An artist's studio, whether it is where she writes or plays music, dances or paints, is where she dreams. It is sacred space when it is free of the encumbrances of the world. A place where such foolishness can be called into question, laughed at, struggled with and which, in spite of the fact that paying the bills, and having a business plan are very real issues, cannot control the artists heart.
I have been privileged to have a studio where I could create art for more than half my life. For the last 16 years, three different locations in Madisonville, Walnut Hills and Kennedy Heights were places where others could come and creatively explore and express themselves. They made masks, painted from a favorite picture, gave abstract concepts a try, photography, and made movies. Some commissioned a piece or painting, others just looked around. Sometimes they squealed with delight. Other times they cried because their own process or something they saw touched them so deeply.
Children as young as five on up to 82 years of age graced my studio space with their presence and gave my life meaning beyond a just pretty picture and a paycheck. Dozens no, probably hundreds came to make and see art and while it was exciting and inspiring it was also quite humbling.
As for me, by myself, I had space to explore and experiment which has always been my point of joy in everything I've ever done. I crossed over from the representational to abstract to finding three new ways to throw paper. I've planned mural projects, and prepped hundreds of classes for at-risk youth and imprisoned adults. It has been an honor to do these things, even when it was really hard.
In my book everyone is an artist and everyone has a studio, a sacred place where they can be at one with their Self. At various times circumstances change and we're not always sure whether we should hang on or let go of the places that have been home to the heart.
When I started closing the studio I was concerned that I might not be finished. But as the purging went on it seemed there was more stuff rather than less and I became determined to get the job done. In the end, I felt almost heartless, a gift from the Universe perhaps, so I could pull the door closed tonight and let go.
I lived in my studio, literally and figuratively, many times and I am happy that I finally, once again have a place in my home into which I can just roll out of bed and start painting with a hot cup of coffee and good music. I prepped my new show here. It is flexible and working well. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time making new work.
Because the new space is much smaller than the old studio, I left a lot behind, but the memories are easily accessible and I will keep them in my heart. If you ever came to my studio and shared a moment, consider yourself among them.
Ps...if you want to see my new or existing work, check-out my website which was just updated with a "just ask" form to learn more about the things that interest you. I'd love to hear from you, http://www.cpicmichel.com.