Monday, September 25, 2006

Artists' Studios

In an editorial for Art on Paper, publisher Peter Nesbett commented on visiting "artists' studios." He loves to visit the working spaces not just to see the art but to see the clippings, postcards, and reproductions taped to the walls, the works in progress, the collections of books, the abandoned projects on the shelves, the unusual found objects, etc.. It is a multi-sensory landscape in which to immerse oneself, although Nesbett always feels himself a tourist in a foreign land.

Recently he has noticed some of his visits with artists in their "studios" involve meeting at a coffee shop or an office, looking at images on a laptop. The research and evidence of process is hidden on virtual files on the computer. He states that he has always felt uninspired and unsatisfied by these meetings.

I just moved from a large house to a small home, and had to take apart my studio. The easy part was the computers and books, which have a nice loft/office area. The hard part has been all the collections: artists' postcards, torn magazine bits, old photographs, masks, animal bones, rocks, shells, seed pods, old pastels and watercolors, etc. etc. etc. These are the treasures that stimulate and excite me, and influence my art. How can these be found on a computer? They say so much about us as artists.

I agree with Peter Nesbet that a "studio visit" with a computer does not allow an entrance into the mind and personality of the artist. How do you feel?

3 Comments:

Blogger Seiji said...

I mostly agree. I know my wife wonders why I have such a messy office. But when I am generating ideas, I like to look at things; whether it be postcards and trinkets or the various shapes and colors that evolve due to the "mess". But after I am done generating the ideas and come time to execute them, it is nice to move to a cleaner/sterile setting so I am less distracted and focused on getting it done.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

One benefit of the laptop is that it can function as a portable studio. You can take it with you and use new environments for inspiration. Depending on what you're doing, a bulk of inspiration may be digital already in the form of dig photos or websites.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Professor Melis said...

An article in the New Yorker a while back talked about digital files vs traditional/paper files in offices. Studies show that most items filed away physically are never looked at again. Thus, the author advocated the use of digital files for most things and phsyical piles (or bulletin boards) for any papers, articles, etc. that may inspire. How we let things pile up on our desk, the author said, says a lot about our creativity and is part of it--we should embrace that and not be obsessed with organizing that stuff--leave organizing to the computer files which are much better suited for use and reuse.

9:21 PM  

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