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VISITORS: Tours of the studio are always available. Text or message if you'd like to see what was LITERALLY created from the ashes of Hurricane Ida.

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Grey Cross Studios
1920 4th St, New Orleans , LA 70113
Send text messages to 504-874-2908, Instagram @GreyCrossStudios, Facebook Grey Anatoli Cross, Threads @greycrossstudios

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sacred Spaces - The Artists Workplace

I had an interesting discussion with an artist a while back about the aesthetics of the artists studio. On one visit he noted that I had a bunch of candles burning throughout the room and wondered why I would light so many and was it religious in nature?

In a way it is religious, but not in the way he was thinking. The sanctity of the studio makes the artists workplace as holy as any church or cathedral. Creativity is the closest that, I believe, we can come to the true nature of our spiritual being. 

I explained this to him, but I also took time to explain the importance of the aesthetics of an artists workplace for conducting business. For me the candles create a very special feel that guests instantly sense when they enter. There is an other worldliness to this space that it is important to me to impart to those who visit.
It goes way past just candles. Its how the room is lit. Its the music or sound playing within it. Its the smell of incense or scented candles blended with that of paints and resins. Its the way the art is arranged. Its so many things that are taken for granted when entering, but are immediately felt and experienced on a subconscious level. 

The internationally known artist Francis Bacon was notorious for the state of his studio. He managed to take trash and hording to a level of aesthetic fascination within his workplace. It was so essential to who  the man was that after he passed they preserved his whole studio, moving it in tact to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and reconstructing it perfectly in all its incredible chaos.

Francis Bacon Studio

This applies to other types of creativity. The great writer Ray Bradbury prided himself on his workspace because it was the first place he went for ideas and inspiration. 

For plein air artists their studio is nature. They have the whole world to inspire them. Mother Earth is their cathedral. 

However you get there, the way your studio is set up says a lot about you as an artist. It tells the visitor a wealth of information. If your studio is austere with nothing but an easel in a corner of the room and tubes of paint, it says something about both you and your art style. Your work space may be small or large. Size is not the issue as much as what the small or large space contains.

Is it necessary to consider all these things? Isn't just about what you create? Yes, but the way I see it is that my space should be as creative as my art. It should impart the same messages I would want my work to say. If I have nothing in my studio but supplies then this message may say that I am a dedicated artist, but does it say anything else? 

During my time as a professional artist I've gone through many studio spaces. From a kitchen table with a portable easel on it, right up to a warehouse space. But each one shared the common elements of who I was. Every space was sacred because the art of creation was taking place within it. Make your space a part of you so that you are at peace within it. Don't try to impress or add things merely to make people say "wow your deep". Add them because they have personal meaning to you and see what a difference it will make to your creative life.



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