The Art of decluttering (art room style!)

Updated with photos below!

I am all about living simply, most of the time.  I live in a small place with not a lot of storage.  I don’t even have a linen closet for goodness sake!  Andres and I make a point of trying to get rid of something for most new things that come into our home.  We look at our closets probably every two – three months and consider what we wear and don’t wear.  I go through Bunny’s things quite often and take out what doesn’t fit anymore.  And, about once a year, we go through our books / movie collection and really ask ourselves, is it worth it to have such and such title on our shelf?  Books are hard because if you’ve read it, especially if it’s a novel and not a DIY sort of book, well, when are you going to read it again?  Are you going to read it again?  What makes a book worth keeping??  We love reading, and our Bunny loves to read too, so the once a year we go through our shelves, we get rid of maybe 5-6 titles.  Anyways, I’m getting side-tracked.  The area I have the most difficulty in purging??  The Art Space.

What is it about Artists and the stereotype of hoarding all the stuff?  Talking from a personal standpoint, it is difficult to throw away things that you have spent so much time and energy on, especially if what you’re considering tossing was a challenging piece of work.  I have pieces that I spent months working on little details, hunched over the canvas, my back hurting afterwards.  I remember how proud I was when those artworks were finished.  I had completed it!  It looked the way I had hoped it would!  Yet, sometimes, the paintings don’t get finished and sit in the back of my closet for years.  You would think I would get sick and tired of looking at a half finished canvas and say either, “Let’s gett’er done!” or “I’m never going to finish that, may as well empty that space!”  I have a more “I’ll get to it someday” or “Ummm, I don’t feel like working on that right now” attitude, so those sad canvases just sit there and continue to gather dust.

Something that bothers me about my clutter is the fact that I know I will never display some of the things that are hidden in my portfolios.  For example: I have kept my favourite pieces from high school and university in two portfolios.  Some of the work is of nudes.  It’s not that I want to just keep nude pictures, they remind me of the work that went into learning about form and shape; curves; thick and thin lines; sitting in the studio space for hours upon hours; practice.  How could I get rid of those memories?

Some pieces I suppose I could use if I eventually become an art teacher.  When I taught art a few years ago, I kept some of the work that students didn’t want, which would be good for examples.  My work could be the same, but in the meantime, that’s a lot of space for a “what -if ” scenario.

So, down to the challenge: my friend Josee and her friend Elise have decided to begin to de-clutter their house.  They are shamelessly posting before photos and hopefully posting after photos with an explanation of what they did to improve their space.  I felt challenged to do this to my art space since Josee is a chef, and she decided to go after her kitchen first.  So, here are my own before photos.  I’ll try and post some after photos in one week!  Wish me luck.  Anyone for some free art?!

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4 thoughts on “The Art of decluttering (art room style!)

  1. Cindy,
    The older I get the more I want to be a minimalist. I look at things and think why do we need so much stuff. This is getting harder with Sawyer, it is nice to have the stuff as it makes my day easier. I think that we will notice his space becoming more in the house and ours becoming less. Good luck with the decluttering.

  2. I agree, the more my children aquire, the more I feel the need to purge! It just gets overwhelming having so much “stuff” everywhere, when really all we need is a cardboard box, a box of markers and a few hours. I also ♥ organization (although it looked more like my house had a hurricane through it when you were here to visit – sorry!) it makes life easier, happier and simpler.

  3. Good for you!! With art, I like to take pictures of the kids’ work and then make a photo collage out of it, instead of keeping the actual art pieces. It saves a lot of space. I’m sure you’ll figure something out. Can’t wait to see it.

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