Today, I'm writing about my studio, a place where I can go to be intensively creative, a place to think, a room of my own. Artist friends have all sorts of studio arrangements -- everything from rented space to kitchen tables. All I can be sure of, that I can count on, is that whenever I open the door to that room, I enter a sanctum of peace, regardless of the sometimes general disarray that also greets me. There are times that it looks like a tornado swept through, with bits and pieces of art material everywhere. Other times, it is ordered and tidy, with every paint tube in its sorting bin and every brush nicely stacked in its recycled can. There is almost a perceptible presence of the room, humanized, that wraps its arms around me as I sit in my grandmother's chair at the easel. It whispers to my mind's ear -- "time to release that creative flow!" as I prepare the easel and gather my tools. Sometimes I know what I want to work on, I'm focused and know my task at hand. Other times, the piece evolves as the paints interact and the brush work reveals special blending and effects, leading me toward an expression that surprises me as it inspires me.
The studio has always been my place to go when my heart is heavy, and the demands of life become frantic and painful. It is peaceful, rich in color (and comforts - my chaise lounge and various musical sources have come along on my journey), and a reminder that I can remove myself from the rest of the world and regroup, recharge, and emerge renewed. It is a place of healing, also. When challenges have come, physical and emotional, the studio was a shelter where I could rest, think or not think, weep if I needed to, endure pain, calm myself from the complicated life I lead. It was a place that I was reminded that life is a brief and beautiful thing, even in the midst of difficulty, and that I would endure, I would continue in some shape or form, and there among my work, I could find happiness. As I put brush to paint and paint to canvas, I could commune in my heart with my loved ones long gone, I could remember happiness and small, gentle joys and come to anticipate future promises. The painting unfolds, rich in color and portraying a loved landscape or design, and before too long, I could walk out the door feeling everything would be okay.
There has been much written about the artist's muse -- sometimes it is a person, or an imagined person, or a perception of a being or idea that draws creativity out of the very marrow of bone. I don't know if I have a muse, but if I do, it definitely makes its presence known most clearly to me there. It is a room that is full of potential, of what COULD be brought from the mind and hand into reality. It prompts me to pick up the brush, or crinkle through the collage papers, or twist a bit of silver into something pretty.
So off to the studio I go -- to the shelter of the studio!