Piece Makers

The Studio
written by Patti's Art
The bees, birds, dogs, and sometimes the neighborhood stray cat come into my garage “studio” space to visit while I’m working on my mosaics. While I welcome most “human” company, I am not as happy about bees and birds flitting around in there. The dogs are my neighbors Chihuahuas who bark ferociously at me but are afraid to come in. I usually keep a few dog biscuits handy to pitch outside the door. I hope they will eventually consider me a friend and just come to the door to beg for treats. The neighborhood stray cat, an old chubby Calico, pops by to see what I’m doing and then moves on. I do not invite her in because I worry about her getting comfortable in some obscure corner and, getting locked in! A few years ago, a neighbor came over and told me she thought her cat was locked up in my garage because it had been missing overnight and she thought she could hear it mewing in my garage. Sure enough, the poor cat was locked in. We had left the door up most of the day before and I’m sure the kitty thought that would be a good place to take a nap.
There are pros and cons to most studio spaces but we, artists, make do with what we have. I’ve seen and heard of work spaces on kitchen counters, dining room tables, in garages (like mine), in a spare bedroom, or smack in the middle of the living room. One friend of mine lives in a motor-home and regularly has to break down her projects and put them away in order to “live” in her space! I am grateful to have a little more than a quarter of the garage space to store my mosaic supplies and work. I often put up another table and take up even more space when I’m working on a large project. And, although it seems I always have to clean or move the lawnmower, I know I have more space than most of my artist friends. I get in touch with nature out there. I’m subject to whatever the weather is panning-out, but there are very few days when the weather keeps me away. Beethoven, Scott Joplin, Jim Morrison, and even Stephen Tyler have kept me company via the CD player, but I enjoy the quiet just as much. Being a very social person, I love it when a neighbor drops in. Even though it slows down my progress, the conversation is worth it and I can be inspired by their ideas. Many times someone will start talking to me from “way out there” because they are reluctant to approach without an invitation, but an encouraging word from me usually gets them to come inside. Whatever the circumstances, artists figure out how to survive and thrive. Most of us dream of having a large indoor space that is strictly our own art studio. That is a dream I share it with many. There’s something about the word “studio” that sounds so appealing, professional, even romantic. But, I don’t think my art would change or I’d become more successful just because I had a studio. Being an artist is way more than the space we use to create our art. Being an artist comes from that special place within ourselves that no space can transform into something more than it is. I think, for most artists, the urge to create is nearly as strong as the urge to survive in this world and creating art is what makes us truly happy, no matter where we have to work to create it.