So I bet you thought I'd be showing you the early workings of a collage or painting... but instead, it's the early stages of studio rearrangement! The two experiences are quite parallel -- both involve disrupting comfortable patterns, long patches of thinking or exploration, and a general messiness until everything comes together.
Recently I came to the conclusion that I need a dedicated space for painting. My studio is in the walkout basement of our house, and until now the space was perfect for me. But now, as I explore more with acrylic painting both alone and with collaging, it's frustrating to have to completely disassemble my painting table (plastic table cloths, water jars, paints, brushes) in order to spread out my work on a collage with fabric, and vice-versa. Fabric and acrylic paints really do play nicely together in a collage. But fabric alone does not want to be near paint! And fabric alone often requires spreading out in order to be cut.
There are some puzzles to be solved in this process. How do I make sure I get enough light? How can I block out the exercise equipment that's hiding behind the very temporary curtains? How can I cover the ugly grey carpeting so I won't get depressed while painting? How can I spend the least $ possible doing this? Which table(s) will work best in the painting area, and which can I sacrifice from the fabric area?
And am I really willing to give up looking at the pretty rug (above) while I'm working, in order to make my studio more utilitarian?
How it looks right now...
If you could see inside my mind during the early stages of creating a collage or painting, you might see something very similar to this. One area is sort of a temporary holding zone -- very rough ideas floating around trying to become something. Sometimes stuff from previous work floats around in there, and sometimes there is some blank space, usually when I'm standing in front of a work table.
Other moments my mind's completely jumbled with too many ideas, loose threads, what's important/what's not? What source of inspiration do I want to turn to? And of course, why didn't I do a better job of cleaning up fragments after the last piece?
(The pic below is not how I work -- it's everything being moved around to find new homes.)
Ultimately, like this studio will, it all comes together and something gets created! Here's a simple little collage from a long time ago, just for fun.