Thinking About Clearing Space in the Studio

Sunset. Another day goes by and I have done little to get rid of things. A gallery is closing and I will get the works back that did not sell. More things piling up. I need to make some decisions here.  One of the problems is when you work in “mixed media” everything has potential.

This is the latest of the boats done for an exhibition in March.

It is bigger than the last one. And instead of having a bell that rings in a memory carried in the anchor, this one has several jingling bells in the hold. Just rock back and forth and you can hear them. The passenger is safely tucked inside wondering what to recall next.

His attic is full of stories….his and others. The rocks are the important thing here. Images of them on the boat as well as the house’s footings. And those that create a path along the deck of the boat. Here is where they came from.

It is an old cigar box with stones that I collected from a dear friend’s driveway in a town where we raised our children. Pacia lived to be almost 100 years old and I would stay in her house ( a converted train station) every time I went back “home”. One day I simply had a need to take a bit of the place with me. I have dipped into this box often.

Also in there are scraps of sandpaper the men taking wood working classes would give me when I was teaching at Arrowmont. I like those bits of used sandpaper. I like the sound of them. I like how they are supposed to smooth things over while irritating the heck out of it


Here are some of the stones as well as the sand papers in my tai chi figures. There are fourteen of them that take their poses as their burdens get less and less in each one. Here is the first one of the series in an earlier work. Now they just march along a wall in the studio reminding me to take the “focus breath”. I should pay attention.

The shot into the shoulder has helped and I will be able to get back to doing my tai chi and yoga stretches. I do them here in the studio and not in a class setting. That was only to learn the moves and the breathing.

All the works for the other exhibition are packed with their artist statement. Someone will get them to Chattanooga for me.

I am enjoying looking at just the sixteen nails on the wall. How long I can not hang something there is a good question. Someone I admire in the art group showed very large mulberry paper works. I loved the paper and assumed I needed some….just five pages that are 55″ x 27″. Those and a detail brush that “can paint cat whiskers” made from rat hairs. It was only five dollars and seemed like a good idea to have one. Besides it was a supplier I had never ordered from before that carries mostly Asian arts materials.

I am not being very successful at ridding myself of things. But I will get there. I just need to figure out how. I do know one thing. Once it is out of the studio, I don’t miss it.

Someone told me that she got rid of 100 things per week. I think it was each week. But she counted scraps of paper in that one hundred things. It might be a place to start.

Til next week.