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Old 10-16-2002, 09:47 AM   #1
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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thumbs up Treat your Studio like Sacred Space




Your studio is where you create from yourself. I believe our studios should be sacred and almost a little holy. They are a place where we should perform ritual that almost bounds on the religious.

I have completely redesigned my studio after seeing Bill Whitaker's. I painted, cleaned, blocked off windows, and got rid of tons of old art supplies that I knew I would never use again, but was keeping anyway. Anything that did not directly equate to making art I took out. I even created a little altar to "the Muse" on one shelf.

After the transition, my studio really became a place where I wanted to spend time. I have developed this morning ritual and this evening ritual.

In the morning, I will go in, put some music on, burn a little sweetgrass (incense), and sit and look at what I did the previous day for about 5 minutes. Then I prepare my paints and palette for the day.

In the evening, have taken to going into my studio a few minutes before I go to bed. I put on some music, and study what I did for the day and think about what I need to work on tomorrow. I then clean my palette, rub a little walnut oil into it, polish it, and hang it on the wall. Next I clean my brushes I used that day, dry them, and put hair conditioner in them. Finally, I clean up a bit, burn a little sweetgrass (incense), and take the trash down. Then I sleep.

It has made a profound difference on how I look at my art and the creative process.

What is your studio like? What rituals do you perform, if any, to get you oriented to painting, or just enjoy your studio space?

Here is the tranisition:

BEFORE
http://www.fineportraitsinoil.com/My...Before-400.jpg

AFTER
http://www.fineportraitsinoil.com/MyStudio1-400.jpg
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:14 AM   #2
Morris Darby Morris Darby is offline
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Reflection is good

I have a sitting area close to my easel where I can view my current work in progress. I also have a pretty good library of books within arms reach. There I enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and study or just reflect. I sometimes wonder if I chose this profession or if it chose me.

Reflection is good in that it helps me to evaluate how far I've come and what my needs are to get to the next level of accomplishment. A good place to do that helps to maintain a peace about my work.
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:37 AM   #3
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Morris,

I agree that reflection is a big part of art and it is vital in your space. Think about the importance we as a society put on buildings like libraries. These are places of reflection, study and often creation as well. The atmosphere is quiet and almost reverent. It is wonderful to create such a space in your home that is centered around your creativity. Someday, I would like a studio large enough to accomodate a complete sitting area, a little sculpture area, and one wall with all my favorite paintings.
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Old 10-16-2002, 12:47 PM   #4
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Sacred space

Well, I work in chaos. The entrance of the house is the dining room, which is now my studio. I've taken the majority of the dining room table and the bookshelves, now all covered with paint and other miscellaneous stuff. Last Sunday I made birthday dinner for my stepson and we ate in the family room, on the floor. Birthday cake with 22 lit candles was exciting served oriental style. We have the remnants of four grown children stored in every room in the house (including one of the children). Add one big dog and three cats and life can be hectic.

I've been considering moving my painting to the basement. I used the entire basement for my quilting business and there would be a lot of room if I sold or donated my sewing supplies (I had a fourteen foot quilting machine, and still have a table that is 12'x5'. Does anyone work in a basement successfully? I have color corrected flourescent light already.

Right now the only sacred space is in my mind. When painting, I hear and see nothing that goes on around me. I play my favorite music but don't notice when the cd is over. I have often sat down on cat (Snickers), or tripped on dog (Zoe). God grant me the serenity!
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Old 10-16-2002, 01:41 PM   #5
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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Michael,

I love the muted green on your wall. It makes me want to repaint my studio, were it not such a hassle to get it cleaned out and organized.

Is there a reason that muted greens or browns are preferred in art studios or is this just a trend?

I am amazed that you can get away with reflection time. I run through the house and do my chores as fast as I can just to gain more time at the easel.
I literally live at the easel and already feel mighty guilty for it.

