Monday, August 7, 2017

Attempting to Purge

My "studio" in my home is my son's former bedroom.  (You can read about the renovation that turned it into an art studio HERE.)  But it is also the only spare room in my crazy little house that has a place to put a bed for a guest.  So the twin bed from his childhood bedroom has remained.  But now.... he is engaged to be married to a wonderful woman, and I realize that the twin bed isn't enough if I want them to visit. So in a couple of days, the twin bed is going out, and a futon is coming in.  While the 'footprint' of the futon isn't much bigger than the twin bed, it needs the space to open, so I've been working on rearranging the tiny art-making space that I have in there. 

In the four years since I did the original renovation from bedroom into studio, a lot has changed.  Somehow, the room has also become my sewing room, so along with art supplies, there's a sewing machine and various paraphernalia related to sewing.  Plus, all the remnants from my  37 years of teaching are stored in the room.  In addition, for two summers I've taken an immersive plein air painting class, cranking out 9 or 10 paintings in the one week class.  A couple of the paintings from last summer have found new homes, but the rest of them, plus all of the paintings from this summer, are in the studio (and being oil paintings, they take FOREVER to dry), along with a box full of stretched canvases, and some incomplete canvases I've been painting in the interim.   Plus I now have a rather large paper cutter that has to be moved every time I want to use the table!  I keep accumulating stuff, and the room keeps getting more and more crowded and is less and less viable as a work space. 

Today I started doing a little cleaning to make room for the futon.  My first line of attack was boxes of examples of projects that I had saved from all my years in the classroom.  I had already given away several papier-mache creations when I retired: a flying pig, an iguana, a fat cat, a goofy 4' tall totem pole, a large frog in a tuxedo jacket, a penguin, a dragonfly, a couple of goofy monsters/creatures, and more.  I had also left behind, with my replacement, several teddy bear chairs, a couple of 36" god's eyes, and more, including mountains of 2-D samples on paper.  Sigh...

Anyhow, here's a few things that I threw away today - a couple of papier-mache vessels:
Some air-dry clay big-mouth fish, painted with acrylics (I had already disposed of a many many other air-dry clay projects, including coil pots, pinch pots, animals, 3-D slab people, "posy pockets" made from slabs, cave paintings on clay slabs, and more.  But somehow I had a hard time parting with these fishies): 
 And these Model Magic bugs, even though I made them in a workshop and never used Model Magic in the classroom and don't even like the stuff:
 I also threw away a mountain of paper examples that filled a large trash bag.  But the room.... it still is so crowded, so cluttered.  What the heck do I do with it all, in a house with zero extra space???  I can't get rid of the oil paints, the acrylic paints, the craft paints, the fabric paints, the roll of canvas, the easels, the drawing pads, the brushes, the drawing tools, the papier-mache supplies, the binders of ideas, the flying pig, the papier-mache ice cream cones and sundaes, the sock monkey named after my grandmother, the papier-mache light bulb maracas, the 2 large Laurel Burch style papier-mache cats, the pile of carved sheet rock, the Barbie Doll dress-making supplies, the half-done sewing projects, Violetta the duct tape dressmaker's dummy, the Ugly Lamp project, the box full of colored glass fragments, the roofing felt relief mask, the carton of mailing tubes, the 10 lb. carton of polyester fiberfill, the dropcloths, the roll of bubble wrap, the random weird sculptural or collage materials.....  

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