Sunday, December 7, 2008

Unearthing a studio

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day moving things out of the room in my apartment that I used to call my studio. I had to move stuff out in order to be able to move things around and make the space workable again. In the process I came across lots of work I'd done in the past two years at my former studio on East 10th Street in Greenwich Village. Below is a mixed media collage that incorporates gesso with washes of acrylic paint, fabric scraps, braided trim, masking tape and small pieces of smashed bubble wrap, watercolor crayon and a "nest" of vintage brass metallic cord. 
I was forced to give up my studio in late August because both my apartment rent and studio rent had gone up and I just couldn't afford a separate space any longer. I knew I had to make a decision about this but kept putting it off until I finally said I just have to do this. I spent several months junking stuff and had a few breakdowns in the process. It's hard to give up stuff you've collected and loved for years. I had to close my eyes and open the black bag and toss it in and not look back. A few things got taken out but most of it stayed put and got dragged down four flights of steep stairs to be carted out to the curb. Several weeks before the actual move date I had to start packing everything else in boxes because I couldn't make decisions any longer. It was too hard. I figured I'd do it at the other end, meaning my apartment. What a mistake that was. As the movers brought in box after box of art supplies, found objects, furniture and books I realized there was not enough space in my 450 square foot apartment to house all these treasures, let alone have space to make art. 

Fast forward several months, four to be exact, and I am still surrounded by towering boxes in my bedroom, piled high books in the living room and myriad piles of other stuff everywhere I look. Can you say packrat! I collect stuff and have for years and now it threatens to overwhelm me and swallow me up. I even considered not making art any more (or just miniatures) so I could get rid of everything and live like a normal person, whatever that is. I have been going through things and throwing stuff out and organizing all along. The problem is I have so much stuff that it's a daunting task. And the days that I work I come home exhausted and get nothing done at night. Until I started blogging! Bear with me, I'm almost done........

I have renewed energy and optimism and have finally gone into the room I once called my studio, and has since become the junk room, and unearthed a long table with lots of work waiting to be finished, supplies I'd forgotten about and artwork I haven't seen in months. I still have lots to do and I am happy to report that I started four new pieces from things I found in my cleanup crusade. Wish me luck! 

2 comments:

self taught artist said...

oh now it is making more sense, the studio and the studio...i get it.
i don't think i could handle living like for too long, that sounds emotionally draining and difficult. scattered.
good luck!!!!!

Liz Curtin said...

Yes it is draining and I can't live like this anymore. I'm making good progress though. Even finished a new piece into between putting up shelves and throwing out junk!