A New Studio for the New Year!

Winter Wisteria

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted here, but they’ve been busy weeks with a new art studio in the works. Painting walls is not the same as painting canvases, and yet the tools are remarkably similar: brush, roller, can of paint.

Okay, I don’t usually use a can of paint on my canvases, but you can’t do a wall with a tube of anything much at all.

Painting is painting – color on something. One of my favorite poems is about painting a gate during which not only the gate, but the painter and a spider got painted as well.

I have taken over a space that was previously a “man cave” with one wall painted black to enhance the cave effect, I suppose, and a lot of “man cave” additions like screws and hooks and a surprising chain (for what?) which I am removing.

I’m not complaining. It’s a joy to have the space and to know it will be mine as long as I want a studio. I plan on wanting one for the forseeable future.

Opinions vary among visual artists about the need for a studio. I started out working in the living room of an apartment where I carved out a small corner for my supplies and a work table of sorts. I moved on to a 3-bedroom apartment where I had a separate room for my work. From there to a 300 sq. ft. apartment (the whole apartment!) where I began my serious painting, on to a condo overlooking the sea in Mexico and more recently to a large light-filled studio in an old hotel. I gave that up to paint in a room at home which almost worked, but now am sailing toward the small separate studio beside my house.

Many artists say they require a studio, others say they can paint anywhere. I believe them all. For me, the best work comes when I have a studio. This will sound strange perhaps, but the woman who creates large abstract acrylic paintings is not the woman who cooks dinner in the kitchen.

Maybe that sounds strange or a little bit woo-woo, but I know it’s true, and I know that in the new space, I have new work waiting to be done. It’s been calling to me. I’m ready.

Writer Annie Dillard wrote this about a studio: “You need a room with no view so imagination can meet memory in the dark.”

But, I hear you say, I’m an artist, not a writer. So let’s hear from artist Alex Katz: “The room in which I spend most of my life is as beautiful as I can make it.”

Any space, of course, can be made beautiful. Mine is small, but big enough, and I will work to make it beautiful and personal with small touches that matter only to me. Every artist I know has done the same thing. I have three personal items that always go where I’m working.

In addition to painting the wall, I’ll be shopping for better lighting (it’s not a cave anymore!) and will be grateful for the ten steps from the back door to my work. After the weeks away from the paints and tools, I’ll think of Leonardo as I step into this new little space: “An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it.

The snow will be gone one day, and the wisteria will be in bloom. I will be at my art table. Let the work begin…

3 thoughts on “A New Studio for the New Year!

  1. Ah, wisteria….Lovely, romantic plant/bush. My orange thumb killed mine. Luckily, I can visit my daughter’s flourishing one. I’ll envy you in the spring with it in bloom. Congrats on the new house, which I know will be made into a home in short order. And a Merry and Happy to you both…………….Marcia

  2. Good luck, Molly. I’m sure your studio will reflect you and your work
    I look forward to seeing the new creations

  3. I’m sure that your studio will be warm, inviting and the scene of many creative efforts in the future. I would hope that to honor the legacy of the Man Cave, that you install a beer tap. Congratulations

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