Saturday, 16 January 2010

Studio Musings

Finally I managed to escape to my friend’s studio to paint! The visit was delayed by the snow last week. As you can see from the photo, my current arrangement of painting in my dining room is more necessity than convenience.

D and I met last year on a business trip to France to see if we wanted to teach painting holidays in the South of the country. We stayed in touch and every couple of weeks paint together. Despite the fact that D paints oil paintings with palette knife, and I paint detailed watercolours it is still very useful to paint with another artist. D gives me constructive criticism, a salad for lunch and the generous use of a corner of the studio. I am not entirely sure what I contribute, but he is good enough to put up with me on a regular basis. D is far more successful than me and has a stunning studio, complete with under floor heating and fabulous light. Whereas I have a drafty upstairs office and painting has to be done downstairs on the table. The facilities in the afore-mentioned dining room include bad light, biscuit crumbs on the table and not enough room, which frequently leads to spilled water jars, frantic scrubbing of carpet and worries about what the landlord will say.

Of course the best thing about painting with D is the fact that no one knows I am there. My mother doesn’t phone up to chat about the dog, the teen can’t ring from school and ask me to bring her lunch/books/brain or other item she has forgotten to school, nor do random people knock on the door and ask for donations to dubious causes. As the studio is out into the countryside my mobile phone doesn’t even work over there. Fantastic, I get so much painting done. And of course it is company, as an artist’s life can be lonely, and the pleasure of a day with D (a man who if you cut him would bleed charm) is only slightly marred by his occasional desire to listen to the cricket whilst we paint. Luckily the weather saved me this time and rain stopped play, but not painting. And the Southwold lighthouse is just about finished (photo shortly.)

Off to bed and so to dream: optimistically about the studio I will have one day, hopefully soon. It may not be as spacious as D’s and sadly under floor heating will probably not be an option. But it will at least be better than the dining room.

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