Artists and the Art of Painting II

my painting studio

my painting studio seen from a particularly tidy angle

I love watching other artists work. I also love listening to other artists talk about their studio practice and methods of work. For this reason I am quite envious of Joe Fig, who had the brilliant idea to go around and visit other artists in their studios and interview them about such matters as a typical studio day, their favourite paints, and how they liked to set up their working painting table.

He published the interviews in Inside The Painter’s Studio which for me was an un-put-downable book over the holidays. Quite apart from the absorbing accounts of daily studio practice, Fig made miniature replicas of the studios he visited. I am an enthusiastic miniaturist and model maker, and was transfixed by the photographs of the miniature worlds he created.

I devoured details such as what time people got up and got to the studio, as if by osmotic thought transference I too would be able to establish a regular studio routine. I examined with interest the various studio layouts, and wistfully gazed at the barn-like structures with their wonderful light. I absorbed the words of wisdom and advice on nearly every page, and finished the book thinking I now knew exactly what to do in order to reach the pinnacles of success.

Of course, I had heard it many times before, but I don’t think you can hear it too many times. Hard work. Really hard work. Establishing routine and developing commitment and readiness to make work whether you feel like it or not and whether you are inspired or not. No excuses. Life is short enough as it is.

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