Last month I lived out of a small suitcase for three weeks in Europe. So when I returned home the “burden” of possessions settled heavily on me. I started a regime of “clearing” in the house, storage shed and studio. I needed to make the transition from having all my art materials in a small day pack to a studio bursting with jars of brushes, drawers of every kind of drawing media, plastic dubbers and cardboard boxes with tube paints, inks, fluids, mediums. (I can’t stop!) Art books, archives of years of my work, journals, and of course a massive collection of collage materials.
It was time to clear and consolidate.
Of course this is not the first time in my 22 years of painting that I’ve strived to organize. I am now into my fourth plastic box of what I call my Muse work collection, most of it done in the classes I teach, but not all. When I decide to teach a particular mixed media lesson, I type the name (for instance, “powdered graphite”) into the search window on the right of the blog and can reference previous lessons so I can find them in my archives. (upper left image) You can do this too, of course, if you’d like to see examples of a particular technique.
The upper right picture shows another box with sketchbooks from travels, everyday life, nature sketches etc. in an odd assortment of handmade and store bought books.
But in the last couple years I have gotten rather careless with the sketchbooks. So in an effort to clean up my act and be able to reference particular dates and events, I cleared off a much valued shelf of my one bookcase and labeled everything. It seems I’m still using an ever changing array of sketchbooks, handmade and store bought! The ones in the lovely brown sheath were made by my husband for my Italy trip last year. They put all the other books to shame I’m afraid.
I’m still working my way around the studio. With each newly cleared area I feel a kind of sweet virture (ha!) along with a bit of that kind of guilt that surfaces when you’re cleaning rather than CREATING!