Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's not all Fun and Games

I get the feeling that many people imagine the life of an artist as some sort of perpetually idyllic pursuit where the artist just leaps out of bed each day so eager to pursue the dream. I used to imagine it that way and it is all that, really it is. But it is also a lot of organization and business stuff too and I hate to say it, but I probably spend 50% of my time doing bullshit tasks that have to be done but I really hate doing them so I need to whine a bit. Bear with me....

For instance, yesterday I wanted to send out some postcards for the Midwest Salute to the Arts that is happening in 2 weeks. My husband is so diligent (read ANAL) about keeping my mailing list up to date and I thought it would be fairly easy for me to jump in to Excel, sort through the IL people who might want to attend that show and create some mailing labels. Good lord, let's say 2 hours later after many foul words, much gnashing of teeth and (I am embarrassed to say) even a few tears of frustration, I finally got that Mail Merge thingie to actually work. I don't know why it is so difficult, if it's just me or if it's really a pain in the ass program, but it seemed to be more complicated that I was expecting. Certainly not what I was in the mood for. I pressed on mainly because I was way pissed off and wasn't going to let the computer beat me plus I have all these shows coming up and will have the need to do this a number of times in the coming weeks. The story does have a happy ending though as I was able to make it work and printed my labels, added a note as to my booth #, etc and got those in to the mail.

Then I headed in to the studio hoping to get some work done. There was so much stuff all over I couldn't find anything. All the new stuff I got at the flea market, 2 shipments from Dick Blick, items I had been using, things I had thought about using, you name it; everywhere - the tables, floor, basically every single surface was covered. And I suddenly felt like it was all smothering me and quashing my creative energy to the point where I could barely breathe. Not literally of course, but figuratively. I decided I would just at least move all the new canvasses and stack them neatly in a better out of the way spot. Then I thought I would just organize my ribbons. Then maybe put the magazines in the storage boxes I got at Ikea. Well, one thing led to another and about 4 hours later I was finished. I ended up with this......

The first shot(you can click to enlarge), upper left, is the main work area where I sit. One chair is for me, the other for Merlin who insists on his own padded rotating chair despite two adorable cat beds which are just a couple yards away. 2nd shot, upper right is the organization area with my boxes and bags full of all the little things I use in my work. Note my economical nature; pizza boxes and ziplock bags make great storage devices! Properly labeled so I can find them and because I am just a trifle anal myself. Below are my maps and books - clip art and vintage - that I use creating the work. The 3rd shot, lower left is the varnish/paste paper station depending on what I am doing at the time. It happens to be varnish in this shot. And the last shot is my bookcase (with books for reading, art books mainly) with my altar on top.

Now, as I look at these pictures I am starting to feel like maybe it *is* all fun and games after all and I'm getting kinda excited. So I gotta go and make some art!!!


  1. very cool studio pics! and so clean and colorful too.

  2. hey mary! thanks for the peek into your great studio space....i get a charge outta seeing where my fav people create!


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