I think I will go hide in my studio
Yes, I do find a hiding place between the walls of my studio. I have several comfortable chairs there and a TV which I rarely use. I have radios also, but again, I rarely use them. I go to the studio to work or think in the quiet.
My studio is filled with many unfinished paintings. When I finish them, I move them out of the room. The studio is for unfinished works. Some paintings are on shelves, others on easels or sitting around the studio floor, and still others are turned to the wall.
I don’t want to remove them from the studio but I need a visual break from them. I think that very few people have as many unfinished paintings in their studio as I do.
It’s the way I paint. I may be working on one painting and have a lot of a certain color on my brush so I talk to my paintings: I will say often out loud, “Who needs this color?”
I should not let it go to waste. Usually the answer comes back to me and I add the paint where it is needed on another painting.
My studio is a place where I work, relax, have my anger releases and mostly where I pray. It’s a lot to ask of one room but it is what it is. I am what could be called a driven painter. I don’t always paint because I want to but because I have to. The same is true of my writing.
I have books and books of ramblings with no real purpose except for me to play with ideas and feelings. Most are not made for publication nor were they ever intended to be published. They are the ramblings and questionings of the soul.
Lately, I have taken on a rather playful attitude toward my painting. I do more “way-out” things with color. Some work; many don’t. But I am having fun putting together combinations I have not used before.
Quite often I end up laughing at the mess I have made. I am a serious painter but I am releasing myself from previous boundaries and rules, at least for me, and have done more experimenting with color and brushstrokes.
When I am doing this type of experimentation, I rarely sketch with a pencil but go directly to the brush and my sketch is usually done directly with paint. I feel that it is less restrictive and more open and free.
I find this process of art leads to more of an emotional response to my subject if there is even a defined subject. It may be just a color feeling.
I have many small canvases in my studio which are just perfect for these color feeling paintings. I didn’t work on such small canvases for many years, but now I find them a welcome break from what I had been doing.
The 5-by-7s seem to say to me, “Go ahead, see if you can create this small.”
Even 8-by-10s seem small but they offer a freedom of a colorful response in just a few strokes of paint.
The response on the canvas seems very fresh to me. I vacillate between small and large canvases depending on that still small voice I hear in me.
Here in my studio is a place of refuge, a place to think and listen for thoughts of inspiration. They come at their own speed and in a whisper so the quiet in my studio is very necessary if I am to hear them. We underestimate the power of quiet, it is a much unappreciated gift for the soul.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. You can send comments to email@example.com or call (740) 852-4906.