Monday, January 18, 2016

Hitting The Wall

by Carol

A few years ago in this blog I shared with you all the first time I dared to call myself a "photographer," and dared to suggest that I actually needed a "studio" space., like a real artist. (  

I love the little nook you and I created then.  It is perfect to work in - providing a dedicated space, yet not closed away from the rest of the house. And I loved my first working arrangement. But here's the thing - I  have a hundred+  year old house without many walls to play with, and those I have are often oddly shaped.  I have a lot more art than I did when I wrote that post. In addition to my photographs, I am now playing with sketching and painting. I have some framed works from shows that I would like to keep framed.   And I need actual working space. So following up on one of my New Year goals, and inspired by visiting Terri's beautiful home in Arizona (where her photographs are on prominent display), I am trying to rearrange. 

The first project is that I must move my ancestors to free up some workspace. I hate to lose them looking down on me, but they are now gathered in a hallway, not too far away. They are with my recent family photos now - and I like to think they are all having a grand time visiting with each other again. Their move frees up the space above my desk,but that wall has sloping ceiling lines, making arrangements difficult. It needs a fresh coat of paint anyway - so let's leave that for now.

They are probably talking about me.

When I say I need a working space, what I mean is that I would like to temporarily hang images that I am working on in some kind of a fluid manner. Without framing them, I would like to see whether they stand up to being hung, or entered in something. I would like to look at a group all at once to see if I recognize series potential. Sometimes, I would just like to look at my most recent experiences and enjoy the memories as I sit down  to my desk. I think this helps with the evaluation/culling process.  I find, as I am sure you do, that I am always in love with my most recent experience, and hence the pictures of it. After looking at them for a while, I can begin to recognize which have lasting value. Then, I can intentionally decide whether each might be for a wall, a show, or a memory book. 

I am also in need of some fun space. I am VERY grateful to say that as I continue to add photography experiences to my life, I am also adding "photography friends." (I don't know why I added the quote marks there. I really don't need to categorize these people - I should just say FRIENDS - because that's what they are!) I have pictures of the wonderful teachers and artists that I have met at various workshops, pictures of adventures with my local photography friends, trinkets and cards people have sent me, souvenirs from our FOL gatherings. As you can see, my tiny "friend corner" is fit to bursting - what a lovely problem to have in this life!

Wonderful friends!

And then the final and constant need in an old house without closets - storage, storage, storage! I now have added paints, and fixatives, and colored pencils and pastels to my frame collection, my printing paper, inks, card stock and mailers. Then there are gear and camera bags, tripods and filters, as we'll as hard drives and card loaders and batteries. And don't get me started on journals and photography and art books! (I could have really used that lottery win...)

Well, I'd like to show you finished projects, but I'm actually looking for suggestions. Hey community out there! Are you willing to show me your workspaces? Will you suggest storage or wall space solutions that have worked for you? I'm living in Pinterest right now - but I would love to hear what you do. I'll keep you posted.

And speaking of posting - the selfless selfie theme this month is really fun! Take a look in the gallery and solve each picture puzzle to learn about your compadres here at FOL. I'm loving this game! And keep posting! There is lots of month left! 


kelly said...

i'm right there with you carol! living in an old house with very little storage...lots of 'artsy' things to store. looking forward to seeing how others work as well!

Dotti said...

Oh, darn! I thought we were going to see the new art walls! My daughter lived in a 100-year old bungalow until about 2 years ago, so I totally understand your challenge. Once I print a photo and frame it or put it on canvas or even my tack board, I don't want to take it off display. The ones that go up are the ones that mean the most to me. I told my husband a couple of weeks ago that I needed some new frames and he suggested changing out pictures in frames on display. I looked at him like he was crazy! Now I do change out art on the walls that is not my own and that's how I've been hanging my art on the wall instead of purchased posters, prints, etc. Since I live in a home that is only about 30 years old, I do not have a lack of closet space like you and Kelly and I use much of one closet into storage for props, etc. We turned one bedroom into a studio/office so I use a big file drawer and a small file drawer just for photo equipment. One thing I did that might help you is that I hung 3 wide display shelves from Pottery Barn above my computer desk and my lenses and cameras go up there along with photos and some photography books. These shelves are staggered which might be a way to address your odd-shaped walls. I also have two bookcases. Although I feel like I need more space, I don't really, I just need to keep my stuff organized and that was the project I worked on in those days right after Christmas, so I feel pretty good about stuff now. Except I am looking to hang more of my art and have already begun to think about what is on the chopping block. Good luck! I wish I could come and help you brainstorm. It's part of what I had to do when I was working and I loved it. It would be fun to try to puzzle it out together!

terriporter said...

I think finding a way to live with your art is so important. Like Dotti, I have started changing out art that is not my own in favor of hanging my own photos, whether they be framed or on canvas. Also like Dotti, my house is 30 years old and really has ample storage, IF I would just take the time to throw stuff out! When you live in the same place for 30 years, you tend to just keep stuffing stuff in closets instead of throwing out the stuff you don't need/love any more. It is definitely on my to do list, as we are going to begin the second phase of our renovation which will include bedrooms and my craft space. I think I have scrapbook supplies from the 90s! But I am going to have to go through it all and throw or give a lot away so that I can have the room repainted. When we did our kitchen a year ago, I found spices from the 90s that should have been thrown out years earlier. It felt so good to start with a clean slate again! I like Dotti's idea of Pottery Barn shelves. Yes, we should go to each others' houses and help each other figure it out. But we'd be having so much fun we probably wouldn't get anything done!

Cathy H. said...

Carol, I can be of no help! We've lived in our house for 40 years. The closet space is not bad, but it contains 40 years of things I have trouble getting rid of. I'm working on that, really I am. The closet in our spare bedroom has been emptied, sorted through and is in much better shape for family who visits. I did turn a room into my craft room, but it holds sewing and scrapbooking supplies. It's in the back of the house, where I don't like to be when Jerry is home, so, my space for my laptop is on my lap as I sit on the couch. My camera and lens are stored in a cabinet nearby. My photography books are in the craft room. This arrangement is not at all convenient!! Maybe all of you could inspire me to come up with a way to improve it. I love the idea of the page protector with pictures hanging from the pretty stand. I need to find room for one of those!

Carol said...

Cathy - that hanger was from Michaels - on sale.... maybe $6.00??

Carol Z said...

I live an old apartment with not so many walls. I've started to move pictures and photos around, too, and given some away. I've freed up a bit of wall space and I'm enjoying the look for now. I know that soon something will come to fill it.

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life