Over the past two weeks, a dream of mine has come to fruition: I am a soon-to-be renter of my very own art studio! It felt like a brave move to seek out a space, to do those scary number crunches (sit-ups are less painful!), and, most importantly, to claim the importance of art in my life.In my current home, there is very little room for me to create, so I usually create small pieces, and there is no place for me to be messy and to leave an unfinished project out for musing and speculation. When I have carved several hours for messy-ish art making, I’ve had to take over the kitchen and dining room (and sometimes the living room, too). After my arting frenzy, I have had to clean it all up as if my artist paw prints had never been there. (It’s hard to make a nice big pot of soup if my encaustic wax is all over the place!).
Mostly, I have reserved art-making to my art journal, which has very little impact on my environment. I will continue to have my art journal at home for the late-night craving for using watercolor crayons, stamps, and collage images. I do love these wispy, whimsical art journal sessions for sure, but I feel rather tiny when I am creating. I hunch over my desk and fill a little page with my fingers which feel like baby fingers. This can be just the nourishment I need, but sometimes…sometimes, I need more, I need something bigger, I need a place to move. I want to dance when I paint. I want to do yoga poses and look at my pieces while standing on my head. I want to “let go • be bold • unfold,” which is the subtitle to Bowley’s book (see below).
I’m not complaining. I’m really not. I’ve had to be creative about space and time and even art materials, which has been good for me. And yet, there has been this yearning inside me for a place where I can make a fantastic mess and create BIG pieces of art — a place of my own where I can experiment, keep all my art supplies, and leave unfinished pieces out in the light of day.And then a book arrived in the mail called Brave Intuitive Painting, by the colortastic artist Flora Bowley and my hunger for my own art space deepened. In this brave and bold book, Bowley not only shares her process, but also her space — which is messy and full of color. At night when trying to sleep, I’d imagine having my own space with dripping paint on the walls and my very own paint-covered wellies — and I felt that creative resonance that is like having goosebumps on the inside.
I do feel quite bold in my decision to have this space and yet it feels like a natural extension of me. There is a part of me that says, “Of course you should have a place to create art!” Smile. Another part of me says, “Remember that you need to make the rent each month.” Nervous eyebrows. I move in on Friday this week and look forward to hauling all of my canvases, paints, images, brushes, glues, and papers with me to my lovely high-ceilinged, south-facing space.
A brave move? Yes. Super-yes with whipped cream on top. And coconut shavings.
What brave moves have you made in your life? What brave moves would you still like to make? What teeny, tiny brave move could you make right this minute that would honor some aspect of yourself? Do it!
Viva la valentia!