As noted earlier, I’m moving my studio to a new location sometime in October. As the big move day gets closer and closer, I find myself mentally arranging and rearranging the studio equipment over and over again in my mind — making sure my brain physically connects and turns over each object that makes up the pile of things that “is” my studio.
This is all good because it allows me to reevaluate, to ask “do I need everything I have in my studio”? As a multi-disciplined artist I have lots of materials in the studio and several different areas set up for painting, printmaking, book and papermaking, and then there’s all the stuff for installation and sculpture.
Sometime ago I did a performance piece “Places for the Soul: The Plains of Tession” for my show Fragments from the Garden — What does one do with 100 pair of shoes? Suppose a new opportunity arises to do another performance can I collect another 100 pairs of shoes? Or what about the boxes filled with dozens of dozens of deer antlers and bones from yet another installation?
All this self-questioning and mental arranging is very important because it impacts the physical studio space where the art making occurs. Which brings me to the point of this post, a book tilted “Inside the Painter’s Studio” authored by artist Joe Fig. I thought of the book again, published in 09 because it’s the very thing this book is all about — the arrangement of the studio. Fig creates exacting miniature replicas of other studios, covering some 24 artists from Chuck Close and Jane Hanmond to Mathew Ritchie. It is a fascinating studio tour with interviews but not so much on the how to of painting but rather the particulars of how each artist arranges the environment they call a studio.