My house is practically never picture perfect, and for that matter neither is my studio. I really have to work at battling down the clutter, partly because I have a hard time throwing things away, and partly because I have a lot of other things to do, but most of all because my creatively messy genes won out over my organizational ones. I would always rather make art than clean house, but there are times when I can’t make art because the house mess is staring me in the face. Or, because I can hardly set foot in the studio without tripping over something.
February happens to be just that transitional kind of month in my calendar, the one where I recover from holidays and birthdays, and make serious moves toward new projects. In order to make any headway on those projects, I have to get my studio spaces to a workable place, and any lingering house projects simultaneously underway. My friend Heather and I have been keeping each other on task in our individual creative work with regular long phone calls, as well as supporting each other on the parenting/domestic front, and that helps–even from a distance. I find it extremely helpful to have someone who listens to the nitty-gritty details of these two aspects of my life, who has parallel experiences and goals, and whose encouragement motivates me to keep at it.
Progress is being made in the studio, a day at a time. My first and simplest goal was to get down to a bare drafting table, and to have a secondary open table top for current projects or works in progress. Even though there is still a lot of organizing to do with odds & ends & papers roughly grouped in bags and boxes on the periphery, the work surface itself is ready.
The garage space is in decent shape too, and ready for the messy art that needs to happen out there.
Being an artist and a person who is inspired by objects, means that some of the clutter in my life and space is there for a reason; because I like to look at it and something about it sparks my imagination.
It is easy to imagine a future life when the kids are older and grown, when I might have a little more control over the whole space of the house (or when good habit transplants become available), but for now I’ll settle for incremental control over one space at a time. In my mind’s eye these tiny windowsill and shelf spaces are set up like art ideas waiting to happen, brimming with potential.
As part of my attempt to make some kind of art every day I plan to dig into these same little spots, to make quick sketches or paintings from the stuff of life that is all around me. There are bigger on-going projects too, but describing those will have to wait for another day, as some of them are surprises that can’t be shared just yet. The space is ready, so the next not-so-simple task is to carve out regular work time.