Friday, August 7, 2009

Sitting in my Studio

I'm sitting in my studio. The windows are open and I can hear rain as it finds its way through the leaves of the massive oak tree we call Big Ray. (Burr Oak - Raymond Burr - Big Ray) I've come up here to clean and hopefully work, but instead I'm writing this blog post.

I haven't written much lately, mainly because I've actually been working on art. Something, somewhere, has loosened in me and I've started to actually produce work. Not as much as I would like. NEVER as much as I would like, but more now in the last six to eight weeks than I have in many months before this. And it's good. It's very good. Mosaics and mixed media work. Some painting. I'm settling in and creating some of the things that I've been thinking about for a long, long time.

The thing I hate about my studio is that I've got it so crammed full of stuff that I have a hard time finding things. I wish I could be more organized. More respectful of my own, hard won space.

The things I love about my studio are many.
It has a sink. I am so freakin' lucky to have a studio with a sink. And cupboards.
When I look out the window I see leaves and some little bit of sky. It's like having a studio in a tree house.
As much as I hate how much stuff I have in here, it's great too, because almost anything I want to do, I have the stuff to do it in here.
I can do whatever I want in here. There's no one who is telling me that I have to do a certain thing or not do a certain thing, other than the mean voice in my head, which I am trying to still with work.
It's a luscious melony orange color, full of juice and creativity. And while there's not a lot of wall space, there's still some left for things to go up.

And finally, let's face it, the best part about it is that it's a studio. I have a studio. For many years I didn't have one and I limped along, working on the dining room table or in a corner of the living room, with art supplies stashed in boxes or drawers but always overflowing into our living space.

In one memorable apartment, during my quilting and doll making phase, my studio was behind the couch in the living room with the sewing machine right next to the hall that went to the bedrooms. My husband remembers that one every time he thinks about the foot surgery to get the broken needle out of the ball of his foot. I remember that year because my oldest son was two and the only time I could find to work was late at night, after everyone else had gone to bed. Not a lot got done but it was good stuff.

I learned to mosaic in first house we owned, sweeping small shards of glass off the dining room table whenever it was time to eat dinner. In that house I also took over almost half of our bedroom, with my fabric and sewing machine. But I hated to sew up there because it was always hot, stuffy and the roof slanted down in such a way that the only place in the room where I could stand upright was right in the middle. So I would haul stuff down and work on it in the small living room, with the kids crawling through the work.

Don't get me wrong. Even with a studio my art supplies are not confined here. They bust loose and creep down the staircase with alarming and overwhelming frequency. As I write this there are bags of fabric in the tv room, waiting to be turned into costumes for 3D fairy tale illustrations, a big bag of paint and brushes in the dining room, left over from this week's art date, several tubs of glass shards in the dining room and garage, given to me by my local stained glass supplier, waiting to be sorted and then cut up into smaller shards for my mosaics. And there's always random art tools stuck into drawers or pencil cups, and rolls of paper tucked out of the way in crannies behind the couch or between the hutch and the wall. And that's just the stuff I remember.

And I'm grateful. Grateful for all of it. Grateful for the luxury of space to devote to something that I clearly could never NOT do. Grateful for the patience of the man I married. He not only lives surrounded by my art, but occasionally finds himself wounded by it, and still he doesn't complain. Too much. Grateful for my sons who, maybe because they never knew any different, don't seem to notice or mind that their home is a colorful, patterned mess. Actually, I know they notice, and I suspect they mind, but they don't make me suffer for it, and for that, I am also grateful.

Sitting in my studio. I'm going to get to work now.