Friday, August 17, 2012

Down at the bottom of the garden with the fairies

A year ago my studio was coming together and I was beginning to imagine what it would be and how I would feel having my own space to work in. So wonderful. That is what it has been. My own space. For me, alone.

Yesterday Robert Genn, in his weekly newsletter, talked about studio spaces. In home, out of home, solitary and shared. He concluded by saying:

"My observation of folks who decide to hang out with others (I've never tried it) is that they end up with social venues where interpersonal aggravation sets in, interest flags and quality becomes intermittent. There may be exceptions, of course, and it's certainly something that might be tolerated once a year or so. But it's a great loss not to work down at the bottom of the garden with the fairies."

Ah yes. While I love having a visitor or two in my studio from time to time, what I really love is being there, down in the garden with the fairies, really alone. I know I am solitary by nature and I am happy working alone.

Today I fretted over the nasturtiums. I am not happy with it. I need a new point of view or new idea or something to kick my butt and move me forward. I'm a little stuck and the nasturtiums didn't prove to be the change I was looking for. I might work it a bit, or not.

I pulled fabric for a class I am taking next month with Elizabeth Barton. She suggests choosing a color scheme in a photo and bringing along fabrics that reflect that photo's colors. Seemed like a good way to start. I have a photo of a bunch of succulents wiith luscious color, that I might not have come up with by myself. I enjoyed finding possible fabric choices.

Wouldn't it be fun and challenging to take this bunch of colors and apply them to a subject entirely different from the succulent photo from which I drew them? This is, I think, what I need. To be be less literal and looser.

Then, for fun, I started cutting and fusing some bits of fabric. This may be as far as it goes, but I needed to clear the nasturtiums out of my head.


  1. Aha! Love the abstraction. Also think the nasturtiums above are wonderful after you have painted them.
    As to working alone or not, I have the best of both worlds. I share a studio space with one artist who is there one day a week - we each work on our own and there is minimal chat after we've caught up with each other's lives. There are 3 other studios in the hall and if you need to take a break, there is often someone to talk to -- or to say "would you come here and look at this?". I miss that when I am home working at night.
    Sometimes I just need to bounce something off of another pair of eyes.

  2. You are in for such a treat. Elizabeth is a friend and mentor. Any kind of class with her is the breath of fresh air you are looking for. The first time I saw her spectacular work in a gallery was when I was inspired to go crazy with cloth. We are due a dye fest at her studio before the season ends -something we've been doing annually for a few years now, always a great treat.

  3. I love that stack of fabric! I like the challenge of finding color combos you wouldn't usually choose. I hope you have a great time in Elizabeth Barton's class!

  4. Love, love, love your description depicting the creative process as "down in the garden with the fairies." They flit around the room in the peaceful silence and whisper creative ideas in my ear! So fun!

  5. The colors in the photo are, indeed, "luscious." Whether you recreate the photo or create something entirely new with those colors, I can only see something fabulous happening.
    Glad to see you trying this new direction. Although the nasturtiums are lovely, if they didn't hit your mark, just remind yourself of the all the painted over canvases while Manet, Monet, Renoir were teaching themselves how to make their flowers dance.

  6. This stack of fabric is yummy and I love the abstract, but then I loved the nasturtiums, too. Your work always makes me smile.
    Thanks you for the info about setting up a web/blog thru Blogger. Im working on it now. It is slow going, but will be so much easier in the long run.

  7. I like the colors and the new direction of the abstraction. It is good to go down a different path for a while.