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What My Studio Reveals

I was reading the O At Home (An Oprah Magazine) and caught an interesting article on the back page written by Theresa Rebeck, titled "What My Bedside Table Reveals."  I thought it might be fun to do a post titled "What My Studio Reveals."

Here's one corner of my studio. Below, not in the picture, is my "in basket" (filled with stuff that ought to be in something else) as well as my "stacks" ( things that also belong somewhere else and will get there when the stacks grow so high they fall to the floor and I am forced to deal with them...) Thank you, Photoshop, for the crop tool.  See how nice and tidy my studio looks?

So starting at the upper right, and cleverly color-coded to make it easy to identify the item I'm writing about, we begin with...


The Gratitude Jar  I have kept a gratitude jar for over two years.  Every day I write a small thank-you  and put it in the jar.  And in case you're wondering...yes, it works.

My Inner Critic (Gargoyle)  Mostly, he doesn't like anything I do.  I can tell by the expression on his face.

Tiles, Rocks, and Fetish  The tiles came from my painting trip to Italy. I picked them up from the ground, and imagined where they might have come from, some ancient villa, perhaps. It's more romantic to think I brought back a part of history, rather than someone's bathroom floor.

The rocks are for positive thinking, the little fetish I bought in Colorado.  I thought it represented a Mountain Lion - courage, leadership, intelligence (hah!) but after I purchased it the clerk told me it was actually Wylie Coyote, the Trickster...I think it looks like a bear with a fluffy long tail. 

My Pig  This is the pig I made when I was 10.  I was given a choice, along with my sisters, as to what we wanted most that summer: my sisters all chose horse back riding lessons.  I went for the art class. It's  the only relic I have from my childhood, and it's 50 years old.  The fact that I still have it  is amazing...or maybe not...

Acorns in a Jar  I collect odd things.  Acorns represent the promise of future security and abundance that the Universe provides.  I also pick up pennies ( Universe providing would be rude to reject the gesture)  The shells are just pretty and remind me of growing up near the ocean. 

My Books  You can tell a lot about the books someone wants within reach.  Here is my list:

  • Milton Resnick (This was given as a gift from an art teacher who knew Milton and his wife Pat. It is a memorial about Milton after he passed away in 2004 and not available to the public)
  • The Search for the Real (H. Hoffman)
  • Hawthorn on Painting (Hawthorne)
  • The Essential Haiku (Hass...Busson is my favorite)
  • Ten Poems to Change Your Life (R. Housden)
  • Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting (R. Schmid)
  • Composition of Outdoor Painting (E. Payne)
  • The Art Spirit (R. Henri)
  • Taking the Leap (Lang)
  • various show catalogs - my work is in most of them and on the cover of one.
  • The Ultimate Picasso (Leal, Piot & Bernadac)
  • DVD-In The Studio With Zhaoming Wu
  • Another memento from an art teacher, and I've saved it for last.  It is a grainy photocopy of a hand-written quote from jazz musician Eunice Waymon:

"All music is what awakes within us when we are reminded by the instruments.  It is not the violins or the clarinets - it is not the beating of the drums - nor the score of the baritone singing his sweet romanza; nor that of the men's chorus, nor that of the women's chorus - it is nearer and farther than they.
                                         -- Eunice Waymon --
                                              AGE 12

Eunice wrote those words, possessed the insight, at the tender age of twelve...when I was thinking how proud I was of my turquoise and rhinestone pig and my sisters were off riding into the western horizon on their horses. 

Keeps an Ancient Artist humble.

For More information about Eunice Waymon AKA Nina Simone, follow these links: