Vital Art Supplies
I’m truly fortunate to have a dedicated studio space in my home. But even with all the supplies set out waiting to go, it takes me awhile to actually get to painting.
I refer to this as “twenty minutes of rattling around.” The production of art does not just come from the availability of the tools. The correct creative mindset must be achieved, and for me that involves setting the correct studio atmosphere.
Once I decide to paint there are a myriad of little actions needed to set the correct tone.
I change into painting clothes. I have specific pants and shirts I wear that are perfectly comfortable, ragged and paint spattered already. I tend to wipe my brush on my left sleeve when I’m in a painting frenzy, so all my painting shirts are asymmetrical, with strange multicolored passages on only one side.
I make a glass of iced tea and take it to the art table. I clear off any books or papers that have accumulated. I have to clean the cat’s litter box.
I have to pick out the appropriate music-this can be very time consuming. I might need to go rummage around in my collection for minutes just to identify the correct CD for the mood.
I might have to switch the painting on the easel out for a different one, if I need a shift of gears. Or I might flip the painting upside down, or sideways, and steal glances at it while I wander around. Trying to see what I need to do.
I make sure my notebook and pencil are handy. I’ve started taking notes about the brushes and colors I’ve used in various areas. I used to lose this information while working in a creative daze. Now I’m attempting to be more deliberate in my process.
Finally I fill the plastic tub for rinsing brushes and push play on the stereo. I’m ready to go.
If I had to set up all my art supplies before enacting this ritual, I’d never have time to actually paint at all.