It has long weighed on my mind that I, as an artist, have a pretty heavy footprint in this world. What I mean by that, is all the STUFF I carry around with me (and will leave behind when I’m gone) on this planet which enables me to draw, paint, collage, knit, crochet and sew. Gheesh! I mean really!! Does any one person truly NEED all this gunk?
Well, in the moment, yes. In the moment when I’m seized with love for pastels, then I need all the gazillion gorgeous sticks of color and all the different papers for pastels, and an easel to paint on, and one for taking outside. Then, when I’m dreaming of large acrylics on canvas, then I need all my heavy body acrylics and the big easel and the big brushes and palette knives. And when I’m dying to knit up a sweater for Maddie, or booties for a friend’s baby…then I need all that luscious yarn to choose from and all sizes of needles and crochet hooks in order to do the job just so. Or when I want to make another satchel for my ukulele, or make Maddie a pump case, then I need all the fabrics, trims, threads, buttons, zippers, sewing machine and everything else necessary for working with fabric. If I have a fit to collage with yummy papers, then I need to drag them all out, with scissors, glues, supports in hand. Oi! What’s a girl to do?????
For the most part, what I do on a regular basis, is sit down with one sketchbook, three fine liner pens and I JUST DRAW. That’s all. Love it, love it, will prolly ne’er stop doing it! Then I might add a splash of watercolor which requires my small paint palette, a brush or two, a toothbrush (for tiny spatters) a bucket of water, and an old towel to blot with. C’est tout! Sometimes the temptation to TOSS OUT EVERYTHING ELSE is really big!
What would it be like to be an artist without all the hefty paraphenalia? Would I be content? Would I just begin accumulating these things all over again when the itch to create in any one of the other sorts of creative activities grabs me? Could I be disciplined enough to create within “supply restrictions”? Or would it just be a cruel, self-inflicted, artistic fast? I once read of an artist who sold all of his easels, paints, big brushes, etc. and pared down to ONLY a sketchbook, pens, watercolors, a brush or two, his portable stool and chair, and felt wonderfully free and content. Wow. And then there’s the intriguing story of Dan Price…the hobo artist, as he’s been dubbed, who was a prolific photographer with all the cameras, lenses, photographs etc. of a successful photographer’s career and who traded it all in for just his sketchbook, pens, watercolors. He also traded in a life in the burbs for a life as a hobbit, literally. Would I have to become a hobbit in order to leave a smaller footprint?
Hmmm…please share any thoughts you may have on this footprint we, as creative people, have in the world, and how to make it smaller and lighter?? The space UNDER my art desk is stacked with several easels, papers, boxes of info from past shows, sales, etc. The space ON TOP of the desk is filled with yarn projects, ukuleles, music, art projects. I also have a drawing table that you saw in the background of the previous drawing which is filled UNDER as well as ON TOP. There are piles of framed paintings and canvases in a closet upstairs and archival boxes under our bed filled with drawings and paintings UN-framed. Bins of yarn are stashed on top of shelves in our bedroom and in a cabinet. Fabrics are stowed in bins in the attic as well as in cabinets. Oh, and the books! Art books, knitting books, crochet books! Oh my!
Perhaps I’ll start by drawing ALL the places where STUFF is located…it would at least make for interesting drawings!