the week, when I'm Ms. Virgo Listmaker it all seems to work. The battle with anxiety, sadness and self doubt seems to hit me the hardest when I stop. And most particularly on Sundays, in my painting studio. I've been able for the most part to keep the place pretty sacred. I've promised to keep the space free of the computer, only make calls to and from the studio and checking emails (yes and occasionally Facebook) only on my lunch break. Stopping and emptying myself to paint today seemed especially challenging and it took me a few hours to figure out why. Art + Commerce. We're preparing for an art and antiques sale at the church the weekend of Feb 9-10, and I'm sorting through old drawings, paintings and lots of collectables, trying to put a value, a real price tag on it all. I've always said it's almost impossible to sell your art at the same time you're making it. Two totally different parts of your brain that seems to fight with each other. Recognizing it today made me fall in love with my studio, my process and work in a new way. A few postings back I wrote about the illustrator Tove Jansson and her wonderful children's books. This quote is such a good reminder for me to keep certain "creeps" out of my studio. -
"It's the right evening for a tune, Snufkin thought. A new tune, one part expectation, two parts sadness, and the rest, just the delight of walking alone and liking it. As he settles in to compose, he is disturbed by a small creature, a "creep", which rustles out of the undergrowth, declares its admiration for the famous Snufkin, asks him a lot of questions and demands attention and comfort. Meanwhile, the tune, which until then was forming itself out of the noises of the forest and brook and the slow revelations of the season, disappears. Snufkin has to wait for it to come back".
-exerpt from "The Spring Tune" part of the Moomin series
The photos are my early valentine to the place and tools I have a crush on. 

I've finally learned to love cleaning my brushes.
And I buy more expensive ones less often.

Sometimes the rags are just as beautiful as the paintings.

I work with natural light but a few paper lanterns make
the place cozy the last hour of the day in the winter.

A doctor friend gave me a pile of white surgical gowns
that make great painting smocks.
A little eccentric looking, but they cover everything nicely.

Oil bars, gigantic crayons, really.

Lots of enamelware and cigar boxes 

My favorite Swedish teacups my friend Pat gave me and a pic
of my pal Bruce, patron Saint of Art Elves.

I have also learned to embrace "setting the table for the muse"
Getting all those white empty surfaces
ready gives  me a little flip flop of excitement. 

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