A Thumbs Up from the Universe

I must be turning into a real blogger at last. There was a time when I could go for weeks without posting. Now, I’ve gone 6 days and cannot fully relax until I write. Ideally, I give myself a blog fix every few days.

Today is the last day of my solo show at Greenwood Quiltery. I have to chuckle about the timing, because it has been quite the month, in financial terms, all over the world! However, I sold 2 pieces, so I consider that a thumbs up from the Universe. And today is Halloween: perhaps some exotically costumed art lover will purchase another piece today, to give themselves a treat.  (UPDATE: make that 4 pieces! Blessings on the buyers for supporting artists in general, and this one in particular.)

I am almost finished the last piece I posted about, but most of my time has gone into cleaning and purging my studio. I am certainly not alone in this: I’ve noticed others who have been caught in the grip of this cleansing ritual! Kelli was “drowning in disorder.” Melody is on a “mad rampage of stash reduction.” With her usual hilarious humour, Rayna brags that her studio “has been neat many times – for about five minutes each time.” And Susie, bless her, also made me laugh:

Those of you who have attended one of my workshops may be under the mistaken assumption that I am a neat and well-organized artist.

Oh, how wrong.

One of the unexpected benefits of teaching in my studio is that I am forced to clean, tidy and organize at least once a month. Pride and necessity coalesce to motivate me before the participants arrive. Truth is, I work with piles of stuff, large piles, scary piles. When I am in the art-making mode, I just can’t be neat and tidy.

And Nita talks about her diminishing floor space:

I had to add a folding card table to pile research books, file boxes and such for the book. I’ll be using my long tables to do some of the art work and don’t want to keep moving stuff on and off the tables.

Judy claims it’s “a rare thing to see my table this clear.” But she had great motivation to clean up, and has documented proof “that it was this clean once.”

Then there is Denise, who admits: “I always keep the house neat and clean.” Does that include your studio, Denise?

I’d love to hear about your level of organization, cleanliness, and so on. Perhaps you have a tip or two, a lifesaver for the drowning?

On the other hand, I could just continue with my doodling . . .

I'd rather be doodling.

I'd rather be doodling.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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5 Responses to A Thumbs Up from the Universe

  1. Hi Carol, I just had to reply. I have been feeling very overwhelmed to the point of shutdown. I have messed up almost every room in my house with my art stuff. I am now resorted to just leaving it where I came in: the living room entrance, the dining room (now my paint room) the family room, and my small little studio. I’ve been run ragged getting ready for a show, going to workshops, doing program for my Guild (that’s a biggie!)and of course household duties and the occassional teaching day. Today I’ve had little planned and I am too exhausted to do anything. Do you have any advice abvout how I could do this all better? I do have one cleared spot, where this laptop is sitting and that took a whole day to purge the desk and clean it and take the old desktop to the crawl space! My family haven’t been to hard on me yet as a result of a recent fall out of bed!!! and I have two black eyes just for Halloween.
    Most importantly, I dream of all the art I could be doing then I can’t get doing it. I procrastinate and spend alot of time looking for stuff! Oh, I need help! Donna

  2. carolwiebe says:

    Sometimes we get over extended, and simply have to give ourselves permission to rest and replenish.
    I have some strategies that are helpful to me: reading, talking to a trusted friend, rest. I also deliberately breathe, quiet my ego, and delve into spirit, visualizing myself as open and receptive. Then I trust that enlightenment has come, and will unfold, bit by bit, as I pay attention to all the revelations around me: a song, a ray of light, a phone call, a passage from a book, a drawing, a touch, a felt direction. Living in this way, with deliberate intent and a listening attitude, does more than alleviate fear: it turns “problems” into an exciting adventure.

  3. Carol,
    I’m so pleased to hear you sold some pieces at your wonderful show.

    I’m glad to know that mine isn’t the only space overflowing with “stuff”. I put together a slide presentation for my quilt guild last year when I was on our Programme committee, on members’ sewing spaces, and confessed to my messy space, as I have on my blog. Shaming myself did work for awhile.

    I’m lucky; I have a whole room. Donna’s space is tiny, and it’s no wonder she needs to spread out to create her beautiful works. I occasionally reach overload and shutdown, too, and there’s nothing for it but to make a pot of tea, carry it upstairs, pick a spot and start tidying. I feel so much more creative once I’ve given myself room to move, but boy, is it hard to get to the point of plugging in that kettle!

  4. Tammy Vitale says:

    Congrats on your sales! A definite thumbs up in this economy!
    I am working on cleaning my studio – it is neater than it has ever been, and has stayed that way because I’m not doing much work there! But I find that after finally getting a place for everything, I’m more willing to put things back and/or it’s faster when I do because I don’t have to think about it. I even have my work catalogued – not on the computer yet but I can find all my pieces (there are a lot) in all my containers: numbered and listed. I feel really good about that. On the other hand, my office is in its usually state of riot. Since I’m running out of flat spaces (including the floor) I assume I will shortly have to remedy that (which will last maybe 2 days). I aim for simplicity but I don’t think my energy works that way – and you just can’t fight your natural energy. =]

  5. susie Monday says:

    Hey congrats, and thanks for quoting me at my most productive cleaning moment. Its been fun being here at IQF in Houston, but belive me, when I get home the studio is going to need a major rehab. I also learned that one should not plan on teaching three different things that take different supplies when one travels!

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