Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quelle Wreck!

I thought I'd invite you back into my studio today and first show you something sublime -

Beautiful pastry boxes.

Now fasten your seatbelts!

You're definitely in for a bumpy ride!

So this is my still life setup area by the one window in my 11' x 11' studio. I think I have South light - not sure. Afternoon light whatever that is?

I have a horseshoe setup of "door" tables resting on filing cabinets FULL OF TOO MANY PAPERS! My computer is facing the window area.The door is to my right so I'm not sure how un-feng shui I am..Hmmm
I usually put whatever I'm painting up on the desktop and paint directly from it. Especially since the subject matter may be long gone.

A pull back showing my wonderful Canon scanner that changed my life dramatically.THANK YOU Canon.
I used to wait for daylight to shoot my watercolors and then they would still come out pink or crooked.

To the right of my computer - my watercolors and maybe my still life subjects...
My cousin Bill asked me where was I putting all the new miniatures I'm painting of late? They don't take up alot of space Bill :)

Next my watercolor paintbox and enamel palette.

My SURGICAL TOOLS - my paint brushes...Scalpel please.

Oooops the rest of the table to my left.
So why am I showing you all this havoc?
Because I hope these will become my "BEFORE" pictures. 

I am taking's "Get Organized" class to change things around here.
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Drowning in clutter?
Losing time to poor habits?
Don't know where to begin to start files and databases?
Chaos has always reigned supreme in my studio. Only in Paris, minus all my junk, have I ever had an airy, open clear place to work and I liked it!? So I've got until February 9th to make some serious changes around here,
YES. Well I'm gonna try anyway.

It would be so nice if every box I receive did not become a table for papers etc.Plus my new way faster tower is sitting inside this box (do I have to say it's been sitting there for 2 weeks..?)

I still have a ways to go to top Francis Bacon in messiness...This is now a shrine to him as well as a book, so maybe I should leave things as they are?
But here's a good book to get you going in the other direction -
And here is Jana Bouc's very beautifully organized studio!

I'll leave you with some more lovely boxes after that bumpy ride through my studio. Are you doing the "January thing" of uncluttering and reorganizing your life too?


  1. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Dear Carol,

    Hats off to you for organizing (or at least planning to organize) your studio.

    If having an airy, open space worked for you in Paris, by all means go for it here.

    One thing, though. You absolutely have to find out which direction your window faces. It could be south or west given the afternoon light. It is part of your basic orientation. Without it, g-d forbid, you could fall down the rabbit hole and find yourself in Kansas!


  2. Anonymous8:59 AM

    That was a deliciously fascinating tour!

    Also, love how the miniatures had to go because they were taking up space!

    Thank you.

  3. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Oh honey, you need help, lots and lots of help. You know, there are a couple of T.V. programs that actually will come in to your space, design a new work area and then help you put it all back together. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy the ride, it's nice to see that someone elses space may just look like mine. (ezcept for the floor)

  4. Feb bday, and the day you're studio is ORGANIZED!
    After YEARS of quilt & not understanding my disorder, I found "ORGANIZING FOR THE CREATIVE PERSON," all about organizing for us RIGHT BRAINERS!
    Your course sounds good, also.

  5. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Really enjoyed seeing your studio space. Thanks for letting us peek! Did I spy a Winsor Newton big pan? Do you like those? I haven't tried them yet, but I'm tempted.

  6. Anonymous9:30 AM

    By the way; having been in your studio/home, and seen your window on the left, and knowing the layout of your building, and the block it's on, I think you're light is coming from the West, or S West.
    All you have to know is where the sun comes up in the am, then you can figure it out. 'Course, it's also lower in the sky in the winter.

  7. Anonymous9:35 AM

    very very interesting - this kind of coming out !
    I love the box tower - very simple for searching inside !
    I understand your special connection with Barbara!
    But you replace souvenirs-mess for technical tools-mess ...
    America !
    America !
    Bravo Carol !
    you just did it !

  8. I really enjoyed seeing your space ! My little cracker box sized studio gets pretty messy but I try to clean up at least weekly. For some reason when things are messy I get all muddle minded, can't think, get would be fun to visit other people's studios. Not like on a studio tour where the artist has cleaned up, but during real work hours.......

  9. Anonymous9:48 AM

    PS :
    I hope Canon 'll send to you a big gift !

