Studio Makeover Challenge 2014

Watch me attempt the great 30 Day On-Line Art Studio Makeover Challenge* of 2014! Maybe I’ll fail! Maybe I’ll succeed! What will happen?! I’m “all in” for the challenge, so let’s find out. This is when you get to cross your fingers and tell me to “break a leg” — or you talk to your bookie. Whatever.

post 1 wide view






The whole zippetydoodah “QUICK! Makeover your life for the new year!” meme is a little bit silly. Most of us recognize that these wishful thinking proclamations (capital P!) are soon broken more often than kept. My own experience is no exception. (If you typically succeed, then more power to you. I’d love to know how you do it.)

I’d like to up my odds on succeeding in this studio makeover challenge, aka the brain child of artist Jean R. Wilkey; you can get the details on who is in the challenge so far and/or sign up to participate at her blog.

Success Tips Gleaned through Failures:

  • Observation over time tells me that actual, real-time, sustained Resolve (capital R!) is required for even the best-intended resolution to stick.
  • Next, it’s helpful if we can Structure our efforts in a way that helps us stay focused.
  • And when the desired outcome is a one-shot deal, a Deadline is mandatory.
  • And then there is “Going Public” as in telling family, friends, coworkers and the whole world what we are about.

This last “say it out loud” feature leaves me ambivalent. If on the one hand people root for you and encourage you, it can be beneficial. If on the other hand the motivation is sheer dread of public failure, then it can be paralyzing. But in this case, I am opting to include it. Right here! With you! (Hi!)

I am inviting you to help me out here, now that I’ve decided to participate in the studio clean up challenge. I need to whip the studio into shape for a big project; the month long format includes some moral support, plus weekly updates and a built-in deadline. Publishing my intention adds a nice fear factor bonus.

Judging by the photographs, possibly a day late and a dollar short, but there we are. For the record, at least half of my studio was relatively tidy last October for the grand Washington County Open Studios Tour when I invited in my collectors, art fans, neighbors, and the general public inside for a peek at where I do my work.

post 1 table space

Things have gone downhill from then. Pictures speak louder than words. This is embarrassing.

When we moved here a little over a year ago, I was thrilled to finally have a whole room for my art. With a sink! And storage!

I immediately began accumulating art supplies and specialized tools; papers, papers and more papers for my beloved collage work; bits and bobs for assemblage pieces and of course the wonderful collection of ephemera for inspiration, color, and shall we be kind and call it “atmosphere” that together make the place seem like home to my inner artist (and apparently, inner pack rat/hoarder/old lady who lives with 18 cats) — not that there’s anything wrong with all that. (Truth be told there’s only one grumpy cat. And a no-account rascally stuffed toy monkey.)

BUT now it is so utterly  disorganized and topsy-turvy that it is driving me to frustration and worst of all, THERE IS NO PLACE LEFT FOR DOING THE WORK! I FOUND MYSELF PAINTING IN THE KITCHEN!!! I am the first to admit, this is nuts. Also, I just today discovered I’ve accidently splattered art paint on the kitchen floor.

This clean up and organize the art studio challenge is perfect timing. I’ve started an ambitious-for-me art project which requires optimum workflow. I don’t want to waste my time or precious mental energy chasing down tools or hunting for misplaced supplies.

Although I am not a tidy person by nature, my common sense practicality makes me appreciate and value efficiency.  (And you just know I am still spluttering about having to razor blade the paint splatters off that hardwood floor. Yes, I am old enough to know better!)

post 1 birch bark

My brain enjoys a good puzzle solving exercise, and this studio makeover challenge is guaranteed to keep it plenty occupied over the next few weeks.


I’ll even  be updating with progress report posts.  And more photos! (Yes, that IS birch bark on top of the printer.)

In the  meantime, since we all love to see other people’s messy studios, check out all the brave participants (Perhaps would YOU like to join us?) here’s the link to Jean’s first progress report. Her photos gave me the courage to actually sign up publicly for the challenge. Just sayin’.

Thanks, Jean!

Author: Barbara Martin

2 thoughts on “Studio Makeover Challenge 2014”

Comments are closed.