Artworx Gallery | Contemporary Art & Gifts | Goolwa SA

Artworx Gallery - currently celebrating its 10th anniversary - is a regular award winner and the finest contemporary art gallery on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula.

THE STUDIO

The Studio

Artists can worry unduly about having a studio, and while it is a lovely thing to have, a palatial studio does not always equate to grand work.

I have only recently acquired a studio - a granny flat that has been occupied by quite a list of family inhabitants but now dedicated to paintings and storage of such.  Storage really is the big thing!

Before this it was done on the front or back porch, the shed or dining room.

My best award-winning painting was produced on the front porch on a hot windy day.  I'd already had a painting marred by it blowing off the easel and was aware of the conditions while I painted the next one. I was engrossed in the process when my neighbour decided to take a look and I didn't see him coming until his head appeared from behind the canvas.  His quiet "hello" had me jumping out of my skin - I'm sure it nearly killed me!

It made me think though, that the small distance between artist and canvas is holy ground.  This applies to working in a spacious studio or on the porch, this connection between the artist, the palette and the work is intense and private - it becomes a kind of sanctuary.

The very mention of the word studio though, somehow conveys the idea of a public place of worship. Some just want to drop in, hang around, chat and be a co-inhabitant for an afternoon or two. 

The artist's workspace, wherever it happens to be, is best utilised when there are no distractions. The process involves the whole person - body, mind and spirit. A disruption to any part of this will be a loss to the artist and the work.

Background noise that is unavoidable can be blocked out, but another person demanding friendly attention will spoil the circle of creativity.

Many of us have to set up our equipment every time we want to paint. I know how arduous this can be, but at the same time, the setting up is preparing our minds for that which is to come and painting time is even more precious. 

Of course, there is a lot to be said for a space that we can just walk into and start painting. But in the end it's the magic that takes place mentally and physically in and around your easel that counts.

While we might dream enviously about some of the pristine large studios we see, it's worth considering that some of the best works have been produced in less than ideal surroundings.

Mike Barr

Caption: Ten years ago I painted in the shed at the back of the garden for a while. There was barely enough room for storage but the little space between easel, artist and palette was all that counted.

Caption: Ten years ago I painted in the shed at the back of the garden for a while. There was barely enough room for storage but the little space between easel, artist and palette was all that counted.

CONTACT US

Liz and John Francis

12 Hays Street
Goolwa, South Australia

Phone: (08) 8555 0949

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