In the studio or what studio?

Today I saw a post from CanadianArt about photographer Joseph Hartman, who photographed artist studios all over Canada. I love, love, love this kind of subject matter. I am that person who gets excited when people leave their curtains open at night and you can see inside the home. I don’t care about the people, I just like to see what the home looks like on the inside. So photographs of artist studios are in the same vein for me.

As someone who works digitally I don’t really have a studio. Every once in a while I get organized and set up the spare room as my space, only to take it down because someone is coming to stay. I am a visual person and I love my piles of papers, etc. No one would be able to sleep on the bed covered with my test prints, books, etc. Right now it’s also full of picture frames as I am starting to get ready for my solo graduating show in October.

I recently went to an artist talk by Paddy Lamb, an Irish-Canadian abstract artist that I greatly admire. He spoke about needing his artist space to be filled with objects, and how he rearranges them and sits with them there for a long time before they become something (a drawing, painting or sculpture). I have seen some lovely collections of drawings and objects in artist studios that I find inspiring, but somehow it never really happens in my space. Being more mobile makes the collection of things difficult, and I already loathe dusting, so not sure if I will ever achieve a truly artistic space (the way I envision it anyway).

These days my art-making spaces are a spot on my sofa, and the corner of a bench in the coatroom at the pool. My collection is my drawings in my app. I sometimes sit and make lots of scribbles and grounds (artist speak for backgrounds) with a few marks. Then I leave them for a while until I decide to scroll through and see if there’s anything that sparks my interest. I might add a few marks to something and then leave it, or I might sit and complete a full drawing, as I did the other day (see below). Those days are great, because when you have a few too many scribble and leave it days, you start to worry that your creative side is on hiatus.

Today the photos are of my two drawing spaces. There are others, if I have a spare moment I might draw on my iPhone in various locations, but these have been my main ones for the past few months. I think they show that you don’t have to have a fully dedicated space, or a really large space to be creative. It can help certainly, but it’s not an absolute necessity. Take note though, if you don’t want me checking out your space, close the curtains 🙂


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