Studio in Motion
April 10, 2009
Stress poured off me like heat off a summer sidewalk after I left the newspaper, but in the first couple months, I constantly sensed I had forgotten to do something. No deep psychology there.
I kept the uneasy sensation blanketed under a blur of activity, which seemed to tame the hairs on the back of my neck. Most of the whirling was of the totally unavoidable nature. Some of it, like moving into my fabulous funky studio at Red Lights, was moving my life forward, filling it with the nectar of delicious unpredictability.
That doesn't mean my left brain gave way to the creative right brain without kicking and screaming. The left brain made it patently clear that my future contained no regular paychecks while my right brain argued there were also no more bosses -- no bosses!
Two months in, I remained charmed by Red Lights, an artist collective that also includes painter Bernadette Glorioso and sculptor and charcoal maestro Ron White, among others, serious talents all. True to the cliches about artists suffering for their art form, we endure wobbly floor boards and wacky indoor temperatures due to absent amenities such as insulation. My two-paned studio window contained only one pane of glass when I moved in in February. Indoor temperature was too cold to register on a thermometer. I have heard the summer extreme is equally unpleasant, but I have a plan....
I also heard the native ghosts, our bordello ghosts, animate the space in less concrete ways. So far I haven't noticed any of them stealing my fabric or moving the art quilts around.
Meanwhile, the walls were perfect, a thick golden cream and a lush deep red, each wall studded with pipes, holes and remnants of crooked nails. This was fine with me. I had promised I'd bring fiber diversity to Red Lights, but I didn't want to erase the essence of the artists who came before me. In deference to all of that, I have hung a few of my pieces over the pipes so they bear jaunty protuberances.
Two months in, I am very much liking life as a leaf blowing in the wind.
I have crammed interesting fabric, colorful cording, sparkly sequins, rubber fish, texture plates, paints and dyes, brushes, buttons and beads, sewing machine feet, wool roving, styrofoam design walls and a million other tools of the trade in corners and crevices and the place is bursting at the seams, but still looks professional. On a whim, I can throw up a few folding tables and fill up my ample floorspace to hand paint as much as three yards of cloth at one time and let it dry.
I can't let the economy take me down, nor the fact that so many people who love art are too strapped to purchase any, especially when I am so compelled to make it. I have a million techniques to try and experiments to conduct. I am an unstoppable force, a thundering freight train.