Normally I spend the first three months of the year sketching and coming up with ideas for my new fall line. A while back I started to keep a journal near the bed since a lot of my ideas honestly happen at night. I haven’t been successful in turning off the mind when it is time to hit the hay. Since I turned 40 I finally am embracing this time of the night when a collage of images and ideas fill my head. I love to create with many different mediums and I usually have a hard time staying on track when the mind begins a journey and forks off into hundreds of new ideas. Though I have zoned in on producing Halloween gourd art over the several years, I still love to create jewelry, paint, and sculpt. In addition since I was a small girl dolls were the center of my attention. Being one of four daughters, our home was always filled with baby dolls and Barbies. I had a fabulous aunt who would make us the very best doll clothes complete with tiny zippers, buttons and bows which the fabrics often matched a special dress sewn by my Mom.
I think most women have had a very special doll in their past and the childhood memories which tug at our hearts. I have created several art dolls in the past and always hope to create a few each year. I have to admit that I tend to get carried away and attached to these whimsical characters. They are hard to let go, but if I didn’t I’d have even less space to create in.
My work space is not your typical studio. Having a very small home and five large people living within its walls, I have banished my self to the basement next to the laundry. The lighting is horrid, it’s cold and damp, but if I make a mess I am the only one who has to look at it. I have stacks of materials, magazines, papers, tubs and gourds that desperately needs to be gone through, sorted, organized and yes, some pitched. So, now it’s time I have decided to organize my workspace and put everything in its place.
I know it sounds a little crazy, but I seem to create better when things are in a state of cluttered chaos! Honestly, I should be able to work in a clean and neat space but I really like having everything out to see so that I feel I can just pick up something instead of having to look in a drawer or container for the materials or anything else I might need. I let very few people into my workspace. So this is a big step letting you all in for a peek. My husband and son’s missing tools usually wind up in my space. I know exactly where they are and I do put them away when I am finished…usually after 3-4 months. I have always been a messy person, just ask my Mom. Once things are cleaned, organized and all in their proper places after the 2nd day straight that I can't think of a thing to paint. I need to mess it up a little.
My table is a laminated counter top sitting upon some restaurant racking that was rescued from a former employer over ten years ago. I have a matching counter across the room for my sewing machine which is currently buried by anything not sewing related! I had a drafting table which now resides in a corner which collects an assortment of junk that everyone is too lazy to put away correctly. I have a 10 foot, 4-shelf restaurant rack to line the one wall full of tubs with an assortment of paints, makers, papers, fabrics, gourds, lights, trims, holiday items, well you name it. A four drawer file cabinet that I attempt to store my sketches in, but also houses old photos and jewelry and scrapbooking materials. I have my old pencil sharpener that I received upon high graduation as I headed to art school. I have an odd assortment of colored pencils and markers, and hundreds of paint brushes in on old brass bowl my uncle brought back from the Mid East in the 70’s. Most of these need to be thrown out, but I just hate to part with them. Another old brass container contains my scissors, clay tools and assorted pliers and whatnot. Glitters, and glues, ribbons and wire, bells, and wood bases consume my work space. Not to mention a collection of dried gourds waiting for inspiration to take hold and transform them from grubby to fabulous.
On the top of my file cabinet, I have photos of my three kids and a couple of my butterfly sculptures I couldn’t part with. I gave up on trying to contain my paints in an organized manner and they have since been pitched into a large tub, that I will sort through and pull out as needed. I prefer the Winsor Newton Galleria Acrylics of which litter a shelf that is close at hand. I also have a couple of pieces of pottery that my sons created and painted for me a few years ago and I love that I have something they created for the to see when I am working. When they were younger they loved to work with me and now my nieces love to come and “play”.
Behind my work space I have a drying table and an antique table to place my finished pieces on until the time comes that I can tag, wrap and box them up for an upcoming show. A new addition is a old CD/radio player that once belonged to my youngest son, because he felt I needed some music to inspire me as I work. I prefer to listen to Glee over and over again! I think my next purchase will have to be a clock, because I really do get lost in time when I am working. I hope you have enjoyed your little peek into my creative space, and look forward to postings of my new creations.