"Before we produce anything at all, we have to have a sense of free and open space..."
Many of you already know the big news: I have my own studio!!! I'm so excited to have my own space! As Virginia Woolf famously said, “a woman must have money and a room of her own..." and although she was referring to fiction writing, I believe this can certainly apply to painting. Finally, after two years of painting in the hallway to the bathroom in my house, I signed the lease agreement in August, and now I'm officially moved in! Everyone is invited to my Art Studio Grand Opening Party on Oct. 1, from 10 am- 6 pm. This is also Easton Garlic Fest!
I can't believe I have my own studio!!! Here I am feeling so amazingly lucky, standing in the adorable little alley where my studio is. This alley is North Bank Street. You can send me mail! My address is:
7B North Bank Street
Easton, PA 1804
Here is my front door! I planted flowers around it, as you can see. On the left in this photo is my daughter Nell, age 9, and in my lap is my son Morgan, age 6. My door is the right-hand one. The left-hand door belongs to my wonderful neighbors who have a publishing company. They moved in the same day I did!
My new studio is in a great location, if I choose to open it up for retail purposes on occasion. It's right next to the Easton Public Market, the Farmer's Market, Terra Cafe, and the boutique, Just Around the Corner. There is also a new restaurant being built across the alley! I bought this official red "Open Sign" from the Easton Main Street Initiative. There is also Artists in the Alley which is every Saturday from 10-2, I believe. You can see the tents of some artists in the photo above.
So, being a mom is wonderful, but balancing motherhood and art is no easy matter. (I have blogged about this quite a bit! Read "My Son Is Mad At Me Again" or "Finding Balance" for example.) But now that my kids have started school again this fall, I can have regular hours in my studio from 10 am- 3pm, Monday- Friday, industriously working on all of my many ideas and commissions. (But I'm not a store, so I won't necessarily have regular hours open to the public. You can always look for the "Open" sign, or send me a text to see if it's a good day to visit: 267-247-6364.)
I can't get over my feeling of SPACE. Not only am I experiencing this wonderful physical space, which I've never had before, and which is all mine, but I have a great feeling of expansion within my soul, this inner space, which makes me feel so light and airy, like I'm floating all the time.
And added to that, I have another dimension of space, this dimension of space in TIME. I have so many days, weeks, months, stretching out before me, waiting for me, longing for me, for painting...
It's like a dream! I don't have to rush, to stress about "pounding out" a successful, "sell-able" painting in the short time I have a babysitter. Instead, I can take my time, I can pause, I can think, I can potter around my studio. I can play! I can make little sketches! I can daydream! I can allow it all to happen naturally, without forcing it. What a slow, sensual, and loving approach to painting this will be! I'm filled with sweet anticipation and gratitude!
I'll leave you with this quotation:
"If we develop the notion of space fully and properly, we begin to find that there is no burden, no load... We begin to realize that an extraordinary openness takes place in our lives-- in the way we move, the way we eat, the way we sleep, and the way we create a work of art. Tremendous freedom takes place in that basic space. Such freedom is not a product of the creation of art; it is pre-production freedom... Before we produce anything at all, we have to have a sense of free and open space with no obstacles of any kind."
--Chogyam Trungpa "True Perception: the Path of Dharma Art"
A Mini-Interview With Esther, the photographer for this blog post:
Me: What inspires you to be creative?
Esther: Being creative is a necessity for me. It's the best way to solve problems and address various obstacles that come up in life. The benefits to creativity far outweigh the effort it takes to create. I am wholly inspired by the results I get; whether it's from my subjects or those moments where i'm so absorbed by the process that I'm on a sort of "cloud nine."
Me: What to you do to overcome obstacles or blocks in the creative process?
Esther: I take a step back and don't push it. I work well under pressure, but I've also noticed that I stick to rules under pressure that my hold me back; it may be what is causing that block. A fresh perspective is always conducive to the creative process. Those perspectives are constantly occurring but you will only get to indulge if you are open to it.
Me: How do you balance your art and your family life?
Esther: I like to think that separating the two is what does it for me. "Out of sight, out of mind" is my motto when it comes to work and family. I do not like to mix the two unless I'm in the editing process and someone asks or I actively seek opinions from the ones closest to me. So time dedicated to work and art stays that way for the most part. When I've made up my mind that this is the time that I do family stuff, I keep work out of my mind.
"I don't consider myself an artist. Not quite yet anyway. When those moments do come and I feel that I am doing something artsy, it's a treasured success for me. I'm not sure what I am, but i'm glad i'm doing it."