Thursday, April 1, 2010
The real life studio
When I say that the mini-me doll house artist has more space than I do, it's absolutely true. I never dreamed of a big house, I don't even like the open concept idea-give me a giant brick walled loft and I swear I'll be sleeping in the cardboard refrigerator box. I like warrens of rooms, each one different than the other, little courtyards, secret doors. But the studio-that's where the dreams went big. Walls of windows, bookshelves up to the ceilings, ladders on tracks, sections for painting, for sewing, for reading, for display.
So I have the second bedroom in my little condo. It's the kind of space where anything carried in that's taller than five feet does that Three Stooges Laurel and Hardy ladder routine, knocking things off shelves, cracking windows, scraping the popcorn off the ceiling. It has to hold everything-books and files, boxes of beads and paper, cds, brushes, glue, thread, yarn, pictures and postcards. Every wall has something on it or against it. There are days when it looks like that secret closet detectives always find in police dramas, the space the crazy stalker fills with hundreds of pictures and stolen objects from their victims.
But I love it-I'm also grateful I have it. It's part of my home and I can go in there any time I need to, it's my work office and it holds most of my history. But I also wonder, what kind of art would I make in that giant imaginary studio? I work small, and loved small long before this room, but all my studio spaces have been tiny, from art school onward. How much has this determined the kind of art I make? Has my lack of elbow room made my work more particular to me than if I had a studio I could roller blade across? Who would I be if I had stretched out in a warehouse?
Have you ever thought about how your work is effected by the space around you?