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Grey Cross Studios
1920 4th St, New Orleans , LA 70113
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Pleasures of an Outdoor Art Studio

When I began to convert my double wide alleyway into an art space, it had not occurred to me how much I would enjoy working outside, both day and night. I love my indoor studio. Its the center of all I do, but now, just a few steps from that inner artistic sanctum is this amazing outdoor space in which I can create. 

I'd always been envious of plein air artists who could pick up their easel and paint anywhere in the world. It always seemed a fantasy to be able to sit in front of a mountain and paint it, or on the beach at sunset. But no matter where the location, just the sheer joy of being outside, feeling the breeze, enjoying the sunshine in the daytime does so much for the creative process. 

But I think its the nights that I love the best. When I light up the space and it pushes back the darkness, there is an almost fairy tale quality to this small area. While I'm creating, time stops for a bit. 

We are fortunate here in New Orleans that nights are a wonderful time. Soon the temps will be too high to do much during the day, but I am at my best late at night. Here in this space I can go out and create anytime I wish without any constraints. And while I am only 5 minutes from the city center, here in this place it is quiet and there is little to intrude. New Orleans is known for its inner courtyards and gardens. In a time before air conditioning this was where people retreated from the heat of the day. While my space may not be as ornate or filled with plants and fountains, it is just as amazing to me.

So, if you've not taken your art outside, try it sometime. It does not take having a dedicated space. It doesn't matter if its a street corner or a neighborhood park. What matters is the freeing up of your creative process. You may be surprised what it does to shake you out of the comfort zone our studios can sometimes create for us. 

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