Category Archives: Studio

Paige’s 15 tips on getting into the studio

It is always so hard to be creative when life is changing and things are in ‘Flux’.  Think of these things when you are hard on yourself.  When you are too busy, or overwhelmed, use the phrase “managing abundance” and then you will feel gratitude and happiness for your life instead of stress and tightness.

I would like to share how I motivate myself and get into the studio.  There are many ways–and there are probably more ways to stay out– but here are a few ideas how to get there (15 to be exact):

1. Embrace one particular project that has a very specific deadline.

2. Remind yourself that you have a unique way of seeing and thinking and no one will ever make what you can make, in the way you do. And it’s your life’s duty to produce and create, so as not to leave a void in our generation. Think of it as your payment back to the universe for giving you a specific gift / talent that is yours, and yours alone.

3. People don’t know what they want / need in the specific area of your profession. It is your job to show them what is possible. They won’t miss what is not there, but they won’t know how they lived without it once they see it.

4. Discontinue the dialogue of why you don’t have time to get into the studio, and what else you could / should be doing. Just stop having that conversation with yourself!  It is not allowed!

5. Stick to a daily schedule that is productive yet sustainable. Whether its 2 hrs a day or 5 hrs a day, M-F or T-TH, it will add up in the end!

6. Take it off the top. Don’t wait until evening. Way more viable excuses to not go into the studio in the evening, so do it while you are sharp!

7. Make an enjoyable ritual out of it: a cup of coffee, a protein shake, your favorite music, a warm and cozy heater, a pair of slippers… Something so you can settle in and forget the tick-tock of the clock.

8. Design it so there is less driving/transport time involved to get there. I go right after the morning school run.  This way I get to the studio at the same time every morning. It works.

9. I write a to-do list that are all the projects I want to see realized in the next month, and I revisit the list 2x a week to see how I am doing. Think of your website as your gallery showcase. Are there voids in the showcase that need to be filled? A new “genre” of works that you want to put on exhibit? Make a to-do list from this.

10. If I die tomorrow -heaven forbid- and someone goes into my studio the following day… Could they see the works in progress and see the inspiration? Would they ‘get’ where I was headed and how I was setting myself apart from all the other artists? Would they be inspired by my unique voice? Imagine they would mold everything and create a museum show- Like they did with Degas!

11. I remember how bad I feel when I don’t work. Like eating a huge basket of french fries. Why make myself feel bad, guilty? I don’t need that feeling in my life.

12. The loved ones in my life will be proud… or at least, find me more interesting of a person.  And I will be happier and more balanced at home when I am giving back to myself by Making and Creating.

13. To borrow from the words of Eminem, “If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted… would you capture it or just let it slip?”  Rarely chances come to us in the form of our ideal dream, but those of us who know the ethic of hard work, can take any sort of chance and steer it to fit into our ideal opportunity.  But like an athlete, can our skills be so excellent, that when that moment comes, we will be ready? Will we have the confidence to take it and run?  Confidence to take these chances comes with consistency of work…. in the studio.

14. We can only create a limited amount of work during this lifetime. Life is so short.  Our ideas will die when we do.  And our ideas are unique to us and us alone.  I have also noticed one creation fuels and inspires the next one.  So the clock is ticking!  Get busy!

15. Spend the time getting in to it.  Know it intimately.  Once you start creating something, don’t worry about the clock.  Love each piece of detail; whether it’s the immediacy of a single brushstroke or the fine finishing of a craftsman.

My internal voice has changed from skeptic who would rather do something else, to a fan rooting for her team. Though I remain my best & worst critic throughout, I am ALWAYS my biggest Champion.

So I just get the job done.

It’s easier that way.

Be gentle on yourself.

 

 

The Oddest Media

MEDIA as a discussion

As artists, we are clearly pushing the boundaries of materials more and more.  We are literally brushed aside and stepped over by curators, critics, and contemporary collectors if our chosen material is one of traditional nature.  Long forgotten are the days of grinding pigments for our oil paints, adding retardant to our plaster, creating our own alloys for the perfect bronze casting.   Even art supply stores can only stock the materials that are foundational, but you will not find material for the visionary artist.  So, where will we find the media that will allow our work to finally jump from traditional to contemporary? Take to the garbage dumps, Ebay, the refrigerator….

What is the oddest media you have ever seen in Fine Art? blood (‘Blood portrait’, Marc Quinn) , urine (‘Piss Christ’, Serrano) or – my personal fave: shadows.  Can one claim a natural happenstance upon the work as Media, such as dust, weeds, a tossed out cigarette butt ?  And the most important question… Does material make the work contemporary, or is it subject matter?  Must they be linked equally, or is one more important than another?

 

SloshingPlaster

Sloshing plaster

 

Form and Space

One of the things that have always bothered me about Sculpture is the Space that I fill up by creating it. That may seem funny, but please understand that for a sculptor, Space is our ultimate muse. Crowding, darkening, weighing down Space around us is absolute torture to the creative soul.

When a sculptor makes a piece, it is not only the sculpture that we create (the positive form) but we also somehow form the Space around the sculpture. Of course Space has been here for millennia, since the beginning of time, and a sculptor doesn’t really create Space. Space is divine, eternal, maybe even God. But we enjoy playing with Her infinity by carving and forming a physical object inside of Her vastness. The (negative) Space around an object must be a carefully thought out, just as the object itself.

This is true with anything really. It the Yin and Yang, the ebb and flow, the dark and the light. Without one, the other diminishes altogether. Since a sculptor is one who creates form and volume from empty Space–a void–it makes sense that we are slave to Her, yet we give great homage to Space because without Her, we are nothing.

Not onlForm and Space IMG_0843y do I create forms that fill up Space, but I also create heavy ones. Bronze by nature is a heavy and permanent material, lasting thousands of years, but unmoving, unchanging, and even sometimes burdensome and dark. Ironically, the moment bronze is cast it is dynamic and powerful. Standing next to a bronze pour feels like flying next to the Sun. It takes many people and many machines to harness the power of liquid bronze. Bronze is one of the most dynamic materials to be created by human civilization. It is not something to be taken lightly… no pun intended!

 

 

I want to make my finished bronzes as dynamic as they are in its liquid state. I don’t want to just fill up space with something heavy and burdensome. When I create a piece, I want to make sure that the Space around my sculpture welcomes it and that they compliment each other. I want my sculptures to float up and soar off the pedestal. The viewer will have an undying need to touch and walk around my sculptures. Form and Space will create music where they touch. Surrounded with the gentle embrace of Space, the sculpture will be home at last.
Empty Space is simply refreshing and enjoyable, but Space with a sculpture can become beautiful and powerful. Space will become joyous if a physical form graces her just right. With ultimate consideration of our limited Space on this Earth, I mindfully create sculptures that love the Space and Space loves the sculpture right back.

What Art offers is Space – a certain breathing room for the spirit” – John Updike

Bronze pour

Bronze pour

Form and sPACE IMG_0886