Friday, July 24, 2009

Studio After Dark: The Unveiling

Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness.

~ Julia Cameron

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Taste the muddled darkness of your mind.


A spark.

See the tunnel in the distance?

That pinpoint of light so far away?

Can you catch it?

Can you mold it?

Do you have something to say?

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
~ George Bernard Shaw

In the quiet solitude of my studio I close the door to the noise of the world and attempt to convey with my hands what my mouth often can not. Childhood struggles, spiritual scars, artistic enlightenment and the mysteries of the universe serve as sources of inspiration as I sit at my desk early each morning.

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
~John Updike

There are those who can produce astounding works of art at any time, in any place. I am NOT one of those people. My creativity is sometimes precariously balanced on the head of a pin. However, I have found a key to unlocking my creative potential -- THE STUDIO. Would you please be so kind as to join me on a tour of my creative space?

My studio is like my mind -- eccentric and cluttered and seemingly full of contrasting ideas. Currently I am working on two collections: one is based on anatomy, and the other is inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites. Quite an unusual combination!

Finished anatomical piece - Time in a Bottle

Newly created Pre-Raphaelite jewelry still on the work table

My favorite part of the studio is a beautifully hand-painted vintage cabinet which I use as my clay and paint desk. It is also instrumental in hiding away the massive amount of tools I have collected over the years. Barrett and I found a matching set of these Medieval cabinets sitting abandoned in a warehouse and promptly adopted them. The brother to this piece makes a comfortable home in the living room as our entertainment center.

They need a bit of TLC but are so unique and utterly inspiring.

Inside view of Medieval cabinet

Stuffed with supplies! (My paint drawer)

The working side of my clay desk, with assorted tools and jewelry projects in various stages of completion.

My inspiration board

Front and back view of pendants in progress on the work table

Pile of clay jewelry cuffs that haven't passed the test. I keep my mistakes as visual aides to help remember 'What NOT to do'.

Anatomical illustration hidden inside each cuff -- depicts the physical transformation of the body when strict corsetry is practiced over time.

The artist must summon all his energy, his sincerity, and the greatest modesty in order to shatter the old cliches that come so easily to hand while working, which can suffocate the little flower that does not come, ever, the way one expects.
~ Henri Matisse

My bead station -- always messy! Finished jewelry hangs temporarily from hooks on the wall. I keep all of my findings, beads, and stones in large organizers with drawers for easy access.

The framed prints on the wall are quite difficult to make out -- unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with me this morning and the lighting is not ideal. However, these are two Pre-Raphaelite prints which I've hung for inspiration. I have dozens of frames displayed throughout the house and when it is time to create a new collection, I'll replace those with new prints from the appropriate subject matter. It is a wonderful way to keep things fresh in the studio!

A few of my more interesting book shelves. I also have dozens of jewelry, clay, altered art and mixed media books and find them extremely useful when practicing new techniques. My first piece of advice: research, research, research!

I have a habit of arranging all my books in this manner because I am so inspired by the appearance of antique books as well as cover art in general. What an intriguing painting this grouping creates!

A wall of 'family portraits' near Barrett's desk.

A comfy nook to catch up on my blog reading.

One of my first violins takes its place on the wall, along with a vintage newspaper clipping. I enjoy mixing 3D elements with flat images.

Some of my favorite studio oddities.

Recently completed jewelry still lays on the work table -- just finished these pieces yesterday.

Thank you for taking time to visit my creative space! Ms. Karen Valentine from My Desert Cottage organized this incredibly inspiring blog party and I count myself most fortunate to take part in such an uplifting and creative event. I look forward to introducing myself to other creative minds as I wander through the garden of artists before me. Please feel free to say hello; I can't wait to meet you!

Any great work of art... revives and re-adapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world - the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.
~Leonard Bernstein

Warm Wishes,