Creative Spaces - Closet Creativity

Artist-writer-oaf Sean Craven of Renaissance Oaf and I have talked about how fascinating it is to peek inside another creative person's studio space. To quote Sean, "I'm always fascinated by the workspaces of creative types. The factories of the culture industry, the monastic hives of the culturally isolated, closets and couches as well as studios or arts centers."

Sean has started things off with Ascending the Lavender Staircase his Workstation and Decor by Default. So let's whisk into the wall of my living room.

My baseball-playing, special education teaching, gorgeous wife Michelle and I live in an ancient 3 story apartment just west of downtown where Littles Italy, Portugual and Brazil meet. It's a two-bedroom, and because our nephew stays over once a week, a few years ago we gave him the second bedroom as his own. Michelle's office moved to the living room. I offered to take one of our two huge living room closets. I didn't want the little guy messing with my painty chemicals.

So let's pull one book out on the shelf and whisk into the wall of my living room. My studio is a closet, painted to look like part of the wall. I don't have a lot of photos of the outside of the studio. Here's one from a couple of year's back. It's behind my holiday smile. Weird colours in that photo. The walls are actually more neutral blue-green.

This is just inside. You can see I have pieces of the Of Two Minds and Meming of Life banners tacked to the door. I also sometimes pour stand oil, a thick-as-honey heated linseed oil on top of my finished paintings, like the diatom fairy painting in the foreground. Gives it a mottled, glossy surface.

The view above my card table/drawing surface. Some pieces from the Migrations banner, and a large drawing about my asthma and lungs in general I did years ago.
Almost every surface of the studio is crammed with my images. I find it helps me to recall brushtrokes or colours I may presently be having trouble with. One of my only non-mybigego images is an article entitled "Evolution, and nothing more" by Jerry Coyne, published in Canada's National Post on Friday 2nd of December, 2005. It was a one page rebuttal to the previous day's insipid "intelligent design" article. It was the first time I had ever read Jerry Coyne, and it electrified me. I was drawing and talking about it like crazy. So now it's plaque-mounted and been in my studio space ever since.
Paintings, collapsible easel, buncha portfolios. Naked humans with mitochondria and trilobites.
They say the trick to taking pictures of oil paints is to use 2 bright bulbs at 45 degree angles or less and very distant from the painting. I paint in a closet. Meh.
My original painting-drawing for the current blog banner actually just moves awkwardly around the studio (below on my paint-box). The drawing is lined up on a piece of bristol that I carelessly got squidges of paint on. I really need to get that framed properly. Haldane's Precambrian Puzzle is under glass in a hinged 12x12 scrapbooking frame.

The wooden flying trilobite necklace Tanja Sova made and gave me is hanging below.
Our home has books in almost every room. Like Bond, I like to have some inspiration and reference close at hand. The bright blue book below the awesome Art S. Buck mannequins and Precambrian toys is my mother's original nursing anatomy book. Books on concept art, atheism, science and art techniques all sit hand in hand on there. And Twisted Toyfare Theatre tends to creep in sometimes.
Paint! I use such thin layers when I paint, many of those tubes are from when I originally worked on my undergrad 12 years ago. I think I have only replaced the lamp black, titanium white and naples yellow. More storage portfolios, one with another diatom fairy from the period when all my people had green skin.
If studio spaces are like a room into the mind of the artist, mine is fit to burst. Or collapse inward and make a crushing singularity.
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This trip into Creative Spaces wouldn't be half as fun if it wasn't continued by others. Some Creative Spaces I'd love to see: Almost Diamonds, eTrilobite, The Day After, Heather Ward Wildlife Art, Claudia Massie and State of the Art. If you participate, feel free to use Sean's excellent logo above! We plan on collecting all the links in a post on Art Evolved.
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Other Creative Spaces so far:
*Renaissance Oaf, Parts one, two, three.
*Bond's Blog

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.
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