10 November 2011

Absolute bliss. An empty schedule and a bottle of solvents.

* WARNING: SELF INDULGENT AND SENTIMENTAL BLOG POST *

The most meditative thing I know how to do is spend an afternoon tidying my studio and cleaning my tools. This rare biannual occurrence feels like a free shopping spree as I refamiliarise myself with things I forgot I had. I found spray caps, pieces of wood and drawing materials that I had no idea I owned! I sorted waste into the recycling and put receipts in date order. It is a time of reflection as I wipe away smears of grease and pigment, left on rubberised handles by art projects. In my mind I am revisiting moments from recent events, triggering memories and galvanising my understanding of technique. Simultaneously committing to memory the results of past experiments and preparing my tools for future projects.

Now that I am one of four artists in residence down at Plymouth University my studio practice is split into two spaces with an 80 mile gap in between. I get incredibly frustrated if I can't lay my hand on a tool when I need it so risking travelling down to South Devon for a few days and leaving my trusty staple gun in Taunton is not an option. I'm going to be writing check lists that would make a military officer feel ill-prepared.

The most satisfying moment of today was when I was sorting through a box of charcoal sticks and chalk that had got mixed up. In the mix were a few rubbers, completely blackened. So I took a piece of plywood and rubbed them clean. I thoroughly rcommend it.