Monday, July 12, 2010

Studio (Mostly) Cleaned and Organized

I started to slowly clean my studio in the beginning of June. In between web design work, doing a little bit of art, some art marketing and show +/or grant applications, and life, I grabbed blocks of time to work on cleaning it. At this point, I'm 90%+ done.

I have two small rooms in my house dedicated to making art, both about 10' x 10'. One room, which if I had had a bigger family would have been a bedroom, has my computer and desk, a big closet and a few bookshelves, as well as my iron and ironing board.

The second space is not technically a room. It's an open space which used to be a place my son could hang out and play when he was younger. After he went to college it became another part of my "studio". It has a few bookcases and two (not too big) tables where I can print, paint and sew. I am definitely confined to working on smaller objects that are less than 36" wide if the finished product is fabric-like. Smaller is better for boards and canvases, given the space.

My sink is my bathroom sink and my drying area is my shower stall or anywhere else I can drape wet fabric, or lean wet boards or canvases.

Over the years, I accumulated a lot of fabrics, paints, textured objects, construction fences and stuff I might ant to use in future projects. There was also piles of paper collected from writing my book, book proposals, and other book related stuff.

I had a lot of stuff that I had to get rid of because it was of no use to anyone. Here's what I threw out:

- 4+ 33 gallon trash bags.
- many bins of paper, regular and also shredded were brought to the recycle center.
- a dead hard disk was recycled properly.

It seemed a shame to throw everything out since some things might actually be of use to other artists, but I didn't want to burden anyone with my stuff. What I decided to do is contact various artist friends and offer to give them appropriate stuff depending on the type of work they do. My offer was "here is (something) you might be able to use in your work. I'd like to give it to you, but if you find you don't want it, please return it and I'll give it to another art friend." Here's what I gave away:

- many many yards of 72" wide canvas/thick cotton duck to a painter friend.
- pastels to another art friend.
- 1 yard piece of car headliner fabric, and 1 yard piece of 1" thick industrial felt to an art friend who mainly works mainly in, but not only, sculpture.
- the equivalent of a 30 gallon trash bag of various fabrics, and a smaller bag of threads, to a 18 year old friend who sews.
- 1 large box of quilt and art quilt books to the library for their lending collection.
- 1 slightly larger box of art, art quilt, fiber technique and sewing books to the Friends of the Library for their book sale.
- 1 box of beads is in the mail to a beading friend.

Still left to do in the very near future:

- get rid of duplicate slides but save originals for backup to digital.
- load all of our music CDs on my computer so I can find the many boxes of CDs a new home.
- I found a whole cloth appliqued quilt I made in in art school in 1977 that I stitched by hand. I need to find a good place to hang or store it.
- I need to go through old artwork I've created over the years and decide what to keep, give away and throw out. I must do this before when we turn the heat back on in October, because I have rolls and rolls of art quilts leaning against the wall blocking the baseboards. It's not good for the work and really not good for heating the house.

Now that my studio is 90%+ clean and organized, I'm back to making art. I have ideas for three new series, one of which I just started to work on. I'm looking forward to have a clean space to work in.