Forgotten Cardinal, 8 x 10", watercolor
It happened quite by mistake....the cleaning of the studio at the new year....I was deeply obsessed with painting little feathers in watercolor, and had been for several months, when I looked up from my painting table at the wreck of a studio that surrounded me. I had a slight panic as I remembered a friend was coming over around the first of the year to shoot a photo of me 'in situ' for her upcoming show of photographs of artists and our muses. My 'in situ' was a dump!
So I took a break from doing what I loved and started doing what had needed to be done for a long while. After several days of purging, donating, recycling, moving and insulating, I can say that for the first time since I've been both an artist AND a mother, and that's been 21 years now, I have organized my studio, at least partially, in a way that makes sense. Book making tools and adhesives on 1 shelf, watercolors and brushes on 1 - okay, 2 shelves, etc.
I do a fair amount of teaching of watercolors and different techniques, so it's hard to part with things I think have potential (not quite as bad as Howard Finster...), but I think I'm on a good trajectory for continued progress. For instance, I teach in programs for at-risk youth and I teach classes for adults that might just be 1-time classes. I don't want purchasing art supplies to be a barrier, so I have amassed utility knives and needle-nosed pliers, to name a few. I helped a friend's son clean out her studio when she passed, and redistributed 12 SUV loads of art supplies. As I was cleaning (I kid you not) 200 paint brushes of years of acrylic and oil paint, I thought, 'yes, the high school can use these, but those kids are not going to clean these properly to get years of use out of them' and kept 20-30 decent brushes to use with my students. Most students don't get to use good quality brushes when they are starting out and I'm telling you, good tools make a difference with the student's experience.
So the supplies are a bit more organized, the place is a little cleaner and the year is off to a productive start. Here are a few of the little watercolors I made at the end of 2016 and so far this year. The cardinal skeleton was found by a friend and it had been sitting in the studio for about a year and a half, so painting that was the carrot at the end of the stick for cleaning the studio.
The watercolors have been a big healing /mind clearing exercise after August 2016's 'The Gun Show', but I will get back to working on that project again soon, because......