Friday, July 18, 2008


Ocean Waves 4

Oil on board, 6" x 6"
$125.00 + $6.00 shipping in US.
SOLD

Posts are going to be sporadic for awhile, as I work on some larger paintings and commissions. I'll try to post two or three dailies per week.

Also, in the what goes around comes around department, I've just started re-renting my old studio space above the County Museum in Union, so am busy getting it up and running. It is an absolutely wonderful studio--a large main room with 14-foot ceilings and very good vibes. There are several other rooms for storage, as well as a bathroom and kitchen. The large painting walls, flat file drawers and storage racks I built many years ago are, amazingly, still there.

I am thrilled to get it back, having pined for that space ever since we left Oregon 14 years ago.

I'd be interested in hearing from other artists on the subject of studios--how important is the studio to your creative process? What is an ideal studio to you?

12 comments:

katherine said...

Don congratulations!!! Can I stop by and see it? Wallspace, wallspace and more wallspace and good light and room to get back and yes good vibes. Rolling table for the palette is the icing on the cake.

Katherine

Don Gray said...

By all means Katherine, pay a visit. Come real soon and you can help me pack all my stuff up the 31stairsteps! (I don't think there were that many 14 years ago.)

Yes to all you said about your ideal studio.

Mary in Illinois said...

Hi Don,
So nice to hear you are back "home" again. I bet you appreciate it even more. I am reading Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit as you recommended many moons ago. I started thinking of my daily ritual, strong coffee, check email, contemplate Don's newest work, wonder how he does it almost everyday, hope he doesn't stop doing it.... By the way, I love the "Odd Couple" series. I have been thinking about studio space lately also. Since Jack retired, I have decided to go ahead on my own and am reinventing myself with my glass art in a new way and new state. My studio needs a facelift. I focus totally on my bench so the looks really shouldn't matter. They do. I want to walk into my studio and feel a buzz, an energy. I also need calm and order to work. Happy solitude. I am going to paint the walls a very boring cream. I want the color and light of the glass to dominate the space. I am longing for a light table. That's all. Take care, Mary

Deborah Paris said...

Congratulations Don on getting such a great studio back- funny how things come full circle sometimes! I had what seemed like a dream studio when we lived in NM (north light, skylights, built in storage). My space here is large enough (about 700 sq ft) but I haven't really done much with it- that's a project I hope to tackle this fall. Enjoy!

Don Gray said...

Hi Mary, great to hear from you. Wonderful to hear you are reinvigorating your glass art work--you have such a depth of talent. I hope you'll keep me in the loop with your explorations--would love to see what direction you take.

Thanks for your thoughts on the studio. I really related to your focus on the bench and how the rest of the space shouldn't matter but does. I felt the same way with my garage studio in California. My focus was the painting wall or easel, but I know the dungeon-like character of the rest of the area drug me down psychologically.

The studio should be a place you want to spend time in because of the overall "good vibes," not just a workplace. I like your way of putting it: "happy solitude."

Don Gray said...

Hi Deborah, thanks for your thoughts. Good luck on tailoring your studio to suit you.

silvina said...

Don, how wonderful to get back a studio you enjoyed! It must be like meeting up with a great friend again. I'm excited to see what you paint in this new, old space.

I think a studio needs a good sound system. Music energizes me and will cause me to stay much longer in the studio. Listening to books is great too.

Cool light, cool tunes, a cool looking stuffed chair to rest and read in (mine's a modern italian and upholstered in blood red).

And a well organized studio is a must, unless you're like Francis Bacon. Lots of storage. Sounds like you'll have that.

I love my studio. I just wish it was bigger.

Don Gray said...

Hi Silvina--thanks for your comments. It IS great to get my old space back again, though something of a strange feeling too--deja vu all over again. I never dreamed I'd be back here when we left 14 years ago. Walking through the rooms brings back a lot of personal history.

Your studio sounds great. Speaking of sound...I also play music or listen to NPR in the studio. But often I'll work in silence as well.
As tempting as your stuffed chair sounds, I have so far resisted getting a real comfortable one. I know my lazy nature...afraid I'd just sit and doze!

Cooper Dragonette said...

This is fantastic Don--both the painting and your return to your old studio. I really like the simplicity and palette in this one. Makes me want to get down to the beach and try my own!

Don Gray said...

Hi Cooper, thanks for the visit and the encouraging words.

Suzanne said...

Love this painting, Don. It's like Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn having a conversation at the beach after a long day.

Congratulations on your new studio! Sounds like the perfect location in so many ways. I think that anything I might have to say on the subjects of studios can be found at http://diaryofastudio.blogspot.com

At least for now!

Don Gray said...

Thanks,Suzanne! If you want to put me in the same sentence with Thiebaud and Diebenkorn...who am I to try to talk you out of it?? :)

Yes, you expressed the value of a studio very well indeed with your "Diary of a Studio."