  10. Anonymous9:57 AM

    My hat is off to you for being brave enough to show us your clutter. It is usually people's (mine too!) dirty little secret.

  11. Love this post - need to do the course, not brave enough to show my clutter ... yours is much more interesting than mine, and lovely to see the studio where so many lovely paintings are made

    ... and very interested to know more about your new Canon scanner, as mine is hopeless, but I'm only going to upgrade for real benefits

    Good luck!

  12. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Looks fabulous to me, Carol. Lots of creative juices bubbling up there! Thanks for the tour.

  13. JOANNA I have a very basic scanner - CanonScan Lide 70 - not fancy and under $100 from Staples.
    I tried others like HP, but they were too complicated for me.

    lvetopaint That's a big pan of BLOCX Naples Yellow. Jerry's Artorama has them online.

    Little Bert I didn't dare show the FLOOR!

  14. I drool over those shows on TV that show them coming in and organizing a studio so fabulously. I never seem to get the hang of it tho. I will be interested in how your's goes. Kudos for going for it. Gives me incentive to try doing the same.I also didnt realize how mini your minis were, until seeing them in that one photo in context with all your other things.. Goodness they ARE small. lol Very interesting post today.

  15. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Thanks you for sharing your life
    clutter is inevitable especially in limited space
    One suggestion - organize everything - put in boxes with labels
    Do you live there too??
    I love your blog.
    Have a good day
    It's grey today but you can create some lightness and brightness.

  16. Anonymous11:17 AM

    I love it!
    We must be soul sisters.
    I,too, suffer from piles.
    I try to be organized but I get swallowed up in the next project that calls me.
    If I managed to created watercolors as beautiful as you I would not mind the mess.
    I had a sign on my door that read
    "Creativity is not a pretty sight" and that summed up my work space. I think some of my family members took the sign in hopes that I would do something with my room.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you can get organized and stay organized
    (just don't loose your "touch")

  17. JUNE I would like to have your sign on my door.
    The sign on my door says:

  18. Anonymous11:58 AM

    What a brave soul you are. Going through paper piles is a ruthless process. I file finished and unfinished sketches not in journals in plastic sleeves in white 3 ring binders categorized by place, etc, anything that helps me locate a sketch. I don't have a separate studio space so I work as if I'm traveling, putting tools away daily. Not easy, constantly dealing with the neverending mail and papers we collect. Good luck in rehab!

  19. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Carol: Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see the AFTER photos. And how in the world can you look at that desktop background all day and still fit into your small space? That looks so yummy!

  20. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Dear Carol,
    If you're just getting afternoon light then your window faces west. All of us artists want a south facing window to get light all day.
    In my 55 years on this planet, I haven't had it yet.
    I just moved into a new place so things are a bit in disarray.
    I too have too much stuff so I may check out ArtBizCoach as well.

  21. loved the shot of your computer wallpaper, yum! I have a lot of stuff too, gotta get it sorted out and cleaned up soon, too!

  22. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Well, I did manage to bag up 7 pairs of shoes for the Thrift store.
    I think clutter and chaos goes along with being an artist, do you want to paint or do you want to be neat? In our house, my husband and I are both makers of art...double clutter!
    Nobody said it would be easy.

  23. Dear ArtBizCoach
    My desktop wallpaper changes every time I do a new painting.
    Plus I am strictly concerned with the abstract qualities of the Pink Cupcake ONLY!
    The thought of wolfing it down never enters my head...

  24. Wow, Carol! What fun work you create in your little space...!

    Thanks for the before pictures... it is comforting not being alone in my clutter piles... I look forward to your after photos.

    Decluttering for Chinese New Year is such a fun target... it's nice to share the ArtBizClass with you!

    (The thought of wolfing it down never even ENTERS your head?? Amazing.)

  25. Anonymous5:47 PM

    After I finished sputtering about Mr. Darcy's reference to ending up in Kansas (grr!) I realized perhaps that is why I am plagued with so many rabbits.
    All is forgiven for neglecting your Photoshop homework; I understand you have other pressing needs. Do you have any idea when we can no longer log in to do our lessons?
    And above all, where can I get a sign like yours for my office?

  26. Anonymous5:52 PM

    I'm afraid Darcy upset me so much I almost forgot to tell you that my all time favorite crafty mag is Cloth Paper Scissors and they are preparing a special studio edition (I have naturally pre-ordered it)
    Also was very please to find you in Somerset's Artful Blogging (availble through Joggles) Congratulations!!

