Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tree Roots, Studio Space

I've just completed two full days of clean up in my spare bedroom I call ‘studio’. How do other artists do it I wonder.  Do so wish I could work in a cluttered environment because lately I haven't been able to find 'me' in this room never mind the tool I am seeking!

I have never seen such a collection of ‘stuff’. I am still sorting but the hard labour is done….I finally resigned myself to the fact that ‘yes, the walls do need freshening…with paint’. So I assigned this task by mixing two left over pails of paint together….adding some water and voila…..a new wall colour!. Strange colour, definitely not a white walled studio...but certainly freshened.

Now let me tell you what a task that was. In this room I have a file cabinet, an old butter box containing rolls of discarded canvas and rolls of drawings. A somewhat large kidney shaped computer desk; an enormous wooden drafting table; a roll about table where I keep brushes and paints handy. A high stool. A large cardboard carton filled with wrapped glass and other large drawings…….and many, many discarded canvses piled about….plus two easels …one studio h-frame and one tripod. I had to move everything from one wall to middle of room, paint, wait to dry, return objects and next wall! That is it! The next time the walls are painted in this room I will no longer be its occupant! Oh, and by the way; the closet is equipped with shelves I have assembled which also hold various and sundry art materials.

Moving this ‘stuff’ about I discovered an early watercolour which I include here.

Changing subjects….what is it about trees and their roots clawing at the earth that attracts artists. I’ve seen several artists lately with photographs and drawings of such trees.

Is it the texture, the rhythm of twining roots, is it the will of the tree to survive against all obstacles? What inspires an artist to take on this subject?  I have several about this room and cannot seem to discard them, try as I may. I remember the instant I sketched, painted or photographed each one. I remember the location, the day, the atmosphere, my mood. Maybe all of these aspects are what attract artists to half dead or dead trees or their roots.... Better yet, what attracts the buyer to purchase this subject?


  1. Hi Ruby, love to hear about your studio space, one wall at a time is enough painting anyway.
    The tree roots? I think is an attempt to find a connection with the Earth, a respect for their age, and admiration of strength.

  2. Hadn't thought of either of these aspects...but yes age and strength....good thoughts to be applied in many ways!

  3. I almost agree fully with Jerry. I think when roots are exposed it is a bit like our inner being exposed for all to see. Our desire to reach into the very substance of being and hold on to that which is precious, life itself.

  4. Thank you Ralph, what a wonderful thought!