Sunday, September 14, 2008

what a mess!

Cloth Paper Scissors is publishing a special issue about studios. It will hit the news stands early in October. There's a lovely photo on the cover of some artist's very nicely appointed, clean, well kept art space. It will also have, "85 ways to find, sort and store your stash" and "11 best organizing tips from an expert" and "BIG solutions for small spaces". I need to read all of these articles, I'm sure and I'm really looking forward to getting a copy so I can be inspired and encouraged by all those organized artists. Or possibly not. Usually, I just feel depressed when I see the large, clean, orderly work spaces that other artists work in. Anyway, just knowing this special issue was coming out has made me think about what condition my art condition is in.

Here's mine...Sorta pathetic.

Actually, I try to be organized. I really make an attempt at being organized but I don't love to organize or the discipline that it takes to stay there. I get shelves and containers and try to put things in their place. Sometimes I try anyway, like on those occasional, I'm Really Going To Get Organized Weekends that happen maybe three times a year. But then projects or shows happen in the middle of life happening and more times than not, I end up trying to do art in ten square inches of space and frustrating myself while searching for supplies that have gotten buried under supplies from past projects. Or moving those materials and supplies from past projects to tables that are already piled with stuff from other projects just so I can get to an essential piece of equipment (like my press) and making more clutter and chaos in the process.

Another thing I've been thinking about lately is how my always wanting to experience new art mediums or learn new techniques (which usually then require new art supplies) is a lot like someone who is always wanting a new lover in their life; always wanting to experience that excitement and thrill of new love over and over again. I can't seem to stick with one thing long enough to actually ever make a commitment to explore all the possibilities with it before becoming infatuated (or just intrigued) with some new art interest. I guess I'm feeling like I'm acting a bit fickle or kinda like a player* toward art related things these days and that maybe it's high time for me to quit taking more classes, buying more books and accumulating more art materials and just focus on using the stuff that is currently cluttering up my art space in our house. I'm beginning to think that many times all the books, blogs, workshops and online info that I'm constantly taking in also only adds to the clutter in my head and prevents any real artful inspiration and creativity from taking place. (*Player: a guy who is sustaining supposedly excluisve relationships with multiple girls simultaneously.)

I'm not sure why I thought I needed the world (or the half dozen people who actually read my blog) to know this about me. I must be in a true art confessions sort of place.

Rosh Hashanah--the Jewish New Year--is coming up (Sept. 30/Oct.1) so this is actually a very good time to be feeling new resolve. Not that I'm Jewish or believe in keeping the Law or anything but I respect the idea that there is a particular time set aside to consider old ways and determine (with God's help) to do better. I'm so there, in so many ways.


mk said...

i could really scare you with a photo of my studio space- i mean make you feel better- but it's not october yet...... and i find that trying new things keeps me motivatd and creative. i have stuff i've hung onto (who knows why) that is now helpful b/c i started doing collage, and am taking an encaustic class. i still paint and shoot photos- i think it all fits together. if you find something that really ignites a passion, you'll keep doing it. ion the meantime, it all builds, and generates new ideas. some artists are probably meant to paint the same thing or use the same medium until they know it inside & out, some of us are better suited to experimenting in diferent ways. at least that's what i tell myself!

have a great day!

Laurie said...

Hi Marianne, thanks for stopping by again. I just went back to your blog and did get to see a photo of your studio. Well, at least a table in your studio and it looked a lot like the tables in my little studio. It wasn't very scary and yeah, it did make me feel a bit better to know that there are other messies out there. I've heard that a couple of the "A List" mixed media artists (I can't remember for sure which ones) actually have all their stuff scattered about in their studios and work better that way so maybe that old idea that messy is indicative of productive might actually have some truth to it. It's just that right now I'm feeling overwhelmed and oppressed by my messes and excesses instead of inspired.

I've always felt the same way that you expressed about all the different things fitting together and all of it being part of my "skill set" and coming together as needed. Lately though I've been feeling sorta weird about it. I think it has something to do with some of the other things that feel out of control in my life like Duke dying. Or other things that I haven't even touched on in any blog postings like crappy menopause symptoms that have begun in full force or my blood pressure being completely whacked right now and a big family thing that I can't really go into but has caused much stress and sadness in our lives this summer. I think the feeling that my studio is out of control and driving me crazy and feeling like I need to focus more on what I already know and already possess is probably just part of trying to gain some feeling of stability in my life. Probably similar to the reasons why I'm also trying to lose some weight and get more exercise right now.

Not that you really wanted you know all that about me but thanks for listening. :)

P.S. I sure don't mean to make anyone else feel like the way they are functioning regarding art or anything else is wrong. Sorry if it came across that way.

Paula Scott said...

No, wait, I could scare you with photos of my space(s)! I suffer from the same and do not want to spend more time cleaning than making art; which isn't enough time! But, things have gotten really, really bad in my studio. I think yours hasn't reached the point that mine has! I did spend some time the other day just trying find a small patch of 'real estate' on my workbench in my printroom. That felt good, but I was not even close to calling it clean! Or, at least clutter free. I think this could be the malady of those of us who do work in lultiple mediums. I often feel like I'm ADD when it comes to art mediums. But, MK is so right! Go with it and explore all htere is to explore!

Laurie said...

Hey that's right Paula, I forgot about that ADD aspect with mixed media artists.

Maybe I'm just have one of those OCD sorta spells. I'll try to relax and not obsess about it. :)

mk said...

maybe you just need a quiet spot right now, and cleaning the studio up will give you that.

i know that out of control stressed feeling and it's hard to work through.
and sometimes doing familiar things helps....

hang in there.