As I enter a new phase of my studio practice with my current body of work it is a good opportunity to assess and evaluate where I am up to and what I am doing. This is not just a conceptual process, but also a physical one. Looking around my studio (whilst procrastinating instead of painting) it became very clear that one of the best ways that I could help myself would be to have a tidy-up:
I hasten to add that this was taken post-deadline so it isn’t normally *quite* so untidy! When meeting deadlines tidiness goes out of the window. Periodic tidy-ups are therefore essential to prevent a descent into complete chaos. There is a lot of stuff in my studio – objects for inspiration, painting and drawing materials, and random items that remind me of people, places and experiences (see random Rihanna poster!). Nothing is particularly experiences, but everything has a personal value.
Growing-up my Mother alleged that cleaning is good for the soul. Whilst I am still to be totally convinced by this, I am definitely a convert to the belief that cleaning, re-arranging, and rationalising, spaces gives you a fresh perspective on the tasks that you undertake within them. Big tidy-ups have previously enabled me to work more efficiently, encouraged risk-taking, and prevented me from succumbing to the dreaded creative-block.
A couple of hours of sorting and the studio looked like this:
Apart from now actually being clean and tidy, the major change is the shift in position of my easel. It has always been placed near the window for optimum natural light, but its re-positioning will hopefully mean that I feel a bit less ‘penned-in’ (and also prevent clutter from accumulating in the painting area!).
Moving things around also allows me to stop associating the room with periods of frustration when my work is not going quite so well. It has already had a positive impact as I have finished one new painting since the big ‘clean-up’.