Curating a Studio Life

There are plenty of magazine articles constantly advising us on how to rid our lives of clutter- it feels good- it lightens our mind and soul to feel free of things no longer relevant or useful or needed.
So, I’ve been making some progress towards that end in the studio….to wit….getting rid of:

so long....

so long….

1. Too many small paintings that have been lingering around- like guests at a party who seem to keep nattering on -even though you’ve started to load the dishwasher.
(Done!)
2. Less than inspiring drawings/prints things done on paper in the drawers of my flat
file…  if they weren’t the best examples of that theme or period of time- b’bye!
(Half done)
3. Larger medium weight stretcher bars- will never use them again, so why hang onto them when a nearby student can get a very good deal. (Done!)
4. Frames that I will never use again. Sold at a deep discount to another artist. (Done!)

the slasher has been here

the slasher has been here

How is it that I am willing to weed out (and not the first time, mind you) various artworks from my stash in the basement?   Some pieces are definitely better than others…. how do I know this?

“wait, don’t throw that out, I’ll take it if you don’t want it!” 

At this point, I don’t really have to lament the lost time- it was so long ago, who remembers the hours spent laboring over something? And chances are, something in the clunky ones served something in the work that came after.   Also- the sad truth about most galleries/juried shows is that if something isn’t hot off the presses in the last year or so, don’t even bother showing it.  I know there are exceptions, but barring the potential ‘retrospective’ show, many of my older paintings/drawings are not going to see the light of day again, unless they find a home through my efforts.

Well, this is a good thing to do-  getting over the preciousness of what we make- realizing that perhaps there is intrinsic value only if we are truly satisfied with what we’ve done;  that it resonates well over time, speaks for us and enhances our life.
I told some friends,  “if I die tomorrow,  I don’t want anything sitting in my studio that I wouldn’t be proud to leave behind.”

So here I sit on the floor, ripping, slashing and generally have a good old time.  Recycling the little stretchers for the wood stove, feeling lighter and better about what will happen as a result.

Ahem-  on another note I’d also like to make disappear the burgeoning business in wine & paint “parties” where adults are encouraged to turn out wretched copies of badly done copies of paintings that I wouldn’t even want on the refrigerator if my kid did it.   Plus I think the drinks cost extra!   painting+wine=fun …..  but not art.

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About nerskine

I've been a painter for about 30 years. I also draw and make monotypes. I like tangled stuff.
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