My new home studio wasn't working for me for a couple of reasons: it doubled as a guest bedroom and was in a high traffic area. I couldn't leave things lying around without tripping over them. 

Like Francis Bacon, (although not as chaotic), I am inspired by things that encircle me.  Textures, colours, or shadows rev up the mind furnace. A space that cannot be left in creative turmoil is frustrating.

The state of my studio (messy or clean) reflects the phases of my production cycle. Weeks of furious experimentation will yield a grubby work space where dance moves are necessary to avoid the piles of research that land on the floor.  Incubation is messy business. 

Once I'm done, a rest, battery recharge, or time of contemplation is required before starting again. This is usually the point where I start to clean up my studio because I need an emotionally sterilized environment to stimulate another period of "flow".

Chess anyone?
The experience of transitioning from one room to another is like moving. Boxes upon boxes of books, photographs and other items accumulated over the years tower in the kitchen. Heavy furniture is displaced much to the chagrin of my feeble musculature. The space is transforming, painted a neutral shade to replace the colour that was there when I moved in, summer cottage turquoise. Black and white rubber tiles are being installed to protect the hardwood floor. It will take a while to get it all together. 

Meanwhile the previous studio is becoming an office. My books should end up here. For some peculiar reason, there never seems to be enough room for all my hard and soft cover beauties. Maybe it's time to recycle a few by lending them to others. In my experience, they rarely come back.

During these minor but seemingly major renovations, I have been experimenting with a digital art app on my iPad. I have various painting and drawing apps but I recently downloaded Inspire Pro by Kiwi Pixel, which I find particularly exciting to work with. It's great for blending, and small digital works like this one can become a catalyst for larger interpretations on canvas.

Below, I began with a photo of a quick gesture drawing and proceeded to build on it using the app's oil paint tool. The original drawing was photographed on a slate floor, but rather than crop the picture, I blended the colours of the background with the foreground. The slate hue fused in an interesting way with the off white newsprint.

Half drawn, half painted; it ended up perfectly unfinished.