Posted in Studio Notes

Studio Notes 15/11/19

Last week it was clear that I had to do something else to make my studio work for me the way I needed it to.

It’s a great space, and I couldn’t have carried out my latest projects without it… but it’s not living up to its potential. I need more from it. So I finally pulled my finger out and started making the studio I need.

Studio Notes 08/11/19

There was one unintended consequence of last week’s wool washing: lots of steam turning into condensation and making its way into a portfolio leaning in a quiet corner.

On the surface it looked like a disaster, but the loss of some old work taught me something…

Studio Notes 01/11/19

This week I started to connect a flimsy neck to the bulk of my woolen head of Medusa. Now that there’s a nose, two rudimentary eyes and recognisable lips, it seems right that there should be some kind of bodily grounding.

The challenge – ok, the entire thing is a challenge because I’ve never done this before, so let’s say the main challenge – this week is to use what clean wool I have as wisely as possible before I run out.

Studio Notes 03/05/19

Having a light-filled space entirely to yourself to create whatever work you want to is a real privilege, and I really appreciate my studio room – it would have been impossible to do some of my recent work without it, like all of the casting prep and grinding for my pewter coin.

This week we had some friends around, and the studio doubled up as a garden room, so of course it was appropriately sanitised and stripped down. I’m fairly sure that we’re going to pull up the carpet and put down something more splash-friendly like lino… but I will admit that fake grass crossed my mind for that surreal feel.

Seeing my room in “display mode” impressed on me just how important it is to edit.

I love having all of my supplies, books and tools on hand, but now that I’ve let go of some of my older supplies, I feel even better. The clearout continued when I gave a few books away as well (only a few).

The best part of the clearout was saying no to a pointless task that I felt I had to do.

250, a large pewter coin by Lee Devonish

Pruning projects

I was on the edge of committing to finishing an abandoned painting – because I hate feeling as though I’ve wasted my time and effort, and because maybe doing something different for a bit is helpful (maybe?) – but the truth is that it isn’t doing anything for me right now, and it wouldn’t help me to take the money project further, or make more bodybuilder prints.

Everything I’ve done with the money project up until now has been fun and very interesting, but it can be so much more, and it can incorporate so many more mediums. It’s great that the series I’ve already started is the thing that’s sparking my creativity right now, and this is what I’m going to run with before anything else.

Still waiting for sunshine…

I have a plan to restretch some aluminium screens at home – but I need to do it outdoors. The glue is evil, and there’s no way I can get away with doing it indoors. I’ve got a good ventilator mask, but no extraction, so there’s no way I want to risk the fumes building up inside.

Once the screens are done, I’ll start working on the drawings for a new denomination!

Stuff I’ve written…

As I was writing my post on branding yourself as an artist, I started to think about typography and the role it plays in branding, and how hard it can be to pick a typeface that works with your visual style and doesn’t take over.

So I started work on a series on typefaces for artists, and I’ve got the first one on fonts for painters ready to go. Look out for that soon.

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Studio Notes 03/05/19

Studio Notes 26/04/19

I missed a trick this week, and I knew it.

The weather was gloriously sunny and hot, and I knew it was a great opportunity to try out my Solarfast dyes… but guess what? I went out and had fun with my family instead.

I know – how could I? Seriously though, it was great. I did take advantage of the sunshine by throwing my fabric stash out onto the lawn, sorting through it and bagging lots of it to be passed on or sold.

Studio cat lying on the sculpture storage area.
The fabric storage is now the sculpture storage/cat bed.

But I can see that some of the dye tests that I did last month under a halogen lamp have actually matured in the natural light over the last few weeks, so it seems that what I considered to be dud test was actually proof that those dyes really just want the sun.

So yes, I do regret it a little tiny bit now that it’s rainy, but when the sun does come out again, I’ll be ready for it!

Branding, rebranding and brand tweaking

This week I started writing a post about branding yourself as an artist, and I ended up thinking so hard about my own branding that of course I had to do a bit of tweaking.

The good thing about trying to distil your knowledge into a blog post for someone else’s benefit is that you end up teaching yourself even more.

What really stood out to me though was the fact that you need to have confidence in who you are, what you want to do and why you want to do it.

Even when you already know that you can’t be all things to all people, there’s often a little voice in your head that whispers, “what if these people don’t get it?” and that’s the voice that makes you flip-flop back and forth, and get nothing done.

Anyway, I decided I needed more time to flesh it out with more resources so it’s not published yet, but I’ll link to it when it is.

Edit – here it is!

A tidy studio at last

The studio has been heaving with bits and pieces that made their way in over the last few months and I’ve finally managed the BIG SORT that I’ve been threatening (and dreading) for what seems like aeons.

Now it looks absolutely huge! But in order to create some more space I had to stack most of my books flat… why does this hurt me so much inside?

Art books stacked horizontally

It’s just so wrong… but the trade-off means I’m just going to have to deal with it for now. I do have way too many books in here, but the art books are non-negotiable, period. So if they have to get stacked, at least they’re staying here with me.

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Studio Notes 26/04/19