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What Exactly is an Artist's Studio Practice?

'The following is one definition of an artist's Studio Practice' - it is the way in which an artist works; their individual ideas, subject matter, conceptual possibilities, influences and inspiration and the style of their work dependent on the period of time and culture in which they are working.

Where I do my drawings

However, I think it is a lot broader than that. And not all of it actually takes place in the studio. I would say it would need to include a definition of all aspects of what goes into a professional artists working paradigm. So let's have a look at some of those other things. There is a prerequisite to be a Jack of many trades and the master of one, as most of us do not start out with the money to pay for such things as websites, marketing, career advice and so on. I have had to learn many of these things myself.

I began by teaching myself how to build a WordPress website, which of course involved many hours of frustration but I did it in the end. I'm still building my own websites but now I'm using a much more friendly platform, the WIX platform.

Another thing I taught myself early on was how to put a canvas together. Originally I was doing the whole thing, starting with a stick of pine from Bunnings and learning to saw angle joints, make the things square and then cover it with canvas which I proceeded to cover with gesso.

I still make up my own canvases, however, I now buy a triple primed canvas and readymade stretcher bars. It is still very expensive to buy good quality stretched canvases, especially when you get into the larger size ones.

So what else do I do in the course of a week? Well, on a studio day, there's; drawing, mixing paint, doing the actual painting, cleaning the palette and washing brushes afterwards. Then, of course, there are normal daily tasks of things like email, checking social media, which I have to say I'm actually not very good at and don't always do every day, unlike some people who check it like, ten times a day, and also I am answering texts from clients which might include conversations with both collectors and students.

And none of this really accounts for the large amount of time that goes into the creative process itself i.e. collecting source material which might involve travelling to places and taking photos or doing sketches, and then taking that material back into the studio and working up concepts and ideas which might be done either manually as drawings or painting studies, or digitally in programs like Photoshop.

Collecting source material

The finished painting

The rest of it I will go over in a later post.

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