Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Studio Cleaning 101

Maybe the first thing to do to get back into painting, or making any art, is to clean up the studio. My space had become a place that I didn't even want to be in, let alone make art in. I didn't even like looking in the open door. Why have I saved every yogurt container, every jar. Certainly some will be handy…but 50? 

I've been reading, "Scaling Down, Living Large in a smaller space"  by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker for a few years now. It's my bathroom book. Does everyone have one of those? Anyway, my digestion must be pretty good, because the book has been there forever.  They suggest (we've all heard this before) making separate piles. Trash. Recycling. Keep. 

It hasn't been that hard, except for the bad paintings.  Usually you can paint over a painting that you no longer like. However, if I got run over by a truck tomorrow, would my family know which paintings I was planning on recycling into new and better art? I saw a Degas exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts a few years ago, and I'm sure some of the sketches were never intended for the public.

So here's the plan.
1. Put all of those art tragedies together in a pile or box that says "not for public consumption," or "trash," some indicator that you don't ever want these shown. Will your family toss them? Or think they're precious? Hmmm, what if they toss the really good ones?  
2. The next step is to gesso up the watermedia pieces, melt down the encaustics, paint over the oils. 
3.  Really icky paintings…remove the canvas from the stretchers and toss the bad work.

I spent some time squeezing closed tubes, shaking bottles of liquid acrylics on the hunt for hard, dried up old paint to toss.

So am I ready to paint. Maybe, but first I have a whole bunch of cucumbers to pick.

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog and website via Genn and am so glad I did! Have feasted my eyes and am so in awe - My mother was very creative with fabric and her sewing machine was always open with her latest project - usually a new dress for my sister or me. That you have honored yours with these paintings and the book gives insight to the spirit within you! Your self-portrait just blows me away! Fabulous! Congratulations on the creation of the website! The quality was worth the time spent! Ok - now I think I shall spend the rest of the morning cleaning up my studio! UGH!


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