  27. hi Carol~

    i stumbled across to here from Flickr~ and i'm glad i did! i LOVE your paintings! absolutely beautiful!~


  28. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Your before photos of your studio look so wonderfully artistic and eclectic! Creating art is supposed to messy, right? But, if the energy does not feel right, organize in the right ways.

    Thanks for inviting us in to peek.

  29. I just finished organizing mine and todays post was what happened after.
    My space is 10x10.....sometimes never big enough for all of the things I play with.

    I should have tried your class. I love your work!!!!

  30. I should come and visit you at your studio. It looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. your paint set looks great. Wish I had one and your talent!

  32. Anonymous1:08 AM

    Hi Carol,
    Your studio actually seems to have lovely bones--it looks weet and elegant (like your delicious paintings).

    I think the problem is that you have many special things but not enough storage space for them. If everything has a place where it can be stored then it's easy to put it away when it's not in use, but if not, it's really hard. So it's not your fault -- you're not overly cluttered, you're just storage-challenged.

    I love my Canon scanner too. It's part of a printer scanner, which I put off buying for way too long because I liked my old Canon printer so much. But my neighbor kids are now enjoying my old computer and printer, I gave my old scanner to Goodwill and the combined unit saves a lot of desk space.

    P.S. Thanks for the link to my studio organization project. It's working out very well, though at the moment it's not looking all that organized!

  33. The boxes are a visual delight - and I expect the contents were WONDERFUL.
    Creativity in itself is messy - so I tell myself.
    Greetings from sunny Marrakech.
    Your water colors are exquisite -I see a lovely, little cupcake lurking behind this comment box.........

  34. They say that confession is good for the soul...brave soul you are. Course all I see are all the wonderful playthings you have that make me drool, and those sublime boxes and what? an original Cartier or two!!!! Honored, greatly honored. You better believe we will be tracking progress with you and Alyson...This is way fun. We are pulling for you and your dreamy dream making studio!!
    All best, Jan

  35. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Good morning, Carol~

    One day when I could NOT get into my cluttered studio any more, I made it a rule NEVER to bring an empty box into my studio again. (They all fill up.)
    I would definitely make an exception of those wonderful laduree boxes....and hope you have an opportunity to paint them in a lovely.


  36. Oh my God girl that is Chaos with a capital C. You could always change your name to Carol Bacon. I want some Laduree boxes too.

  37. Carol, good luck with organising your space! But it's amazing to me how creative and prolific you can be the way it is now - imagine if you have more space, the sky's the limit! :)

  38. PARIS PARFAIT In response to your query - imagine if you have more space, the sky's the limit!
    I had for 10 years a duplex penthouse in the Village - very spacious. But I always hung out in the little room at the top of the stairs. Granted I had a lovely view of the terrace garden... I just seem to gravitate to small spaces like a Hedgehog or something...
    Frankly I don't know how I create ANYTHING in this mess.
    It's a mystery to me too
    I am able to tune it out..
    Go figure :)

  39. May all your dreams come true.
    I mean it. :-)
    I thought of you today. I needed four or five stuzzicadenti for that. You will find out why in a couple of days. I also have an all pink post waiting to be uploaded. Started with pink roses from the Vienna Opera Ball today.
    Good luck!

  40. Divine! Love seeing the inner sanctum where you create! Wonderful!!

  41. I applaud you for your bravey in posting your "before" pics of your studio! I am in the midst of the very same process...however, I've not been brave enough to share my pics w/anyone except one person (who I've not met in person yet) who is also in the same process...we decided to become accountability partners on this "organizing" process....I may decide,when I'm finished the process,to post the pics on my blog but I've not committed to that yet!
    As a decorator, who's been in many homes, I have found that most people struggle with clutter in one way or another....and creative, right brain types, especially! Afterall...we can't be great at everything! I've also found that it is much easier to help my clients with their clutter than to manage my own in certain areas such as my work's just so much more fun to be creative than to file!

    I came across your blog via "eye-dillic"...I think...and am so glad I did! It's lovely....I will be back! You are very talented!
    thank you for sharing!

  42. OH my, F Bacon is messy((:
    your funny style of writing is very catching! hugs Z


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