Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Antiquated Workstation

Hi everyone!

Sorry it has taken me a while to get another post out. I am stilling getting up on my feet in the blogging world, I guess! I'm in the process of ironing out just what belongs on an aritist's blog and what people probably don't need to know! The way I see it, art and the way we express our creativity are really a reflection of our whole self. Our interests, the things we read, the music we listen to, the people we love, the places we've been or always wanted to go, our external environment, our creative space, all of these things make us who we are and have a vital impact on what we give to the world.

I have found this to be especially true of the place where I do most of my journalling, planning and painting: the area around my desk in my bedroom.


This little area is pretty much the home of all of my creative endeavors. Because painting fine detail requires highly concentrated light, the surface of my old desk glows while the rest of the room fades away into the darkness. In this way, it's almost like the world outside this small space exists only in my imagination, to be recreated and interpreted in whatever way the moment brings it to me.


With a quick glance, it becomes pretty clear that I like old things. I bought this desk for five dollars at a St. Vincent de Paul store in northern Michigan about ten years ago. It has survived two moving trucks (sitting in the corner of my bedroom at three houses) and a run-in with my mom and a can of silver spray-paint! The opening at the center is too low for most average-size chairs, the varnish is chipping off the top and the drawers squeak loud enough to wake the dead, but I have had it for so long that the idea of replacing it is unthinkable. Besides, it has so much useful storage space, I'm not sure I could replace it, even if I wanted to!


It's the only desk I've ever found that has enough room to store all of my projects, completed and otherwise...


Because the space I have to work with is so small, it's taken me a while to come up with creative solutions for storing the things I need to have quick and easy access to, things that have to be on the desktop like paint, brushes, things like sealer and varnish and the small wooden bits I use for making jewelry. My mom (you can visit her blog at http://www.hopefilledlivingmagazine.com/) recently picked up these wall-mounted wire shelves for me at a local consignment shop. They are amazing! Not only do they make my paints easily accessible, but they make it easy for me to see exactly what I have with just a quick glance.




My mom also introduced me to MCcoy Pottery at a very young age. She has been collecting their pieces since high school, long before they were popularized by magazines like Martha Stewart Living. She loves to buy the solid-colored victorian and art nouveau-style pieces, but, being a serious lover of all things 70's and psychedelic, I always snap up the drippy, multi-colored glazed ones. Apparently this also applies to lamps (my obsession with 60's and 70's lamps is another story entirely).


For years I have been collecting uniquely-shaped glass containers from garage sales and thrift stores everywhere I go. I love the way they look all grouped together! When I decided I needed to find a better way to store my brushes, beads and wooden brooch pieces I brought some of my collection down from the attic.



Here is a picture of the patterned scrapbook paper I use both for inspiration and to protect my desk from my tendency to end up with paint on everything within a 24-inch radius of my project. Mostly I get my paper at a northern Michigan craft store called Arnie's Arts & Crafts (http://www.arnies.com/). Having grown up in Houghton Lake, I've been going there my whole life, and they still have the best selection of craft paper I've ever seen. You'll probably notice that this picture includes a preview of what will likely be the subject of my next blog...


And here's a preview of the technique I am working on developing at the moment...


Well, that concludes this photo tour of my antiquated work area! Thanks for reading!


3 comments:

High Heeled Life said...

What a wonderful work area you have set-up for yourself. Great reminder that to be creative one only needs a small area, so long as they use their creativity to make it practical!!

Thank you for sharing your creative and inspiring workshop... HHL

5th Avenue Photo & Gallery said...

I love your work Ashley!
Dad

GlamourGarage said...

You are quite the soulful artist yourself ms. painted soul! Your workspace looks very inspiring and a great place to be when creativity keeps the midnight oil burning......