One of the most helpful insights since coming back from vacation pertains to the studio, on keeping it clean and having distance from the world. I have since recommended to a fellow artist that she create just such a space in her studio. One wall not cluttered with other paintings, or paint splotches. A clean wall with a single nail on which to hang the current work and a comfortable chair to view it from.
Let me back up. Travel always opens up the eye as we are jolted out of our habitual environment and are forced to see afresh, but my little epiphany comes found the work I did while on holiday, perched on a stool in the corner of a kitchen. The paintings came so easily. The watercolours lay down smoothly, cleanly, with a clarity of mind and purpose that made me feel in love with painting again. In comparison my home studio is crammed full of bits and parts. Oil, Acrylic and water colour mediums, books, brushes and paper, canvas, models and paintings; it all sits around chaotically grabbing at my eye and brain.
Ahh, the brain. Here is the meat of the matter. It isn't just that all the stuff grabs at your eye, but that it grabs at your brain. Each empty canvas suggests a painting. Unresolved work silently asks the question, what if? Half-hearted efforts whisper, why didn't you spend more time with me? Poor work shouts at you, YOU CAN"T PAINT!
Having a clear work space, encourages a clear conversation with your work. Let go of the relics and remnants around you and focus instead on the process. What did you experience, what did you discover, what did you learn? Where are you going next?
To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You
must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so, where you do not
know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody or what
they owe you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring
forth what you are and what you might be. (Joseph Campbell)
Watercolour work from my holiday this summer.
This is the order I painted them in.
I plan to do them in oil over the winter.