Home (working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter...)

I love my studio but these days I spend very little time there. If you have been paying attention you know that I am tethered to my house alongside an adorable 11 week old  puppy by the name of Hamilton (yes, named for the 10-dollar founding father...you know you want to sing along). In order to keep those creative fires going I have to work at home and believe me, it is not easy with all that cuteness underfoot. Home in and of itself offers all kinds of distractions. Add a puppy and you might as well forget about it. Forgetting about it is not an option. Working at home is in some ways good for me. It requires discipline, patience, and forgiveness. Let me explain.

A wonderful thing about a studio space is having an environment dedicated to creating and nothing else. There is no packing or unpacking of materials in the middle of a project. If you have control over your space, distractions can be kept to a minimum. Home is a different story. It would be very easy for me to not to clutter my living space with grungy bottles of ink and gritty jars of graphite that transfer their contents to every surface they contact. It would be easy not to litter my house with scraps of paper and yogurt containers full of brushes and drawing utensils. It would be easy not  to clear my dining room table of journals and trays of paint before sitting down for a meal. Working at home has required a sense of organizing tools and supplies in a way that can be unloaded and then again stowed with ease. However, even the most organized of systems require use and application. When things are more burdensome there is a tendency to abstain, This is when you need that voice in your head constantly reminding yourself why you create and how important it is that you stick to the task at hand. 

Patience is indeed a virtue and not one that I am known to possess. I am eager to return to the canvas, but painting at home is not preferable. This is motivating me to experiment with materials that are more portable, less complicated to use and less assaulting on the senses. Unfortunately, materials that are less familiar sometimes come with a steeper learning curve. This is where patience is imperative. It takes time to become familiar with a new medium and mistakes are inevitable. But the more you work and the less concerned you are with perfection, the greater the outcome. 

Last but not least, forgiveness. Nothing kills creativity more than feeling like you should be doing something else. Your house is a mess. So what! Are you happier with a clean floor than with the two drawings you could have completed instead? I think not. And maybe those two drawings suck. So what! The more you work, the better your work becomes. Every sketch is a step closer to that masterpiece or that statement you are trying to make. The floor however will be dirty again tomorrow and you are back where you started. To be clear, I am not suggesting one live in filth. I am suggesting that things don't have to be pristine if is costs you creative energy. So forgive yourself for the untidy house and forgive yourself for imperfect sketches. Just forgive yourself period. 

So I am working hard at home producing smaller work. I am researching other artists. I am taking advantage of online courses from other creative people, museums and sites such as Lynda.com. I am keeping busy until I can get back into the studio...

with my right-hand man and studio mate Hamilton.

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