Welcome to My Studio!
The Studio and The Housefly
"In the beginning............"
So, this is my first blog, and the question poses itself, "Where do I begin?"
Like in the photo of my studio door at the beginning of the blog page, I see this blog as a door also. It’s a door to writings, pictures, videos, observations and thoughts of myself as an artist and the artwork that has been my response to those observations.
So, we begin by walking into the “studio”. Recently, I’ve been thinking about “the studio” in the broadest sense. Many of us are blessed with a studio or a creative space. Jane, my wife, says she has two “studios”. The first is her garden. She often tells people her garden is her canvas that she paints with living plants. The second is her basement sewing corner stacked with cotton remnants waiting to be sewn together to form meaningful creations. Some people have a woodworking shop as their studio. Others may see their kitchen as their creative space. Do you have a creative space? What would you call your “studio”? Let me know as a response to this blog.
My studio is located a few steps across the courtyard and the rest of our home. It has its own personality. It has 8 double-bulbed florescent light fixtures and windows on three sides. Working light is important to a painter so that the colors they paint are true to their purpose. The walls are hung floor to ceiling with my paintings. The paintings are a touchstone. They are a constant reminder of where I have been on my artistic journey. I may not know where I am going, but I can tell you where I have been! In the coming months I am going to use these paintings as individual jumping off points for conversations about art and observation.
There are two kinds of shelves in my studio. One type holds the materials I need to produce my paintings, and the other type are a few shelves that hold odds and ends of things that just inspire me.
As I look at many artists’ studios, I see the same shelves of inspiration. I am reminded of seeing Henry Moore’s studio shelf in a photo. It was covered with cross sections of bones. Many of his large bronze sculptures are reminiscent of those bones on his shelves.
No matter how many times I put stuff away, it always seems the studio is in somewhat of a disarray caused by my painting activity. I would invite any and all of you to come over to this cluttered studio for a cup of coffee and conversation.
But what about the “Housefly” in the title to this Blog “The Studio and the Housefly”?
I wanted to also talk about the humblest of creative spaces. Below is a photo of one of my favorite drawings. It’s was inspired by a dead housefly. 44 years ago, we moved to Blair. Our first home here was a small apartment. I had no studio, just the kitchen table. One day I took out some drawing paper and a mechanical ink pen I had just purchased. What should I draw? I found a dead fly on the window sill. That became my inspiration.
The point of the story is that even the smallest, most humble of spaces can support our creative spirit. If you don’t have such a space, look around. It may be closer than you think! Feed your own creative spirit especially in these Covid times.
Have a good day!
P.S. Aside from the housefly, if you would like to see more of my paintings of “Animals and People” click on that button on the top of my website.
Milt Heinrich is an artist and former college art professor. He lives in rural Blair, Nebraska with his wife Jane and their dog, Bailey.