Curious Meanderings from an Artist's World
Finding My Marbles...a good place to start!
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Like modern archeologists, my family and I are amazed at what ancient relics abound a mere 9 feet below my bedroom floor. The floor of my original studio has at last been rediscovered down there, fully intact. No, it wasn't buried under nine feet of earth. It was buried, however, under several feet of furniture, books, pillows, blankets, boxed up art supplies and pottery paraphernalia.
Briefly for those of you who missed earlier studio posts, I opened a gallery/studio downtown a few years ago and maintained it for six years. In the meantime, my beautiful home studio became a lowly storage room as grown kids came and went in between schools, jobs and homes.
During that time, insects of all ilks including that infamously murderous gang, The Black Widows, moved in and took over. The old studio thus became a sort of Hoover Town for spiders. (Not to be prejudiced or anything, but I don't work with spiders.) When I closed the gallery and moved my art stuff back home, pretty much everything was dumped into that arachnid infested room on top of what was already there. Though Bill and I did manage to make other studio space downstairs, it was dark, damp and cluttered. As a result, I haven't done any serious artwork since last December.
Maybe I shouldn't admit that to you, but like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. And since art is an artist's best therapy, you can imagine that I am indeed on the brink of losing that little chunk of brain where I like to store my sanity. (I think there's a slow leak in there...but nothing that slapping a little gesso onto some raw, newly stretched canvas wouldn't cure.)
For the next couple of weeks, my son Travis, a construction supervisor and excellent carpenter I might add, is available to help me restore the above mentioned beautiful studio. Thank God...and thank Travis, his wife Jennipher and my grandson Aeden who are helping.
Day before yesterday, we annihilated the spiders with a couple of potent cans of insect bomb. (I feel no guilt whatsoever!) We also went to the lumber store for shelving supplies. Yesterday, Travis attached 12 feet of shelves along the brick wall at the back of the studio. Though there's still more to do, I now have hope where there was none before. And I am discovering a boat load of art supplies that had been packed up and stacked up, and that I'd forgotten I even owned! Exciting, huh?
Travis is taking today off from laboring in that dusty, musty future den of creativity. Meanwhile, my assignment is to acquire containers for various storage needs and make an organization plan. It's a rather daunting task, but I am up for it. In a couple of weeks, my friend, you will be seeing new work from this artist. I promise!
I'll keep you posted on the progress. Until then, make something wonderful, my dear artist friend. You have no excuse!
"Tulips on the Floor , My Studio"
I'm not used to being isolated.
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People who come from a large family and then go on to have eight kids seldom are. But now that my kids are grown and the youngest are in college and my real job is being a fine artist, I am alone almost all the time.
At first it was great. I had the freedom to do as I pleased all day long. I could go to my studio which was downtown, or I could stay home and putter.
What a life!
Then I had this great idea of moving my studio back home and saving money by leaving my downtown studio. This has turned out to be a questionably good idea at best. I mean, I have lots to do to keep me busy here at home. There is the computer, the television, the phone, the dogs, the cats, the dishes, the laundry, the garden, etc. And all that says distraction.
To make matters worse, my new home studio is now in a back room downstairs and is dark and rather foreboding. Dank in the dictionary sense of the word.
My studio downtown was an old house in need of a good bit of repair which I was supposed to do in exchange for cheap rent. It had high ceilings and tall, warped windows. The floors creaked, and sometimes scary strange sounds would happen, usually heard only by the grouchier people who entered there.
Three to Keep me Company
It occasionally had winter guests. First came the little gray rats with tiny pink fingers, which I caught in a little rat cage just like Cinderella and let go in the woods. But instead of turning into a few handy footmen which I could have used now that my sons are grown, they just scampered into the leaves beyond never to be seen again.
Then the cute tiny gray mice moved in. They chowed down on handmade soaps and my computer wires, drank themselves into a stupor with the little individual creamers in the cabinet, and gave birth in the folds of cloth in my sewing cabinets. They had to go, too.
And squirrels liked to hang out in the attic. They would use it as track for exercising, I think. You could hear them at all hours of the day and night dashing back and forth, frolicking as only squirrels can. At least they had their own entry to the attic, and not to the rest of the place. Though the little "rodents" as my fellow renters called them bothered my fellow renters, they didn't bother me in the least. Secretly, I liked them.
Coincidence, you say? No way.
The house had always belonged to a family of artists and construction men who just happened to be named Cline. Hmmm... I'm an artist as you know. And my husband is a construction man. And our name just happens to also be Klein, pronounced the same in spite of the spelling. That old house was obviously meant for me.
Being there was very peaceful and inspiring. For a while I shared the house with other artists who also had studios there. They were often good to have around, and the gallery I created was beautiful, but all that was harder than I expected it to be.
To Sell Art or to Paint, That Was the Question
Running a gallery and selling art and renting studios and raising a family were all full time jobs and this left me no time for being an artist. So I decided to close the gallery. The other artists went their own ways, one by one, and I was alone there for a while.
I loved it, too. From my painting studio, I could watch the traffic, and I had friends as well as my kids who would visit from time to time. I got a lot of work done, but it was expensive to heat and cool and repair, and I was a little worried to be alone there because of vagrants who would magically appear at the back door.
So this time I invited a local art group to come in and they were wonderful, but my life was changing.
I now am home, and I am missing my old studio terribly. Actually, I am fantasizing about going to the man I had rented from and just seeing if he'll rent just the front two rooms out to me. For even cheaper.
My husband may shoot me, but wouldn't it be wonderful to be back there, painting and watching the traffic go by. Maybe I could sneak my stuff back there and not even have to tell Bill about it.
Of course, that's pure fantasy.
I could never get away with it. I can't even lie to Bill about what I just bought at Big Lots, let alone why I wrote a check to Mr. H for $150.00 the other day.
Besides, I hear a little squirrel scratching in the attic above me right here at home. She has her own outside entrance up there, and besides exercising and possibly raising a family of adorable fluffy little rodent children, she collects all the black walnuts from the yard, storing them in her attic abode instead of burying them in my garden under the rose bushes. Thoughtful, isn't she?
So, now that I think about it, I'm not really alone after all, am I?
And though my studio downstairs isn't attractive like the old house was, I am an artist. I have a vivid imagination. I have the ability to create my own little world deep inside my own little head.
I think I'll go down to the dark and dank, get some painting done, and just pretend that my studio is beautiful.
Is that a little mouse I hear?
And I believe there are three magical footmen are cleaning my house upstairs while I work in my spacious, well organized studio. What a life!
Hey, fellas, would you please let the dogs out for me? Thanks!