Studios often reflect the personality of the artist. These spaces where the creative process unfolds are as diverse as the artists themselves. While there are certain universal elements that every painter requires—like adequate light for the painting area and abundant storage for supplies—the other aspects end up reflecting individual comforts and working preferences. Studio spaces may be painted light or dark, expansive or intimate in size, arranged in an orderly or cluttered fashion, present a sterile working environment or be filled with visual stimulation, a private sanctuary or open to the public. Visiting a diverse group of artist’s studios will reflect many of these traits and often provide good ideas for our own. For two such examples, check out the article, “A Tale of Two Studios,” in the new, December 2010 issue of The Pastel Journal available for pre-order in our online shop.
I’ve had a few studio spaces over the years and will undoubtedly have a few more before my painting work is done. While many of these working spaces have been diverse in nature, there is one thing beyond the need for adequate neutral balanced light that has undermined my ability to successfully slip into a productive painting state: order. Without order, I find myself distracted and ill at ease. Retaining order while being busily obsessed on painting is a constant chore for me, especially when a large portion of my time is spent painting on location. Coming in tired from a painting trip or workshop experience often leads to a dumping of supplies in the studio space. After a long summer, this clutter accumulates and considerable time and effort has to be expended to rectify the situation. Personally, I have always envied the painters that seem to be at ease in a studio environment of complete chaos, but I know it just doesn’t work for me. Even when the summer buildup is dealt with, I have to tidy up at the end of the painting day or first thing in advance of a new day; otherwise, it affects my state of mind and ultimately the artwork.
No matter what your studio or working space evolves into, one thing is imperative to the creative process: You have to be comfortable in the space and able to transcend from the conscious world around you into the creative world within.
Please post a comment and share your personal studio preferences and observations.
[pictured above] This is how my painting area looked at the end of a busy summer: What a mess!
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