I’m a tidy person, although not to the degree of obsession. Everything in the house has a place and I can lay my hands on even the stuff I don’t use that often, easily, if need be. I have a tidy and methodical mind that means when I do something it’s done in the best way I have been taught to do it.
When I work on a painting I have been taught to look at the whole picture, to work on the whole thing at the same time. So I don’t do the top right hand corner to perfection, and then work across the painting in the same way, I will instead do the loose underpainting, then build up the layers and get more and more detailed as the painting goes on until it is completed. So that means picking up brushes as and when I need them, or palette knives, having different paints out on my work bench as I work on the challenges of the work in progress.
When a painting is complete it will sit in my studio until its dry, and I will keep looking at it to make sure I am one hundred percent happy with it. Then when its ready it will go off to the client, or to where ever it is being exhibited. Of course no artist has a totally tidy studio, its the nature of the job that there will be open boxes showing paint tubes, or brushes in pots or work boxes, palette knives on the work bench, ideas for the next painting, unpainted canvases, or sketch pads for ideas, notes on noticeboards and spare pieces of board and paper to hand.
And there will also be on the admin side paperwork relating to the promotional, sales, or information side of being an artist. Some artists keep on top of that side easily, some less so! I like doing the admin side with my methodical mind so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, its part of what I have to do.
But, having done some spring cleaning last week I found that although we all think we are totally tidy and on top of the artwork, and paperwork, having a good tidy up, and throwing things out is actually a good way of decluttering the mind as well as the house. I realised last week that a particular box holding cardboard tubes for sending prints out in, was something that I had walked past every day on numerous occasions was in a place that had been useful from the day I bought it, and put it there. But I also realised that because it was infront of a small chest of draws meant I wasn’t using the storage space to the best of its abilities, and since throwing the box out (yayhey!) but keeping the tubes in a better place I have found I have far more space and feel so much better for not being engulfed in stuff that I no longer need!
And that means it declutters the mind as well as the physical space. Because it makes you look at what you do have and think how you could better improve on doing something with it……! And that usually gets around to the artwork as well!