The Sketchbook Project
Above is the outside cover from my sketchbook "Lights in the Distance" just submitted to the ArtHouse Co-op a couple of days ago. This previous posting talks a bit about it. I made 2 originals, so I could keep one. I used the moleskin sketchbook sent by ArtHouse, but removed most of the 80 pages. My book has 16 finished pages plus the outside/inside covers..... The paper was so flimsy, so I glued some of the ones I left in the book together, then collaged/ gessoed more on top of them to make them more sturdy. I included a few sketches but found my subject lent itself more to some personal photos (altered in Photoshop), and previous artwork (also altered in Photoshop).
All in all a very fun and productive art project. Some of the the pages will lead to other pieces of art, paintings or 3d, for example the one above. I have used this photo in other art pieces and it's one of my favorites. I've posted the ArtHouse tour schedule for the sketchbooks (thousands of them from around the globe) in my sidebar. Additionally, ArtHouse will be digitizing and posting quite a few of them online too in a couple of months. If you click on the link, scroll down to see what they are about, since they currently have a special message for the sketchers at the top.
Speaking of impossible things - maybe this year will be the year? I've seen at least half a dozen blogs talking about cleaning out the studio's. Hmmm, I wonder, is "organized art" an oxymoron? I think I need a certain amount of chaos or jumble to stimulate ideas, you know, unexpected things or colors randomly colliding in a great way...
I have art all over the house, some is organized (kind of) and some not so much. I think it's because my art from very early years evolved from watercolor painting and some sewing into "why not try everything". I suppose it's an organic process & grew so much with all kinds of art, that I didn't create "homes" for some things. So that's my thought now - instead of getting lost in the details too much - to envision "homes" for everything, how all the space in the house would be most useful, and then reorganize from there. And at the same time, consolidate some things that are scattered. It would eliminate some occasional "search & rescue" missions for tools or supplies I sometimes can't find. Here's a very small glimpse of my art messiness...
And here are examples of some things, but not all, that I do now; at least it's a start....
Labeled clear drawers or plastic boxes - "Adhesives" drawer for wet, stick or tacky tape; "Tape" drawer for masking, dble-sided, washi, packing, etc.; "Tools" for some larger ones (hand drill, heat gun, etc); "Sewing Notions"; "Ribbons"; "Threads"; "Felting"; "Embroidery", "Stencils", "Inks", "Pens, Colored Pencils, etc", and more
Zip plastic bags (the kind linens or sheets come in) - easy to find & take along somewhere. I have one bag that is all about matting, framing paintings & hanging up a painting show. I have one that is for bookbinding kind of tools..... And then a misc general
Small clear boxes - for pricey tube acrylic paints; separate ones for watercolor tube paints. Old thrift store wooden CD holders - for cheap $1 acrylics
Wood CD holders & wire baskets & closed cabinet - for fabric quarters & larger pieces
Clear Over-Door Shoe Holder - great for art mediums, gesso's, etc.
Plastic bags for projects - I haven't been doing this consciously, but I always have a bag with one or two small handstitching projects (fabric books, embroidery, collage, beading) ready to be worked on. And another bag with my small sketchbooks, journal with pens & mini-palette & waterbrush also at the ready. I do make time every night working on something as I wind down maybe watching tv at the same time. But I think I might expand this, and "bag" up more at-the- ready projects that are small and portable. Or possible "art experiments" I have been dreaming up and wanting to try.
I don't know about any of you, but I've decided that as part of figuring out how best to use & reorganize my space, I must include a "staging" area. As well as arting alone, I often come in and out of the house - going to sewing or painting groups, meeting friends, a workshop now & then - so tools/supplies/art projects come in or go out with me... and often don't get put away, then I'm scrounging to find something later. I'd love to hear some ideas for this problem!
In spite of the post New Year's organizing frenzy, do remember this: all those lovely art tools and supplies are there for a reason - to support your creativity, nurture your inner soul, provide ways to express yourself... Maybe it's ok to have them visible to remind oneself to take the time, to make the time, to just be, just play. And maybe it's about a balancing act between how much time you owe to play and how much to maintenance. Perhaps an organized space is possible with time for play too...
A quote from Einstein: “... although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.”
Meanwhile, here's an interesting blog read that I've followed off and on, and added to my sidebar, Zen Habits. Here's what they say in their "About" page..."Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness." How true.
Sending you a Peace-Filled Artful Day,