The painting stage of the Bristol Presentiments collection is complete. The next stage is finishing the edges, varnishing and framing. The summery weather is helping me because the heat speeds up drying times. The edges cannot be finished until the surfaces will not be damaged by gentle handling.
My challenge is my space which is rather small, and while I have a series of work drying I have limited space to make new work. Happily for me, we are planning on building a garden studio which would allow me to use the current studio for storage (it is very small), and allow me work and drying space in the new studio in the garden. Our garden is small so it will not be enormous, but it will be a big improvement on what I have already. I am working with Rachel Dein at her stall in Chelsea Flower show on Friday, so I can seek some inspiration for beautifying a garden building there.
This solution works better for me than renting a space in shared studios as it will be a one off payment, all be it expensive, rather than a rent. In addition my current studio is accessed via our bedroom, so not ideal for bringing visitors to, this will be much better. I am excited and delighted by the prospect of having more space and feel a warm fuzzy glow towards my family for being willing to give up part of our small garden. So up until now my solution to a small home based studio has involved colonising other parts of the house there has been quite a creep in storage into the bedroom, and out into the hall....
And then there is the headspace you need, the headspace you need to face your fears and to stop getting in your own way. This is where a group of supportive fellow travellers are important. There is no singular defined route to take as an artist, no singular model of success which means developing and implementing your own creative goals and then going for it. For me I need deadlines, and someone to check up on me, to make me face fears and do the thing anyway. So for doing just that for me recently I want to mention Paul Anderson Morrow, Sam Peacock and Alex McIntyre, all of whom have given me a bit of a push just when I need it the most.
Another helpful thing that has happened is that one of the agencies I am represented by Why Not Art have offered their artists some storage in the near future. We may just get our bedroom back.....