With the busy Christmas art sale season behind me, it’s time to put up my feet a bit, welcome family and do all those things I hardly find time for: read, bake and visit.
Fall generally is a busy art selling time for me, and it’s wonderful to get out in the community or open my studio door to the public. It’s a time of high productivity (as shown in the video below), art demonstrations, teaching and chatting with visitors.
I love the social part of my work, but I also find myself looking forward to the quieter January-June months that find me catching up, and creating new works in my studio.
One of the highlights of the year continues to be the open studio tours. A few Christmases ago, I received this wonderful book Inside the Painter’s Studio by Joe Fig that gives readers a peek into professional artist studio spaces, as well as interviews about their process. I thought it would be fun to answer a few of the questions from that book — because these are much the same questions I get at an open studio tour.
I share a studio with visual artist Barb Fyvie, and together we are entering our 5th year in this studio. We didn’t intend in the beginning to share, but once we saw this large space, we decided on the spot to become studio partners. It was the best ‘intiution-inspired’ decision I have made in the last five years. Barb has become much more than someone to share a space with…she’s a mentor, friend, advisor and someone who is always up for an artist’s play date.
I have had studio space in my home, garage and now as a separate space. Although they all worked for where I was in my life at the time, I would have to say that having a separate studio space is a real treat. You can leave unfinished projects out, make a huge mess, and shut the door. It’s also nice to have a place for all my little art collectibles.
It definitely developed organically. It gets fuller every year. Whenever I stumble upon a must-have piece — like my glass table or the old wooden light box I found at the local thrift store — another rearranging gets done. It’s good to move things around. Most of my additions now have something to do with more storage, as that is always a challenge!
Almost everything has a significant meaning in my studio. I love being surrounding by objects with stories. Like, my grandmother’s brownie camera, my buddha teapot, and especially my ‘inspiration wire‘ where I hang cards I have received, pieces of glorious art I collect on my travels, and portraits and artworks done for me by my children.
Well…not often enough. But then again, my mother always told me that creativity develops out of chaos (probably when looking at my room once!). But maintaining a clean and orderly space is a delicate balance. I love having that productive artist clutter around the studio, but there are times when I just spend a day and put things away to create a clean slate to play in. And, of course, I always clean up for studio tours so that it is welcoming for visitors (but still realistic), and that always feels good!
Visiting other artist studios
One other highlight for me is visiting other artist’s studios. In 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting Vancouver artist, June Hunter. June has a gorgeous studio garage in her abundantly green backyard. Check out the blog I wrote about my interview with June.
I’m lucky to have a wonderful circle of art friends here in town (besides Barb, above): all the artists at Fireweed Glass Studio, Jocey Asnong, Meg & Paul at Sunny Raven, Peig Abbott, Dea Fischer… to name a few. It’s too long a list to name everyone!
As I prepare to say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015, I find myself grateful for an inspiring space, great friends, and for YOU, my readers who have travelled this journey with me. Blessings to you all!