Saturday, March 10, 2012

Studio "Orgainization"

I agreed to have my studio included in this summer's issue of Studios Magazine, thinking that it would be a good excuse to tidy up and give my lack of organizational skills some serious thought.  Writing the article and having my studio photographed achieved both goals.  Taking a hard look at my relationship to organization and tidiness revealed the following insights:
  •  First of all, it didn't take a monumental effort to tidy up, because I have made monumental efforts to create homes for everything in my studio.  Monumental because organizing does not come easily to me. Having a home for everything, even if I don't put things away, is immensely soothing.  Clutter doesn't bother me so much if I know I can put things away when necessary.  My efforts in recent years have really paid off.
  •  I really can come up with organizational systems, like the wall I build on the back edge of my worktable you see above, if I put my mind to it and analyze the problem.  In this case, the problem was: everything gets buried on top of the worktable, and I can see it.  I need everything in front of me where I can find it and put it away.  Solution: put everything in front of me.
  •  I have made some organizational units modular, so I can take advantage of awkward spaces and move them around easily.  My bookshelves consist of cubes built of pine.  I have them stacked at the end of my east worktable, but they also fit under the gable roof in a tight space behind the new wall (see the first post on Working Large).
 

I elaborate on all of this in the article in Studios Magazine, so I'll keep this short.  My point here is that I discovered I'm not as bad as I'd thought I was.  I'm sure an organized person could come up with more efficient solutions to my studio space, but I have come up with workable solutions.

Here are a few more shots of my "Working Large" space:

 The front gable wall:
 

 The New Wall, where I hang works-in-progress:

My makeshift rolling paint cart:
 

My latest work-in-progress:

11 comments:

  1. thank you! it was very interesting to read. I also need everything in front of me))

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  2. I have a rather strange addiction to organizing things and am so impressed by your studio--you've done an absolutely fabulous job!! I won't go on about my total envy of your gorgeous amount of space and bounty of supplies...sigh...one day. Thank you so much for sharing and congrats on the upcoming article!

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  3. Enquiring minds want to know.... How do you store your collage stashes? We know you advocate separating by color.
    When I do collage, I seem to work in a frenzy and the result is piles of torn up paper... which I loosely organize (not according to color) in portfolios.
    Thank you for sharing. Looks great! and love your recent work in progress!

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    1. Oh, I don't store EVERYTHING by color! I just have a stack of folders (folded sheets of 18x24 paper) for the color stashes. I don't organize my collage material very much. In the flat files I have a couple drawers for "scribble" papers (my own hand painted), another for tissue papers, and a couple other categories. In the article you'll see a photo of my flat files.

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  4. hey that's cool that you're going to be in Studios. I'll definitely have to pick that issue up!

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  5. I love the way you analyze the problem and come up with the solution.

    I will have to use that formula. Congratulations on being in the Studios mag!!!!! Can't wait to see it.

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  6. Congratulations on being in Studios Mag! That's exciting. I enjoyed and am inspired by your studio. Glad you can't see mine...not so organized. Love your WIP!

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  7. I will look forward to getting the summer issue! Congratulations are in order. One of my carved stamps is in the newest Cloth,Paper Scissors and I am so tickled. I am sure you are also excited, & your studio looks great!
    Look forward to class with you in April.
    Patq

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  8. Your first point resonates soooo much with me! I'm going to have to put on my thinking cap and make sure I have a place for everything, too (even if it doesn't always get put in it's place). The desk wall is a great idea... hmmm... now how can I make that work for me...

    ~Faith
    Airy Nothing

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  9. Don't you have anything that doesn't naturally fit in some home? I have so many homes for so many things, and there are always those things that just don't fit anywhere. They are probably the things I need to get rid of and just have a hard time dropping into the trash. I could do better with organizing my space if I could organize my interests. I have far too many hangover thingies - the detritus following a brief and casual flirtation with something temporarily intoxicating. Your studio definitely looks like a space I could work in. I have to have things close by, in sight, easy to reach. You've done it! Can't wait to pick up the issue.

    I also love the new work in progress. It's terrific!

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie. It took me a while to MAKE homes for everything, because for me nothing "naturally" fits anywhere. It's a constant uphill battle. YES to organizing your interests! Fun to try all kinds of materials, techniques, products, but for me it can also be a distraction from making art.

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