Friday, August 20, 2010

Question of the Month--Where do you create?

Our question this month-- Where Do You Create?


While I have a dedicated workspace, which is a large room above my garage where most of my supplies are stored, I create in almost every room of my house. The den has great light for painting, and the dining room table perfect for spreading out a piece of canvas and papers. Having a number of portable projects, such as embroidery, crochet, or a sketchbook, is very important and they go where I do.


In my mind first. My muses visit first thing in the morning and sprinkle ideas liberally.

My studio, a 10 by 10 room in my daylight basement, feels like the cockpit of an airplane, with nearly floor to ceiling stuff all within arms reach. It’s a one-butt studio for sure. I have a big sheet of white laminate covered plywood as my desk top. Because it’s white, it makes a great pallet, and cleans up really well with Mostenbachers “Lift Off 3.”

Then I have a big work table that is in my classroom area that I have to clean up because I see clients in my studio. The 10 by 10 room can be a bomb zone since the door mostly closes.


Most of my creating is done in my studio, but I find ideas often come to me while I’m hanging out in my garden. I also count on my book binding friends (who often gather at The Accidental Bookmaker) to help me work through both technical and conceptual problems.

Laurie's Studio:


Where do I create? I stand up at my drafting table in a corner under the stairs. I call it "the root cellar" because it is dark down there and cool. I store bottles of wine and jars of homemade jam under my drafting table and potatoes and winter squash as well because it is so cool down there (thus the "root cellar".) I use the floor and the nearby guest bed to lay out my papers, materials and my finished collages.


I do most of my creating in my private studio, but if I'm taking a class or going to be away for a few days, I pack my trusty red tool box and fill a colorful basket with my visual journal and as much ephemera as I can pack! If anyone is interested in seeing more of where I do my art, my studio is featured in the Fall issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine!

Dayna's Studio:


I create in many places. Most importantly, I am always creating in my mind. Often times ideas come to me while driving, riding the bus or doing something else. I think I multi-task pretty well. The key is to writing them down. How many good ideas fall by the wayside?

I like to create with people around the best. I may not be talking to you much, but I am following the conversation(s), interjecting here and there. Maybe I feed off your energy. It works for me. I love to have friends over to play and don't do it enough. I also enjoy creating in class atmospheres. I am not the social butterfly type in these environments, as I get very focused and into a production mode. Going away with friends on a retreat or a get-away to some place other than home is always good.

I most often create alone--at home either in my very crowded and full studio garage or in my backyard.

Wherever I might be I get focused fast and furiously.


My studio is located in my garage. enter my studio, you enter through the French doors, er...the garage door painted to look like French doors!

I love to create in the summer and fall especially with the garage door open to the fresh air and visits from the neighborhood cats. On one wall my tins are displayed - so I can see all of them for inspiration to create a piece. The opposite wall of shelves has become the "wall of wood" with cigar boxes, African wood animals and even the front of a violin taking pride of place.

Jennifer's tin wall:


In my studio, I have two places where I create- my desk and work table. One is for sitting and the other for standing. I also love to sketch and paint outdoors in a garden, park or urban setting. Nature and flowers seem to be frequent themes in my artwork. My outside drawings bring me right back to the moment and place where I created them.


Where do I create? The obvious answer is where I make my art like the desk. I thought of where I like to put together art and had a list of three spots. But where does the creation of my art start? My favorite and most desired spot is on my pillow. It is something that just started in my subconscious a long time ago, but over the years I have been able to refine it and use it at will (most of the time). I think it would be called lucid dreaming, it works best about 2 hours before I need to be fully awake. I start to think of a project, see all the parts in a room then one combination after another comes together. At times it is very clear and I can wake up go to my desk and make it, other times it’s vague and needs a lot of time and work or a few more dreams.

Tory's Dream Journal:


A year ago, I remodeled my house to add a garage. It's extra large and includes an area there where I can do the hot, dirty, smelly work. I also remodeled the old family room that was the garage and made it into a new art studio/family room. That's where I do my other creating.


I actually get a lot of ideas when I'm driving to work. It's 20 minutes each way and gives me a lot of time to think. I have taken to carrying a very small sketch book in my purse so when I think of something I want to try I can sketch it out. I have a larger book at home where I add color to what I've sketched. My "studio" is actually our second bedroom which my husband very kindly remodeled for me. As you can see, I have drawer units, cabinets and lots of shelves with bins of art supplies. But even with all this storage, my collection of glass has spilled over into our living room. And, as you can see, I love having artwork from my art sisters surrounding me. When I go into that space, I can let all my stresses go and focus on creating so it is a very special room for me.

Fran's Studio:


One of the selling features of our house was a space in the daylight basement that could serve as a studio. I do all my painting and machine stitching there. It's functional, not beautiful, and always a mess--if it's ever clean it means I'm not working.

I always have a large ziplock baggie full of fabric scraps and a small sewing kit that I take everywhere with me and use in front of the TV for handstitching.

But the most important spot for creating is my red armchair in the living room. First thing every morning I sit there with a cup of coffee and write morning pages (several pages of quick freewriting from Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way.) I allow my mind to drift and am always doodling ideas in the margins, jotting down notes, and adding to my ongoing lists at the back of my notebook for future projects.


I have two dedicated art spaces, including my sweet little "hidden nest"studio behind my garage in the garden. This is often in disarray and chaos, but it is the coziest place to work. My son Jacob designed and built this studio out of recycled materials.

Usually though, I work in the middle of things, on my dining room table, which is where I do my bookmaking as I can spread out.

My family is very patient with my art messes, which I am grateful for. And it is good that we have Sunday family dinners, so I clean up my space once a week.

Cynthia's Nest as it appeared in Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studio, Fall/Winter 2008:

1 comment:

Dayna Collins said...

I love reading about where artists create! Great question and wonderful responses.