The South Orange - Maplewood Studio Tour will be next Sunday, June 7th from 11 AM until 5 PM. This year there are about 75 participating artists and I will be showing some of my newest drawings at 1978 Maplewood Arts Center. If you are in the area, then stop by and go on the tour! Details on tickets are available at the above studio tour link, but you can also come to 1978 or to the Baird Center on the day of the tour to purchase tickets. It is a lot of fun to see what is going on with the artists that live and work in the two towns.
Once again, I will be exhibiting in 1978 and not in my studio. For a couple of the first studio tours I did show in my own studio, but I realized that it was just too much of an undertaking for a one-day event. I have such limited working time and the preparation for visitors took three weeks (seriously) out of my routine to prepare and clean up my house (which always had to be re-cleaned the night before the tour thanks to my three little ones).
And, to tell the truth, I am not a tidy artist. I do not have one of those lovely, well lit and soaring ateliers with finished work casually sitting on polished wood easels nor do I have taborets with systematically arranged studio supplies. Rather, I have a spare room in my house that is crammed to the gills with nearly every drawing I have done since college as well as my art books, my cds, and my drawing supplies.
And, I am a total and complete failure at maintaining any semblance of organization. If there is one of those mindless Facebook quizzes for "Which Peanuts Character Are You?" I do not need to take it, because I already know that I am Pig-Pen (with some elements of Lucy and Peppermint Patty).
Besides, organization is myth, you know! Or at least I like to pretend that it is: years ago on NPR I heard about a study of the workspaces of stockbrokers which found that the ones with the really messy desks had the best average returns. The messiest brokers knew where everything was and were very visual with their space - they did not need to alphabetize or file...and of course I stowed this story away in my brain in defense of my inability to keep a neat studio space.
Oh, I can clean house with the best of them, but I would rather draw! And, when I am in the zone and working I know were everything is that I need. It is organized enough for me to find my stuff; it is just not neat enough (or necessarily safe enough) for an afternoon of visitors.
So, in the spirit of "Studio Tour" I am offering my very own virtual studio tour right here...no need to trip up over my books or awkwardly shift around in my tiny work space...all the details are below. It is a win-win because I do not have to clean, and you get to see my space.
But, do come by on the 7th to say "hi" and visit with many of the other artists who do have soaring ateliers and lovely organization...(if you have been on the tour, you know who I am talking about)...
Here is the studio with the door open (it usually stays locked to keep out the curious little ones). I store my drawings on the right side of the room (out of the image) & I work on the left side of the room:
I keep track of the hours that I work - this is partially to keep myself on track with drawings and partially obsessional behavior:
The side wall - all Ikea shelves filled with stuff:
The easel shelf which holds pencils, pencils, pencils, and a lot of cut-up erasers:
An impromptu mini-still life on the taboret consisting of one shell, one silver thimble from my grandmother, and an X-acto:
My 1960s vintage AO Spencer microscope which I *love* ~courtesy of my father's recent laboratory clean-up:
The top of my bookshelf is simply another surface to stack stuff:
A bit of listening is in order during drawing times! I primarily listen to audio books from the library (the mindless thriller variety are a favorite because I do not have to think, but I do enjoy the narrative classics such as Charles Dickens, too) and on top of that is one of many piles of cds:
I do not normally listen to music when I draw, but if I did listen to anything in the past year it would be in this stack:
My picture books:
My muse~ Princess Saralinda from James Thurber's Thirteen Clocks - I painted her during a summer children's book illustration course about 10 years ago. The illustration was not so great, but I loved the Princess so I cut her out and she is now the muse of the studio: