Space (and not the above-earth type)

I am so incredibly fortunate to have a studio – a space given over to painting where I can immerse myself, leave works in progress, fill with colours and innumerable bits and pieces. It is a precious place.

It is quite small, though, and lately I have found my brain is squished while I’m in there. Consequently, the art practice is also becoming compressed – I feel the works are less free and expansive. At times, I procrastinate because of the stepping around stuff which takes the edge off the enjoyment. Although I can pin a large canvas to the wall (amazing) I can only fit one wet piece on the floor (where I tend to work) and then I’m hamstrung.

I feel uncomfortable about complaining, as to even have a place to paint is such a luxury. I am interested, though, in the effect that squeezing one’s brain and limiting physical movement has on creativity, motivation and, perhaps ultimately, mood. The mind is a complex and fickle thing that seems to react to everything – diet, hormones and chemicals, stress, weather to name a few. How ridiculously un-robust it is! Has it not evolved adequately to cope with modern life?

I’m sure I’m not alone. Holiday marketers know the attraction of an open world or expansive views – countryside, beaches, wilderness. The mind does well when it can spread. But the question is, how do I achieve that in my precious work environment?

I don’t think I know the answer. It’s something I will continue to ponder. Perhaps I need a massive tidy-up (actually, that is probably essential). Perhaps just being aware is half the battle.

Until next time, find some space,


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