Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Space

I am craving space and order in my life... both physically and metaphorically. I'm having to clear space in bedrooms this week and it has made me aware of how much "stuff" I accumulate and store. I know I cannot be alone in this, so where do other artists/tutors store their "stuff"? I have framed work on the walls, framed work stacked up against the walls, other work rolled up under the beds or lurking in the back of wardrobes. There are dozens and dozens of sketchbooks, drawings in folios, boxes and files full of samples and endless folders full of notes, not to even mention all the fabrics, threads, paints, dyes etc... and I just want rid of it all.
 
 
But there lies the conundrum. To exhibit both in galleries or Open Studios at home, to sell my work, to teach... I need this "stuff". I cannot see how to achieve that space and order that I feel I'm desperate for right now. And this is making me question what I do and more pertinently, what I want to do in the future. Just a couple of days ago, I spoke about moving forward with my work and exploring new ideas but I now know I'm not ready to do that yet.

 
At some point I need to re-evaluate what I'm doing and make decisions but I can't do that at the moment. I do know I'm not ready to start making new work that will end up under the bed! And until I'm ready to make those decisions I need to stay within my comfort zone... which means spending time with my family, pottering in my garden, doing a little bit of knitting and crochet and of course, spending time in the kitchen. 

 
Today, I made bagels... inspired by last night's episode of The Great British Bake Off. I might have thought I was in my comfort zone but the results were far from comfortable! Mishapen, badly risen and far too salty for my liking (although my team of testers are slowly demolishing them). Paul Hollywood would have sent me packing in no time!

 
But in the weeks to come I think there will be a lot more baking and family stuff here until I feel ready to step outside that comfort zone once more. I hope you'll stick with me?

24 comments:

  1. Of course I'll stick with you! Enjoy your quiet time :)

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  2. i hear you as this is me too. i need to keep samples and materials for the classes i teach. In addition to sewing stuff i have papers and paints etc. i now rent a space to store stuff as my house is too small to accommodate it. i also keep a some materials at one of the venues i teach at which helps a lot. i too crave a decluttered calm house, oh what to do? no help really am i! good luck x

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  3. I'm not an artist or a tutor, but the STUFF......... I have been taking piles of books etc to the charity shops, scanning the bits I want and getting rid of the rest. Have photographed loads of "stuff" and had big clear out. Still a way to go, but am plodding on with it all. Isn't it grand to see the Great British Bake Off back on?

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  4. I love those bagels. Even if they don't look perfect they seem to be getting eaten.
    I'm with you on the 'stuff' and everything but I can't comment. It hurts too much to think about it. Another day perhaps...

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  5. You're not alone in drowning in stuff, it's a well known symptom among artists and I'm not sure there's an instant cure. My studio in the garden is now so cluttered (again!) I can barely get in there. I have saved every kind of found object to include in some unspecified future work but am not even making the type of work that would see those objects diminish. I don't even sell my work so whatever I do with it will only result in more stuff to be stored. I have great plans to have a 'proper' clearout but never get round to doing more than a cursory tidy. Don't even ask about the state of my sewing room!

    Maybe we should invite one of those de-clutterer people round?! We'd probably need an anaesthetic though.

    I will definitely stick with you and hope you just enjoy a bit of quiet time in your comfort zone with your family. xx

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  6. Of course I will stick with you. I spent this afternoon moving 'stuff' about and wondering why I have accumulated so much. I did have a bit of a cull but mostly I sorted and put it back.
    I never reaised how hard it is to bake bagels but after watching the Great British bake off last night, I do now. Well done you on giving them a go, they look great.
    Vivienne x

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  7. Of course I will stick with you. Like the others who have commented I too seem to have such a lot of stuff, far more than I will ever use, and I am still adding as I go from textile to paper stuff!
    I really wonder why I am doing it, I dont sell much and none of my family members are terribly interested.
    Cant help myself.

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  8. I'm in the same predicament as you I need to have a good clear out and I'm convinced we all have an extra gene that makes us hoard.

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  9. I think we are all in the same predicament, but I can't bear to part with 'stuff' which I may get around to using one day. Of course I will stick with you - I always love your cooking photos. Cheeers

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  10. I'm drowning in stuff too. I think I need a sewing session. At least I have plans for the cardboard that has accumulated as I need to build a cranberry bed in a weedy, boggy area next to our pond. My only excuse is we really do reuse a lot of stuff, like jars and and material, it just has a way of accumulating faster than we use it though

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  11. Guilty, I think its a form of OCD
    cannot just use what I have, always
    buying more, don't have that, better buy some. Enjoy your comfort time ( without guilt).
    Take care.

