One of the main objectives when I began 52 Pieces was to help knock down the barrier that so many artists (myself included) build around ourselves and our work. I'm a bit of a recluse, and often get so absorbed in my studio that I don't always reach out and communicate as much as I'd like to. I rarely open my studio for visits... but thanks to the internet, I can give you a description of where I create each week's piece and a little bit more about what makes me tick!
On the subject of my ideal painting environment... this might surprise some people. I don't rely on beautiful scenery or the calm ocean breeze, as I carry much of my inspiration in my head. Here are the top three things that get me going:
#1. GOOD JAVA
Every morning I make myself a large mug of an espresso-soy-chocolate concoction that I have down to a science. (Note position at #1... this is important, people!)
#2. GOOD LIGHT
It doesn't matter if I'm in my Chapel Hill studio or in Hana... I need lots of windows with natural light. Although I sometimes paint at night, I really prefer to paint during the peak sunshine hours. As for plein-air painting... all I can say is I've never been a fan of camping, and something about lugging all my equipment outside and swatting at mosquitoes while I try to paint feels a little too much like camping to me!
Although I occasionally prefer silence, I usually go the other way and crank it up loud. I listen to a variety of types of music, but my "Paint Mix" playlist consists primarily of raw, passionate, wailing voices: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, & The Rolling Stones are standbys. I don't know what it is about rock & roll that spurs my creative muse, but somehow Robert Plant's voice filling up my studio does wonders.
As for the actual studio itself, that's a separate blog post. But I thought it may be interesting for people to get an idea of what I taste, see, and hear during my day in the studio. Time for a coffee break!