Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Artists Studio Is Under Refurbishment. No Admittance. Sorry.

This hideously decayed, run down, leaky roofed, holes in the floor, former holiday mobile home is my 'studio'. I call it my 'studio' because it is the place where I paint my masterpieces, and also because I am a pretentious old fool who suffers from delusions of grandeur.

It is a good idea to have a 'studio' if you are a painter, so that when people ask you if you have your own 'studio', you are able to say with complete honesty as you hand them a gold edged card, with the words 'The John Bain Studio' embossed upon it, "oh yes, absolutely".
Of course if as an artist you have a propensity towards pretension, the fact of having your own 'studio' is an absolute must. Even if it looks like this one of mine.
What you must not do under any circumstances, especially the circumstance that your 'studio' looks like this one, is allow anyone, other than your closest friends, to visit your 'studio'. The artist whilst knowing the value of a 'studio' should also be well aware that people can smell bullshit from a long distance. He, or she, must therefore have a ready list of excuses as to why the 'studio' is not available for visits.
My favourite all time excuse is the good old, "it's being redecorated at the moment". This excuse is also good when used in conjunction with the highly pretentious word, 'refurbishment'. It is important to use the word 'redecorated'. This plants in the mind of the potential visitor, the seed that the 'studio' must once have been decorated. This too adds to the sense that you do indeed have a very nice studio. Therefore you must be a proper artist, which is why you charge such high prices.
Another acceptable excuse, particularly useful in the colder months is, "the heating has broken down". I do not let the fact that there is no heating to breakdown, deflect me from using it as an excuse. After all I might one day have heating installed, which might break down.
It is though, a bit of a pain that I have to lug all my equipment with me, in the event that I am required to paint a portrait from life. So I have decided that I will build another, nicer, more salubrious 'studio'. One which I will be able to be properly pretentious about. One that I can invite visitors to. One that does not require the use of quotation marks whenever I mention the word.
There are problems involved however. In order that the new studio can be built, the old 'studio' must be demolished. In order that the demolition can take place it must first be emptied of stuff. In order that the cleared stuff has somewhere to be stored, the old shed, which is also full of 'stuff' will have to be cleared.
Problem number one, or is it number four, I have lost count, would appear to be, where can I put all the stuff from the old shed? Happily the answer to this is close at hand, because right next to the old shed is a stable. The stable is a bit decrepit, but with some attention, it should be good enough to store the stuff from the old shed. I can't put my stuff from the 'studio' straight into the stable because it is not dry enough for my paintings and sundry art materials. The stuff from the stable will have to be stored outside under a tarpaulin in the meantime. Right! Good! O.K! Sorted! With a bit of luck, and a fair wind, I reckon I should be able to begin demolition work in a couple of years time.
My 'studio' has been described as, "untidy". It has been described as "interesting". Friends have taken a look inside and described me as "a typical artist". At least I think that's what they said, but people do tend to mumble a bit when they see it. I am sure they are being kind.
I tend to think of my 'studio' as, "a bloody awful mess, which I shall tidy up tomorrow".
Which leads me to the main problem I have encountered. I just don't know where to start!
Perhaps I'll leave things as they are for now. Maybe a lick of paint might improve things.
If anyone wants to visit, that's no problem. I'm sure I'll be able to come up with an excuse as to why they can't.


  1. And whose back is going to be involved in all this lifting? The man with the dizzy head? I think you will have a good time making your studio into something nicer and it will probably be a better place for you creatively. Just please use a little common sense. The place to start is to get a tarp for the things from the barn.

  2. Isn't an artist's studio supposed to be messy? I hope the time it takes to set up a new one won't take longer than two years. I would like to see the finished product but I do have limited life span. Have a good day.

  3. By the sounds of it, when we get the after pictures.......we won't notice! So why bother?
    Jane x
    PS Feel free to use this as an excuse!

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  5. Easy solution to your delimma... build it along side then just move your supplies and other assorted junk ONCE. There!

  6. I believe that the degree of ones talent can be measured by the amount of mess and clutter in ones "studio" That's my theory anyway.