Well- here it is where the magic happens, I was reading Jane's blog- and she's come up with the idea of showing your workspace and your sketchbook- bi-weekly- I'm not sure that I'm up for that level of posting (or you may see a lot of photos that look awfully similar, as no work progresses), but I do love the idea of sharing our workspaces, and I've been wanting to write more about art in this space, so I'll play along a little bit. Also this week has been uncharacteristically productive so I actually have stuff to share.
I think that an Artists' workspace is a bit sacred really- I sort of hate sharing works in progress- I cringe when people want to see what I'm working on- because I feel like it's not enough, not clean enough, finished enough, well thought out enough, and I worry that the take away will be of me as a messy, flaky, kind of bad artist, not serious enough, or neat enough or worse- they'll think I'm a wannabe artist. I should know better- I don't know where that idea came from- except that I am a super responsible person- and I know the flaky artist stereotype- and I don't want to fit into it at all. Except that...well...I'm messy, and making art for me does require a little (or a lot) creative mess, I need to get into it and not worry about putting stuff away in the middle- I tend to make a giant mess, especially now that I have the little ones to help me with the mess making, then I clean it up and start fresh on the new project.
Just lately I've been working on some tile patterns, so I've been doing the drawing and figuring, and brainstorming everywhere in the house- where ever the kids will be still, and I can avoid their 'help' for a few moments. This mostly means mealtimes, I sit and eat and draw, and it's actually been great- I've gotten more done that way than I have in months. I also tidied the table in my studio (not the spinning wheel though- which has been put there to keep it out of the kid's every day reach- but it got festooned with vintage hang tags, and fabric scraps while I was making the Halloween costumes, I asked N if I could tidy it- and she gasped and said "no! it's ready for Christmas!"). I enjoyed the clean table for a day or so and then I promptly covered it up again with prints from a printmaking workshop I attended (which was fantastic- my first time making prints- I think I may be hooked...).
The thing about the workspace as sacred space stream of thought, is that it's not really a productive thought- it ends up being something similar to the 'fear of the blank page', it ends up alienating artists, and allowing us to believe that other artists are better than we are- at everything, real artists have bright, open, airy, clean, absolutley tidy workspaces. When the reality is that most artists work in corners of their homes- with extra dressers, and kids toys, and random shoes (the one in the photo of my studio shelves above, that has me wondering that classic question: is that the lost shoe? or the one I found already?). I am lucky enough to have a studio space all my own (you can see it in it's bright newly painted form in this post), I like it clean, sort of empty, and full of space- but it's rarely like that- especially if I'm working on something, and I don't think that's a bad thing actually.
I'm linking up with Jane at the Flight Platform, on this and other sketchbook posts.