To reflect at one's progress and set goals is a wonderful idea. Setting goals is no problem for me, but reflection on how I am progressing makes me very depressed and unsatisfied. I think its safe to assume that most of us have idols whose work we admire and aspire to come close to, although their skills seem eons away from ours. How do you keep yourself from getting utterly frustrated?
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:59 PM   #6
ReNae Stueve ReNae Stueve is offline
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Room to dance

My original studio/office was the smallest 3rd bedroom in my house. Both it and my bedroom face north, but the light is shaded by the wrap around porch.

When my daughter moved away to college and the pursuit of the American Dream, I took over her room, much to her surprise. "What no shrine?"

However, this room faces south and I'm not crazy about that. I'm contemplating switching again, putting the studio up front in my bedroom and vice versa. Either way, this extra space has given me a lot more backing-up room.

I once placed the drafting chair in front of my easel, but after kicking it out of my way a dozen times I've moved it back to the drafting table for good. I now paint standing. I've been known to paint myself into a trance and not move from that spot for hours on end, which stocks me up a bit.

My computer center is at a 90 degree angle from the easel area which is where I reflect, read and write. This gives me time to sit and contemplate my work, both ahead and just finished.

I have a bad habit of not being able to stop, though. Once my brushes have been cleaned for the day and my palette is covered, I now find I have to get out of there or I'll grab a brush for "just this one little thing" and start all over again.

This room IS my sanctuary. I've added random 36x36 blocks of cork board, to which I tack anything that I might want to use some day, and I've added a small stereo. The music has turned out to be my timer. I put in 3 CD's, Chopin and friends or J. Arif Verner type and set it to shuffle.

When the play stops, I take a break. This should save my knees in the future. I pulled the doors off the closet and have set up a series of movable shelves that I use for still life set-ups.

Using Wiremold, I've fashioned a track lighting system in there where I can control the light source and intensity. (I made my living as a lighting consultant for years and get all of this a factory cost.)

P.S. Read up on C.R.I color rendering index. Just because your light has a Kelvin temperature close to that of sunlight, doesn't mean it has a good C.R.I. Don't buy the new GE reveal. That pretty much sums it up. Oh, I've just added a dog bed. Hopefully the dog will learn to use it so I will stop stepping on her as I back up!
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:04 PM   #7
Lisa Strachan Lisa Strachan is offline
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smile I managed to get the best room in the house and..

I have only had my own studio for about 6 months, and I can't see how I managed to survive without one. Not so much about "where did I paint before" as I have only been painting for 18 months or so, but where did I escape to before.

My studio is definitely sacred. It is the room I enter as soon as I make myself a coffee in the morning. I spend any avaliable time in there, and I tend to be creating a pattern of habits already. It is the only place in the house where family leaves me alone, and time flies by when I am there.

I have a radio which I turn on using the "sleep" function, so it turns itself off each 60 minutes. That way I can monitor how long I am there. I have organized my things. However it is not always tidy. I think I am more creative in unorganized surroundings. I think having the studio really helps me stay focused on my creativity, and I can switch off from all other daily duties.

A question about north facing windows: I am in the southern hemisphere, and my studio has 3 sides of windows, northfacing being a bit smaller than the 2 large 2 metre east and south windows.

Is this an ideal situation? There is so much talk about north facing windows, and I actually have a blind on the north window and use the large east/south ones more. I have ample light really, and tons of sunny days, so I haven't really come across any problems yet. I paint with the east window behind my left shoulder.
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:23 PM   #8
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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I have been trying to post a four paragraph response to Lisa, but the system won't take it. Cynthia, is there something wrong?
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:34 PM   #9
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Michael,

For whatever reason, I can
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:07 PM   #10
Patt Legg Patt Legg is offline
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Michael,

You were only one of two posts this morning when I happened upon your wonderful post about your sacred place to be. I posted a wonderfully descriptive passage that I suddenly felt so warm and cozy about due to your previous writings and zip-p-p-p-p-p ----something happened, my pc went off and out with it my heart felt message. So here goes again although you know how it is when it
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