|Looking to North wall: stacked images with blank paintings below|
|Looking to East Wall: work table with piled photos and papers|
|Looking to South Wall: stacked paintings and work table covered with piled photos and papers|
|Looking to West Wall: stacked paintings on both walls and end, tables covered with photos and papers|
My studio has become waist deep in bits of paper, photographs, paint, books, and painted panels. Unfinished images are stacked two and three deep on my walls(The unfinished pieces consist of collaged images on top of painted panels, but only adhered with little bits of sticky stuff). The layers of paper/photographs on my work tables have become quite dense as the months have rolled by. It seems chaotic, but it's not. As I work, I can remember where a certain animal head or a scrap of a photo with a particular value is, no matter how many layers down I have to go, no matter how long ago I cut up a particular photograph. Even better, while looking to find something, I might happen on a scrap of paper that leads me to start a new collage. It's a rich and fertile room if you happen to be collage artist.
When I first started out as a young artist in graduate school, I would have small bits of time when I would be able to really concentrate on what I was doing, maybe ten or fifteen minutes once or, if I was lucky, twice in a work session. Now I can go for several hours with that same concentration(my limit now is fatigue--I can't go for more than about four hours).* I've also changed--hugely--in that I don't get as attached to an image, and when it doesn't work, no matter the time invested, I'm able to let go fairly easily. Younger Holly would have stumbled into the house in a sad comma shape, or have cried, or despaired, or most probably, done all three. Now, I'm just deeply happy to be in my studio every afternoon, following my hands and my intuition, painting, cutting and sticking, truly pleased to be able to make images that I love.
*However, I often have a difficult time remembering why I've gone from one room to the next.