Susan Klinger, Artist
Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet
I moved into my home just over 30 years ago, and claimed the larger of the 2 spare bedrooms as a room for doing my art. At the time, I was a young teacher focused on exploring art that would enhance my teaching. That soon evolved into an art teacher who felt the best way to teach kids to be artists, was to be one myself.
I began focusing on my own art, and my studio space soon began to fill with supplies and assorted items that would be “perfect for a still life”. I also collected books, articles and anything else that would assist in my teaching. Thirty years of collecting along with almost as many years of creating an inventory of art soon filled my studio space with ‘art stuff’. Lots of stuff. For any non-artist readers out there, it should be noted that artists can be pack rats. We see the potential for items to be re-purposed as an art material or as the subject of an artwork.
Used as an office as well, the space also acquired the requisite desk, computer, scanner, printer, etc. The space had become FULL.
After refusing for many years, I was finally convinced by my husband that my studio/office needed fresh paint and new flooring. (And he wants to fix the floor squeak where I stand at my easel!) I resisted for many years, the thought of having to pack up and relocate all that had accumulated in my space. But, I knew it was inevitable. I had to bite the bullet.
So for the past week, I have been emptying shelves and relocating everything to the basement. Art supplies, framing materials, books (lots of books!). Completed paintings, works in progress all needed to be carried down 2 flights of stairs to the basement. (Did I fail to mention that we are having 3 other rooms painted at the same time? Just shifting my studio contents to another room was not an option.)
My knees are achy. My back is tired. And we haven’t even begun to move the furniture! I am exhausted, yet excited by the prospect of the space being a fresh canvas, so to speak. One of my goals for the year was to find a way to make my space feel less cluttered and more conducive to creativity. Returning all that was removed from the room, back to where it was, will not achieve that goal. So now comes the task of seriously evaluating what items can be donated or tossed so that when put back together, my art/office space will be the type of space that I am excited to enter and get to work.