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  12. Good luck with your search for a new direction, drastically downsisizing did it for me, and now I have a minimum of stuff with a minimum of space to put it, but still not happy. I can really relate to not wanting to make stuff that ends up under the bed, but that leaves you with only making stuff that's either useful or replaces artwork that's in your living space, it's a difficult one.

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  13. Of course we will Gina, and those bagels look good to me even if they don't meet your standards.
    We all have too much stuff and have to try and live with it - enjoy some family time in your comfort zone and the solutions will come to you.

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  14. Oh most definitely stick with and come and eat the bagels too if I lived nearer lol. Many of us will empathise with you Gina at whatever level we work, we all gather "stuff" and invariably sit back at some point and wonder what it's all for and where we go next. It's a tough decision to move out of the comfort zone and try something different. So much easier to stick with what you know and feel you do well.

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  15. Hi Gina, I think most people are feeling the same and I think this awful weather is causing so much "fedupness". Here in Lancashire we have not had a single day without rain at sometime for days on end.Every day is like April should be-shower, sun, shower ,drizzle etc.Just sit back and chill out for a while. One day I'll just turn up if you keep picturing all your lovely bakes on here !!!!!!! JOKING. Best wishes, Vera.

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  16. We are you loyal readers, of course we will stick with you. Try to rest a little, it might help.

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  17. Ahh - so that's why everyone is going on about bagels! (I rarely watch TV cookery programs).
    As for "I just want rid of it all" I'm not sure what to say (it makes me dread the day we decide to move to a smaller house!) I'm sure you'll find a new way.

    Celia
    xx

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  18. Gina, it was fun reading your post and all the earlier comments. So many of us are in that same crowded boat!

    Some years ago I decided to really, really curtail my book buying enthusiam, and instead joined a subscription library. I now let that marvelous place fill all my reading needs. (I admit to buying the occasional art/craft related book.)

    I get the equivalent of "free" clothes courtesy of my job. This could mean a vast accumulation of clothing that I would have neither space to store nor time to wear. So, I regularly make large clothing donations to a local charity thrift shop. This works out great.

    I have every kitchen took that I need or can use in my miniscule kitchen. Just last week, I did replace an aged toaster. Replace is the key word.

    Now. When it comes to art supplies or yarn, that is an entirely different situation. I am constantly tempted by these materials and really have to keep my zest for The New, The Untried, under control. Not at all easy!

    Rest assured that this reader will stick with you. I don't think I know anyone else who has made bagels at home. Remember I live in NYC!

    xo

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  19. Of course we'll stick with you, take that as a given. I watched that programme too except I wasn't mad enough to try my own bagels. Looked like too much hard work to me! They have a lovely shine to them though and they are getting eaten... the proof of the pudding etc etc

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  20. I think a lot of us are in the same boat - far too much stuff and feeling overwhelmed. Every now and then I go through my stuff and sort it into piles - some I will never use so to give away, some to keep for possible future use, some to definitely keep. That helps a bit... and then if you do the same thing every six months or so, you feel a tad more in control! I also try every now and then to re-define and narrow down what I enjoy doing most, and keep only items relating to those thigns. The trouble with that is one day it's machine embroidery, felt making and watercolour painting; the next month it could be hand stitching, patchwork and sketching. Aaarghh! But I do think this is a very common thing and the best thing is to just go with the flow...

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  21. I know that comfort zone is hard to step out of sometimes isn't it?I'm sure when you are ready you'll take a great leap and come up with some great ideas.Stuff does get in the way. I sift through mine in small doses so it doesn't feel so painful getting rid and I do try to pass it on to places it will be of use.I love the TGBBO but I don't think I could do bagels. Thats something outside of my comfort zone.

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  22. Moving out of your comfort zone is highly over-rated. Stay put, embrace your stuff and wallow in the mess.

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  23. While it's great to have a clear out, you will probably use most of it at some stage. Just slow down and enjoy your family and pottering - sounds good to me.

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  24. Interesting thoughts...with a lot of resonance for me, especially having just returned from my favourite "holiday" place, to a house and town I'm not particularly fond of, and to tasks and jobs I'm not particularly looking forward to...I'll be sticking with you though, and not just because I want to know the answer!

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