Messy Studio and Imaginary Flowers


New page for the artists book “The Orphan Train”

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My studio is a big mess while I work on this project artist book, The Orphan Trains.  I’m going to share what a big mess I make when creating – I think because it really does bother me that I can’t maintain some kind of order when I’m creating!  I wonder if I had a separate studio that wasn’t an extra bedroom down the hall from my bedroom, would I be less constricted about mess making.  I think I probably would!

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My work table under seige.  The heavy iron/steel thing sitting on the red plaid paper is something I found at an estate sale – it weighs about ten pounds and makes a perfect paper weight to smooth paper or hold until glue sets!  I’ve no idea what it was originally intended for, but I use it all the time for weighting down glued pages.

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A close up of the paper I’ve been aging for this project.  I’ve squirted lemon juice on regular text weight copier paper and baked it in the oven til it reaches the desired aged-ness.

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The Dorothy Parker book has nothing to do with this project!

Now for something more fun than messy work tables!  Make believe flowers!

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I am ready for spring! Dreaming of planting my summer pots and creating my garden, I started to doodle some imaginary flowers that are unlikely to be found in any botanists catalog, or garden wish book.  Once I finish the  artist book project – I’ll begin to seriously do some gardening!

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A strange little kitty – not saying ‘hello’ either – maybe a naughty kitty.  I had to redo her eyes with a piece of paper pasted over the old ones.  They just looked too naughty! ( journal pages)


14 responses »

  1. I agree with Xraypics, normal. One cannot be in the ‘zone’ and be tidy as the same time; our creativity would suffer. I often end up with my work on the very edge of my desk/table as the rest is covered in bits and pieces, especially when one works with mixed media. I love your plants. Hope you post the book when it is finished. Rosemary

  2. aloha Olivia – i learned a long time ago that i work better when my studio is in a mess. it doesnt matter how big or small the pace is, i’ll fill it up with stuff that inspires, excites, intrigues, lures and prods and makes connections for me.

    that said. there is a point where i clear a deck or two—altho i will also work on top of stuff if it does not interfere with what i’m doing. . . .

    way fun on your mess—were it mine, i’d have a ways to go yet.

    one question: does the heat with the lemon juiced aging process stop the acidity when you are finished (or is there another way you do this) or will the acidity continue the aging when the book is finished? it’s a great look. as are all of your works.

    i like the look of the “redone” eyes too. it adds a mask like effect and a richness of the working image (imo). fun. aloha.

  3. You are just an amazing artiste !!!! hope this posts, have tried before ?? anyway, I sooooo enjoy your blog and your art. I tooo have a workroom/studio across the hall (next door reallly) from my main bedroom and love it very much : ) your studio loooks amazingly “organized” compared to mine when I’m feverishly working on a project, haha : ) I’m in the southwest part of the US and also beginning to dream about my summer garden – in fact, today is a “new moon” a good time to start seedlings inside, that was an “aha” moment, hahaha : ) sorry, I tend to runnnn offfff when Im excited – just wanted to let you know how much I LOVE YOUR ART !!!!!
    Blessings, Sandra in AZ, USA : )

  4. Hey Rosemary, thank you for leaving such a nice comment! I will post the book when its finished!

  5. Aloha Rick, I know many artists work better with a little mess around them – I seem to need order to create without distraction – I admit I’m weird that way!

    As for the lemon juice question. Yes it is acidic and, yes it can remain acidic after the lemon juice has dried. I usually use a coat of matte medium over the “aged” paper. Once the paper is sealed with the matte medium it no longer continues to age. I have also used a thin coat of melted wax, but I don’t know if this is archival or not. I don’t advise using this aging technique on paper that will not be sealed with the acrylic matte medium as it could continue to deteriorate or cause damage to other nearby paper items.

  6. Thank you, Sandra. I really appreciate your comments! I hope you will visit me again and see what I’m doing!

  7. Thanks, Tony. That seems to be the general consensus! I am a bit different in that I find the clutter of creating distracting, and I have to re-group before I can continue to create. Who knew others felt differently about this! (haha)

  8. Well, I have to agree with everyone else; your desk is an acceptable creative mess. Looks pretty much like mine anyway. And I love Kitty in the Hood with her little stripy tights and turned in toes.

  9. ah. that makes perfect sense, sealing the paper. cool. thank you.

    bwahahahaha—we all have our weirds. a little order to the mess. yeah, i think that makes sense too. now that you nudge me into thinking about it. . . . one of the definitions i like around art is the ordering of chaos. . . . .isnt it? or something like that?

    yeah, i have to admit now that you point it out there are things in my studio that are organized and (relatively) neat—like the placement of my paints and how they are set up.

    mahalo (thank you) for the response and insight into your process—aloha.

  10. I love looking at people’s work-spaces. Yours doesn’t look too messy to me, it looks artistic and creative! If you had more room, it would just mean more space to be creative (and messy) in. 😉 Messiness is wonderful, it’s a sign you’re in the creative zone and not worrying about other things.

    Cute kitty, and I love the imaginary flowers, wouldn’t it be great if a botanist could reproduce them?

  11. Thanks, Judee. I love looking at people’s work spaces too. I’ve often wished someone would start a blog just about artist’s work spaces – with photos of course!

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