As we come into the the New Year, I’ve been evaluating my needs as a working artist in regards to my studio. I have been living and working out of our house for the past 11 years. Over this time, I have had my studio in 5 different spaces in our home trying to figure out what works best. Now I am considering investing studio space outside our home. I have the opportunity to share a great space that I believe will fit my needs. However, after being a stay-at-home-mom for the last 10 years, I feel torn about working outside the home. Even if it is working for myself.
As I have been weighing the pros and cons of both options, I came across some quotes from other artists sharing their thoughts about their studios.
What I try to use the studio for is what I call ‘thinking with material’. To do that you need an arena. You need a page to write on. You need a space to work in. That is what a studio is.” – Tony Cragg, Wuppertal, Germany
I like his choice of the word “arena”. A large space is needed to get everything out, make mess, and experiment. It’s important to be able to walk away from the project, leaving everything out for you to return to with a fresh mind.
“I tend to work on the floor, sometimes on the wall and then on the floor. It’s constant movement between the vertical and the horizontal. Part of the reason I work on the floor is that I need the physical contact. You get the consistency of gravity and you can move the paint around … I try to get in to my studio as often as possible. At times I set myself a certain goal to reach. Some days are very long.” – Tony Bevan Deptford, south-east London
I never thought about there being a “consistency of gravity”, but he is absolutely right. I also like that the floor gives canvas stability. I can work directly on the canvas without having to stretch it first. I MUST work more on the floor, but to do so, I’ll need more floor space.
“The studio is the place where it’s my world. When I leave I do take work home in my mind, you always carry it in your mind, but hopefully you can separate it or you will go insane. You have to turn your head off sometimes.” – Marc Quinn Clerkenwell, London
Working from home makes it incredibly difficult to separate, and turn your head off. It’s also hard to be present with my family when there is a constant pull on my heart to go paint.
photo credit 1, 2