Studio Rituals

My new studio in Connecticut is attached to the garage – a separate structure from our home. I have an air-blow heater that keeps the temperature just high enough to stop my supplies from freezing in winter. It’s not enough to warm the room so I’ve installed an overhead heater for when I’m working there. I turn it on with the lights as soon as I open the door and the warm glow is immediate. The smell of paints and art supplies awaken my creative mind as much as books and book bindings do. 

Depending on my mood I will put on some music or begin organizing my workspace in silence. I run my fingers over things, feel the texture of brushes between my fingers, clear spaces, line up paint tubes and materials, and take time to look at the work I did the last time I was in the studio.

Taking time to really look at my work is not to be rushed – a good time to drink my coffee or tea.  I reflect on how I feel looking at the work. How do I want to feel looking at my work? It varies with the work of course, but right now I’m going for contemplative, reminiscent, awareness of the past, a history that shapes who we are, good and bad. It’s a little somber but that’s ok. There is beauty to be unearthed here, a reminder to be kind, not just live on the surface of things.

Often, I’ll light a candle before I get going, taking a moment to ground myself in the moment and remember how grateful I am for the breath in my lungs, the view from my window, and the art practice I am undertaking.

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