Artists and “Other” Artists

photo-8-225x300I have a friend who is also an artist, a very good and rather well known artist. I have been to their studio and home many times. However, they have never seen my studio.

My studio, also known as “The Barn” started as a run down wood carving studio of famed Harry Shourds. I have nursed it back from a dusty, dirty, run down, 275 year old barn, and turned it into a rather well known community place for classes, parties, etc. It also is my studio. I am grateful as this is a special place, a gem, and a dream for any artist who has only a bedroom to work out of. I know what that’s like… we all do.

Outside Barn
Outside Barn

I am funny about certain artists, “Funny” covering up a more realistic term, envious? I don’t always go to all their shows, sometimes I do, it’s quite a drive usually, or so I claim. Do all artists do this to one another? Perhaps if work is different enough from ours it’s ok to support the competition? Why is it competition? Aren’t we all just about making art? Ugh… another blog with unanswered questions….

I once was married to an artist, well he was a writer, so that was somewhat different. We could support each other yet not step on each other’s toes. Competition was not there but, the creative inspiration sure was. I am often inspired by other fine artists, it happens all the time I go to a show or museum. It’s recently happened with my summer intern, Ellla Barry, she’s a weaver, and I don’t feel “funny” about it.

Going back some years, I loved visiting Carl Johnson and Liz Nicklus’s studio’s, Frank Kallop, Terri Amig, and Stan Sperlak. No, most haven’t been to my place except maybe for a quick stop, to drop something off or pick something up. I haven’t been to Lance Balderson’s studio and he lives only 1.5 miles from me, yet he has been to mine twice.

I will make a point to see Lance and I really want to see Greg Bennett’s studio. Perhaps it’s social media, websites, etc.. make the visit unnecessary as we see the work constantly this way. But, come on, we know entering that religious space, seeing the wet work, brushes out, and traces of their humanity; books, sketches, old wine glasses, cigarette butts, whatever… that’s why a trip to the studio is important. It’s the heart of the art.

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