I’ve always loved being in art studios. That may seem an obvious statement to make as I myself am an artist but I feel they are spaces that are often taken for granted. When I first went to Gray’s School of Art I was unsure what I wanted to specialise in, and initially thought I would choose to be in Textiles. I can vividly remember walking around the art school trying to figure out where I belonged, I wandered into the painting studios and instantly thought ‘yup, this is the place for me’. There was so much going on, so much to see, the mess and smell of paint and turpentine was so exciting.
The whole way through art school you are surrounded by like minded people in the same situation and working towards the same goals. If you rent a studio space from an arts organisation you are surrounded by other creative minds, usually from very different backgrounds with very different focuses, but that makes it all the more interesting. Studios have a definite atmosphere and intrigue. They are places for making, procrastinating in, drinking coffee and for thinking. Somewhere to start and finish work, finally make an idea into reality or to get frustrated and start ideas from fresh. Studios have an energy about them.
I am currently working in a space alone. I am so thankful to have a space to work and form art but I have been finding it a real struggle not having other creative minds working alongside me. I enjoy conversation, there is great benefit in being able to ask a neighbour for their advice whilst you are working on a piece. Subconsciously your peers do effect your work and it’s useful being able to bounce ideas and work off each other. Not having that buzz of other artists surrounding me has been very hard.
I’m also thankful for technology, as many times now I have taken a photo of a piece I am working on and sent it to a friend asking their opinion on a colour, composition or layout. It’s not as informative and helpful as having someone working alongside you but it does allow a bit of an outside perspective – very useful when you’ve been staring at the same piece for hours!
Being removed is also a problem that comes from living in such a remote area, the majority of my art friends and VAU family all live and work from Glasgow so I do feel slightly out of the loop working up North here on my own. They are all very supportive though and always willing to lend a hand. Especially when it comes to ordering materials from the internet. I am still amazed with the amount of companies that refuse to send items to Shetland on the false impression that it will cost them more. So I am very grateful for the friends I can call upon to send items to them, before they send the item up here to Shetland. What a palaver!
I’m having a wee moan about all these issues because I am currently at that critical point in the making process where work is spread out all over the studio and decisions needs to be made about nearly every piece. Many pieces are very close to being finished, just not quite there. So if anyone is walking by the studio feel free to pop in for a cup of coffee and a chat about art!
We have unfortunately had next to no summer this year in Shetland (boo) but thankfully we did get a couple of really beautiful days which lured me out of the studio to enjoy…and get a wee bit sun burnt. It’s not bad at all having these views right outside the studio…especially when you have creative block!
Despite my moans work is coming along very well and I am getting really excited about my upcoming solo show. It’s nearly time to start photographing the finished work and deciding on final names for pieces. I’m getting more and more eager to see the work on Newave Galleries beautiful light, clean gallery walls. The opening will be on 11th September…so put the date in your diaries and come along for a browse!