Monday, June 22, 2009

Studio Contour, Sharing a Studio With Children


Someone recently asked me, incredulously, how I can share my studio with my kids. Okay, okay, so its not really ideal. Generally either I'm helping them with a project or listening to their sleeping sighs through a monitor, or berating them for trying to sneak into the Mommy area once again. And the shared floor space is always a mess of small toys missing small parts, strings, a few washers strung with wires and bungee cords into what Ben has deemed his latest teleportation device, picture books, screw drivers and half dismantled electronics, as well as glasses of murkey paint water, and lately a scary tin can half filled with desicated black olives.

As you may guess, gentle reader, this is not an easy enviornment to paint in, and Im certain passers by get to hear through the thin metal barrier of the garage door the earful I lay on the boys for their mess. Or perhaps they overhear my sad attempts at bribery- a fruit leather treat in exchange for cleanliness.

On the other hand how wonderful it is to flee to this space at nap time or in the evening and know I can rejoin the family as needed without driving across town. And how wonderful to see their creations emerge and line up for display as mine do. And if a small boy, sleepy, comes and finds me still painting, time can be bought to finish using up my mixed color while said child creates another deluge of mess on the other side of my dog gate barrier.

I tried to capture the chaos with my camera but the photo was just that- chaos, and imposible to read. So I tried a contour drawing instead. A single line threaded around haphazardly seemed more sucessful. Thanks to my friend who suggested contour, I shall try to draw other artists studios this way when I interview them. You can make out their table and supplies, my dog gate covered half down with a a tarp and my easles and sewing/small painting desk, as well as the edge of my round table that sits closer to the garage door. I edited out the clutter.

I'm frustrated not to be painting much this week but Im fighting some fatigue causing chronic malaise and must also do other things like shower invites for a deserving friend and wretched laundry. I can't wait to show you my Quail General or the large piece on the easle, which is trying my patience.


  1. can't wait to SEE the quail general or the large piece :-)
    like the jackal, the hands especially or maybe that's just cause you blew that part up.

  2. Could you draw my life minus the chaos? That studio drawing is such a peaceful version of what (I know as a fellow mother) your world can look like!

  3. If only I could clean my house by drawing it so!

  4. nice job drawing your space, it looks so sane : )
    It is like I imagined it would be like before we had kids.