Unfortunately, I have no drawing set to go for this week. I have been throwing myself into the major project of finally building a new studio space, so even though I am keeping up with my drawing and a few other projects for Chaku Chaku, I have decided to focus my energy on completing the studio and then getting on to more artwork.
I really believe that workspaces tend to define a lot of what we think, and how we act as creatives in the act of creation. Space, how we see it, how we define and how we make it work for our practice is really vital. It becomes a reflection of what we are doing and making.
For that reason, its been frustrating for me art-wise over the past few months since I’ve been working with no real studio space whatsoever. I have been sharing a small office with my wife, working back to back at 2 small Ikea desks of about 5 feet by 2 feet. This is, not awful of course, but it isn’t awful’s opposite either. Through the past few months I have just plugged away at small pieces that can sit on this desk in front of me. Pieces I can completely smother if I lean forward just a little. These are fun, they are consuming, they are compelling, they just aren’t my vision or my goal for my art-making.
In addition to space, we moved into a new home late last year, and that necessitated a few big projects. New electrical system, remove tree, insulate and then just recently on to thestudio. In the next few weeks I should be finishing up our 3rd floor atelier. Its a fairly small room, and the project is being done on the cheap, but it will no doubt be the largest and nicest studio I have had in years.
Last month the entire space was super-insulated with spray foam, this past week I finished hanging drywall, and just yesterday I finished taping said drywall. Up this week is some late night sanding and a final run of smoothing out the walls. It moves along at pace despite my having little to know idea what I am doing. Certainly no one will mistake the room’s construction for the work of a professional, but soon enough things should be covered with paint, paper and drawings. The room will just be the background.
Construction though is rather fun. Being at play with new materials and new ways of working teaches you a lot about how your mind works and doesn’t (i.e. I will not be available to help in any future drywalling projects). You take to a new task with what you bring and you find a way to work it out. Hours of sweat, thought, rethinking, acting and building, inch by inch process by process. As I work on this I am reminded at every moment that I long to work on larger scale pieces, that the physical actions of painting are as important to me as the ideas they serve. The work unleashes the idea which unleashes the work.
All of this will open a door to new projects and new work. Paint is in my future again, and very close now.