My studio is currently unusable because I have trashed it, but in a positive way - all the shelves have been emptied, contents now residing on the floor and I am awaiting the construction of my storage units. I have contacted "Kingy" the chippy, who has been working on our house and asked him to come out and give me advice and a rough idea of how much it will cost me to improve them.
The units are currently a series of open shelving that used to reside in the sixth form college I worked in for ten years. (They were going to dump then when the new purpose built studios were built, so I requisitioned them, to the detriment of my car's suspension!) Each shelf is large enought to take an A1 portfolio. Being in the department, which was dry they had no need of a backs or cupboard fronts, which is what I now need to protect the contents from the damp and dirt in my old converted farmbuilding studio. I am still getting grain falling from the ceiling rafter gaps as well as the usual cobwebs and insects and it is very damp during winter months. I am also planning to have the height reduced to allow for putting the sections on casters. The units, if in roughly 1m widths and on casters will provide me with flexible work space that can then be trundled up a ramp onto a van if I ever move to another space. That's the plan anyway; I have most of the timber we'll need so I just hope it won't cost me too much!
Meanwhile, I have been catching up with some Ryedale ArtWorks business, welcoming potential new members and planning future events with the upcoming funding from Ryedale District Council in mind.
I have also begun a new blog on the Artists Talking section of the much improved an website: http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/projects/single/3638361
I confess to not fully engaging with the an site up to now, despite being a paid up member, it was not that easy to use and I always ended by giving up when trying to access information. (I am very impatient with web sites!) However, it has been much improved and I am feeling more confident that I can access what I need, which is a good thing because the site is indispensible for any aspiring, serious artist.
In my first post I have provided a brief context for my situation as an artist starting out on a serious programme of art making and exhibiting so very late in the day. From there on, I shall document my progress as I develop new work and try to find new exhibiting opportunities. I figured that having my blog within an artists community, I am more likely to encounter like minded creatives and develop my network of contacts. The opportunities pages are also something I really need to keep a closer eye on from now on.
This renewed sense of purpose has in part come from being selected for the prestigious SKETCH 13 exhibition. http://www.rableydrawingcentre.com/sketch-2013.html It seems to me that it is the first tentative step on the next rung up to being considered a serious artist. I know that I will still suffer the enormous frustrations and periods of self doubt that seems par for the course for artists, but by documenting my experiences, and progress, I at least will be able to reflect back and learn from the whole bloody process!
Note: the new an publication Signpost is a really very useful source of information, I have read it from front to back and recommend it heartily, especially to newly graduated artists.
The flip version: http://www.a-n.co.uk/an_docs/signpost_2013.flip/
Or the pdf version: http://www.a-n.co.uk/publications/document/3577078f
I am using the time out of the studio to read, read, read: other artists' blogs, interesting articles about painting, anything that is relevant to my current situation that might be useful.
I am very much hoping to get back into the studio and begin new work within the next couple of weeks. Watch this space.