Work space: new studio syndrome

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Dungeness series. Small mixed media on paper.

How perverse the creative mind can be. If we’re lucky, we may get to a stage we’ve worked for, strived and hoped for for some time (with me it’s my ‘new’ larger studio), but then frustratingly we can find it difficult to accept the new (improved) situation without a sometimes lengthy period of mixed emotions: imposter syndrome; guilt (‘I’m not making the most of the new whatever-it-is’); bewilderment (‘where do I go from here?’); ‘I’m supposed to produce great stuff now… what if I can’t?’. And did you notice that word ‘lucky‘ near the start of this paragraph? Of course, there’s an element of luck in everything, but still… giving ourselves some credit is never easy.

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Dungeness series. Small mixed media on paper.

I’ve been working in my large new 1930s airbase studio for a few days a week, for the past month and, when not actively engaged in painting (a few examples here in this post), I find myself floundering a bit – the space, the extra storage (where do I put stuff… and then find it again?), the light’s different (it’s often very good, great natural light, but it’s late in the year and I don’t have my daylight tubes in yet, so when daylight fades the lighting is a bit ‘yellow’). I feel like one of those rescue hens which, when first put out into lovely open space, huddle close to their hut for safety, as I seem to have gathered my easel and paints etc around me in the middle of the room, a bit like a wagon train under siege. I’m not looking for sympathy. I know many artists would give their right arm for a space like this. But it’s still disconcerting.

I’ve read that artists can often take quite some time to get used to a new space, and that it can inevitably affect their work. So I was anticipating this stage somewhat before I moved in. And I’m fairly sure a big part of it is my usual S.A.D. syndrome kicking in with the shorter days and the current murky wet and windy weather.

The answer, I know, is to go to the studio as often as possible and get working, and keep working until it becomes second nature – here, working, in this strange new studio, with its different light, different sounds, different surroundings.

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Dungeness series. Small mixed media on paper.

sea fever

Tidal flats

Tidal flats, acrylic on board. Mari French 2014.

 … the sea has been in my blood it seems this week. An exhilarating visit to Brancaster and Titchwell beaches on the North Norfolk coast last weekend, where I also explored a creek new to me, resulted in several busy painting sessions back in my studio.

Tidal flats 2

Tidal flats 2, acrylic on board. Mari French 2014

The recent tidal surges and storms were evident in the scattered remains of some of the dunes across the tidal flats, but on the whole the stunning beaches were back to normal. The looming cloud formations betrayed the approaching change in the weather but added to the dramatic scenery.

Brancaster beach, Mari French 2014.

Brancaster beach, Mari French 2014.


Brancaster beach, Mari French 2014.

Brancaster beach, Mari French 2014.


Creek, Titchwell. Mari French 2014.

Creek, Titchwell. Mari French 2014.

 

 

space and surface …

Artist Mari French at the opening evening of Beyond the Surface

Artist Mari French at the opening evening of Beyond the Surface

Friday evening was the Opening Night of my solo exhibition Beyond the Surface, at Greyfriars Art Space in King’s Lynn. Over 30 people turned up over the two hours, from the collectors to the curious, and there was a good buzz about the place. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with so many enthusiastic, interesting people.

The photographer from the Lynn News came just before the event, so there should be something in this coming Friday’s edition. 

GAS gallery
Beyond the Surface at Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn 

 

Beyond the Surface exhibition

Over 30 people on the night


The ceramics are by Dameon Lynn, I love the textures and the way they complement my work. See more of Dameon’s work here.

The gallery is a great space to exhibit, bright and spacious, and can be hired by the week by artists and craftspeople wanting to hold a show. For details contact Greyfriars Art Space at http://www.greyfriarsartspace.co.uk

Ceramics by Dameon Lynn

Ceramics by Dameon Lynn


 

 

architectural paintings by Mari French

Architectural paintings by Mari French