Studio, 1Today is the day to confess that I am a slob. It’s painful to say that. Maybe I can weasel out of calling myself a “slob,” maybe it is not the right word, maybe it is too strong…… messy sounds better. I’ve always said that I like “relaxed order.”  I do like for things to be in their place, and my studio is lined with drawers and vertical files so I can stow my art supplies in an orderly way.
I used to say about a friend, “She doesn’t need an orderly environment, her head is organized.” I can always find the materials I want. Occasionally I clean the studio, put away all the materials and enjoy looking at my clean white counter tops. But the minute I begin to work, the clean white counter tops disappear, and my drafting table work surface gets busy, chaotic and messy. For many years I felt a lot of guilt about letting the studio get so chaotic; but I have come to accept that the way I work at creating my art expressions has a messy fallout.
I studied with Bob Burridge last summer; he encourages his students to clean up at the end of the day so that the work spaces are peaceful and inviting when you begin to work the next morning.  I love this advice and I want to heed it……….but at the end of the day, I have no energy for clean up,  (just enough to clean the brushes so they will still be brushes the next day and not stiff sticks). The next morning the work area is inviting to me when I can just pick up and continue.   David Hockney has said, ” “Most artists work all the time. Especially the good ones. I mean, what else is there to do?” Well, we could clean our studios!
Studio, 2Noel Coward has said, “Work is more fun than fun.” Somehow when I begin to clean my studio, I get distracted and begin to work. Cleaning is not associated with fun in my mind, but painting-drawing-gluing-tearing-stitching- making things, is fun. I pull out lots of papers and other embellishments when I’m collaging. I need to look for just the right piece so keeping a variety of pieces in sight seems necessary. Chaos develops. I confess that sometimes I do go overboard and get my drafting table so cluttered that I have to stop
and clear the area so I can continue. I’m not exactly proud of my working ways, but they are mine, and I love to work and my work gets done.

Studio, 3I like this quote from  Henry Brooks Adams: “Chaos breeds life when order breeds habit.”  Hopefully life is indeed “breeding” in my studio.
On the “Collage”  and “Paintings” pages of this website, I’ve posted some new life that recently developed out of the chaos in my studio.

2 thoughts on “Chaos”

  1. Helen,
    I remember bemoaning this same chaos in my life as I looked at my desk in Carlsbad and then looked and Paula’s and Judi’s desks. Theirs were always clean and organized. Mine…well! Paula told me it was okay because some of us needed to be organized…she and Judi…and some of us needed to be creative, however that worked. Thanks Paula for giving me permission to not always clean my desk. Thanks Helen for being the beautiful, creative child of God you are.


    1. Becky: What a delightful surprise to hear from you! And to know you are one of us! Where are you? Love to you, H.

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