Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taking stock in the studio

I just spent a heavenly couple of hours throwing paint around in my studio (example of a monotype I made, above). And I was thinking as I was wrapping up the session: I need weeks and weeks of time completely free, no work or ANY distractions or responsibilities, just free time to develop even a FEW of the fantastic possible directions that presented themselves while I was working, never mind all of them.

My art supplies are running low, everything: paint in all colors, a roll of canvas, a box of paper … I need at least $1,000 to really replenish all that I need.

I also could use better furnishings in my studio. I need a big drop cloth to protect the floor, the lighting isn’t ideal, and I don’t have as much table space to work as big and freely as I want to.

However, that’s not reality. I am committed to working six days a week for the next 7 weeks, and after I use the money I’ve earned to pay my household expenses, I’ll probably only have a few hundred dollars available for new art supplies. (I’m also saving up for a new car and trying to put money aside for retirement.)

But then I thought … there’s no sense in worrying, there’s no sense in complaining. JUST DO THE WORK, as best you can, with the considerable artistic resources you have – talent, health, intelligence, experience and passion – and be thankful for those.

No, my setup isn’t perfect. Yes, I could use more time, materials and money. But the important thing is to find a way to paint. Don’t complain about what you don’t have; find a way to use what you do have and, as the wonderful Tim Gunn says, “MAKE IT WORK.”

So today I created a couple of really fun starts to paintings on canvas and a few monotypes on paper, plus I got 1,000 ideas for new directions my work could take. That’s exciting!

And, as I reread the description of my art needs, above, I realize I have the makings of a great grant proposal.

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