I have been feeling very dis-organised and overwhelmed in my studio over the last little while. Things have been disappearing under the piles and just generally around the place. My work was getting out of control - what I was doing and all the bits that belonged together were all getting spread thinly and sometimes quite thickly on all surfaces.
It's funny how sometimes the words of others come back to me at the oddest times. Thinking about my studio and my seeming lack of organisation prompted me to think about my friend Julie Coffey, who by the way has also lately had a tidy up. I remembered about having project boxes or containers and labeling them and tidying everything away. Now most of my surfaces are clear and I can find work.
My desk - woohoo. So much easier to work on and find things. And my sewing table. And my project bins. As I went down through the layers I found about six different projects, I decided four was enough at any one time so I have a couple of loose projects still lurking.
Two paper concertina books I found. These are currently waiting for a vacant box. And a silk throw, made from pieces from old kimonos, waiting to be stitched in a plastic bag (next step a project box).
And I was able to complete my piece of work for the Suffrage Project, a bit late but I was very pleased in the end. It was about my Mum who was a well known painter and print maker in Whangarei in the 60's and 70's. She also worked hard to support art in the community and was instrumental in organising Reyburn House as a local art center and gallery. I had a container to keep it all in and I could keep my other work out of the way.
As I look around now it has all got a bit messy again but it shouldn't be too hard to restore some order and a finished project is exciting. I have found that I like to come out here in the morning with something waiting here for me to work on which is not really conducive to tidying each night.
How do you organise your work, with project containers of some sort or do you have one project on the go at a time? How do you keep your work space tidy?
My month working at ConArt in one of their container studios is finished now, Sunday was my clean up day. I have learnt a lot about my own practice and what I want to do now and so I am hoping "to maintain the momentum".
Going to work every day has been exhausting and very satisfying. One night when I came home and was catching up with Steve I keep falling asleep as he was telling me all the things he had done. In the end he finally and very gently suggested I might like to have a wee rest before tea. And I thought he hadn't noticed.
When I reached a dead-end I just had to keep on going. I had no books to divert me, I was expected to be there. Kyren, my "other container" mate, was always there to spur me on and there were always people coming into the space to see what we were doing. It was a great experience to have to talk about what I was doing, my project "A Stone's Throw", and my earlier work.
I did have a plan which didn't really eventuate but was always at the back of my mind. I wanted to walk around the block to find detritus and take photos every morning. To do this I really needed to be there at 9.30 am and walk. Walking was out of the question as I have damaged my leg/heel and have to do lots of resting. Never mind, it's a plan for another time or experience.
And I discovered "Printikular" which is an App that allowed me to send the photos I wanted printed to "The Warehouse Stationery" and collect and pay on my way home ready for the next day. Such a time saver.
I had to keep going and my work evolved like this. Everyday, for the last week or so, I arrived with an idea for a sample or two. Each of these is 6 ins square.
These were 6 ins by 8 ins. It was interesting how I woke up either with an idea or found one as I had my cup of tea and breakfast. Sometimes I left a piece in the sewing machine so I had something to do immediately I got there at 10 am. As I worked I became more and more interested in process and materials rather than image. The lines from the paint were so like the lines from ripped fabric. And the stitched lines accentuated any pattern on fabric underneath.
Also I sold work!!!!! So exciting and validating. And so I had to keep making and finding more.
Now I have a plan to make samples at the beginning of my day. At the moment they are on canvas, maybe that will change in time. My grandchildren are coming to stay for a few days, I must focus on my plan after they have gone back home. They are just delightful and I am sure just the break I need.