Friday, July 18, 2014

Home Studio (with pictures)

Many artists and writers reflect on the need for a space to create. Virginia Woolf’s statement: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” is probably one of the most quoted and a favorite of mine. Recently I saw this post on Flavorwire about famous artists and their studios. Georgia O’Keefe’s is the studio I want to emulate the most, but I do not work in an adobe structure with New Mexico light, and I am way too cluttered. Her studio is austere and elegant-the light fills it perfectly:

Being a photographer, I have grown accustomed to sharing (meaning I must clean up after myself) workspaces such as darkrooms in order to work in them. I enjoy spending my Saturdays in the darkroom-I like the physical removal from home so I can go to “work” at another location. I anticipate that I will need to return to a photography lab soon but for right now I have been setting up and working at my home studio.

In the home studio, I needed a space to review my prints and drawings. I put together large corkboards to pin up the prints because no landlord wants hundreds of holes in their walls from push pins.

When I hang my art together on these corkboards, I find associations between pieces and concepts begin to solidify. Then there is editing. One of my photography professors gave my documentary class a book to read (cannot remember the title at all) where the writer claimed the most difficult thing for a photographer is to edit her work-so much so that she should never edit her own work. Our eyes glide over mistakes and we fall in love with images that, frankly, don’t do much for other viewers. Feedback through critique is difficult to come by (an expected aspect of being out of school) so a corkboard helps me edit.

When I get the urge, I will pin up work I’ve made recently (or a long time ago) and let it remain on the corkboard until I think I am done looking at it. Usually I have some sort of revelation. For example, with my last project, Wanderlust, I figured out how I wanted to exhibit the 30 plus prints as a result of hanging them together.

Up on display now are 16 x 20 inch prints I made in mid-June for the Wanderlust project as well as a recently finished rope drawing. You can also see, in process, a video project I am working on where I am essentially doing stop motion animation. I started the video after moving back to Illinois but the drawings themselves have been in my head since 2008. Time to get ideas out of my head, onto paper, and then onto the cork board.

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