Studio mess mess

I’ve been in my little open-plan studio for about 5 years long enough to build up a certain veneer of mess. Long enough to collect a whole heap of items of uncertain value crammed into the corners and on top of ledges. Long enough to build up enough finished paintings that you realise that you need space more than you need paintings. Studios should be a long term plan. Some people jump into studios for 6months or a year to finish or create a body of work. The more long term approach allows for a longer process, and has the added benefit of keeping the art mess out of your home.

Brush care hint for messy oil painters who don’t like cleaning their brushes – a small roller tray with safflower oil and a couple of drops of clove oil (go easy on the clove oil) can be used to lay your brushes in. Wipe off the excess paint, and dunk. Stops them going hard or mildewy, and great if you pop in and out most days.
Also cheaper to buy safflower oil from organic health food shops than art stores.

The hardest thing to manage in a studios is storage. Since the furniture is mostly acquired from council throw-outs, I have a fair amount of rickety IKEA, and a cane armchair with grandma cushions sourced from my apartment’s rubbish room. Needless to say the holidays are meant to be about cleaning rather than painting. Basically I have to move some paintings out. Which means I have to go look at them. Expect to see some paintings from the past pop up over the next week or so. It’s raining in Sydney, so that means studio time.

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