Thursday, 8 May 2014

de-cluttering - is it good for your art?

recently I've been culling. Going through my home in spare moments and distilling things and objects.

One of my biggest hoarding issues (because I don't actually think I'm that bad), is collecting things that could potentially be used for art. It turns out I have a tonne of paper - maybe now's a good time to start using it?!

Personally, too many things make me feel burdened somehow. I like the idea of being able to pack up and run, reducing down to essentials and only having what I need.

I admit that with one going, going, nearly gone (child that is) an energy shift has naturally occurred in the form of clearing out. I've wept my way through some cupboards; like a fairy tale walk-in wardrobe to another land & in this case, a land of papers & the past! It felt timely and good to 'let go'.

I have at times fantasised about the art of making 'nothing' - objects gather dust and remain un-used (in some respects) - so how does one make art that is nothing? (Is this the world of conceptual art?)

By clearing out there is an opportunity for fresh energy to come in to one's life.

try this:

- spend just 10 minutes on one drawer or cupboard and cull: take things to the charity shop, recycle yard, give away or sell on e-bay

Spend more time if that's what you're compelled to do!

When a space opens up I find there's room for new-ness, more (in whatever form), fresh ideas and inspiration to come in.

I am still de-cluttering. And where I can't buy new anyway (because I cannot justify the expense) I will re-create.  I have new dining room chairs a la paint left over from decorating :) ahhh

I had a hot pink mirror once, now it's a stylish Annie Sloan/Farrow & Ball french grey ;)

For inspiration I have been reading this zenhabits post:

I also like the notion of a tiny home (something I've touched on previously in this blog). It thrills me to think how small a footprint I can make on this planet, rather than a large one. How I can reduce bills, space, overheads rather than reach for more, consume more and gather more. Although in this instance, I think more outdoor space would be good.....

I like these:

I think I need to buy this book next: Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

I also recently came across this concept 'pocket neighbourhoods': - I need to read more on this, but thought I would share. (I've just found the book too.)

Returning to art, I find I'm collecting images/objects already in existence, finding ways to remove, erase, or simply re-contextualise what's already there.

It's strange, these correlations between areas of my life.

The world is full; messages abundant; advertising in over-kill, but what is it we truly wish for deep down? What is it we are trying to say by the way we live, the art we make?


PS. I'm thrilled to be having some of my art (new work), travel to this event in Greece:

If you're in Athens, do visit - and please take a pic and send to me as I won't be there!


  1. Love your post! I find that I have no room to store stuff because my shelves are full of some day stuff. The stuff that might be great to use in a project or might be useful someday. And yet, the stuff I could use regularly gets dumped on the floor. As a full time science teacher and mom I don't have a lot of time to paint, and it feels like I spend time finding or rearranging stuff instead. I'm going to try to declutter!

    1. It's so therapeutic once you start and then new things can come in to play! Hope you managed to get some done :)

  2. Amelia - oh, you got me!
    i have been thinking about beginning the 'dcluttering' process for about 3 months now, and i've done a little bit, it have a long ways to go. . . . i started in my studio, and a few weeks ago delivered 5 boxes of 'stuff' - (art materials that has made it's way into my studio, but i know i will never use) it to a local middle school, where the students make found object art . . . now all i have left to do is the garage, the shed and the house . . . YIKES!
    have fun!

    1. What a fab way to utilise the 'stuff' - I love the idea of making things from found objects (I guess much of my art is like this actually!) Hope you've managed to do the rest :)

  3. How odd - I've been going through exactly the same process, and have also been reading the zen habits blog! I made a decision to deepen and commit to a Buddist practice at the start of this month, and went on retreat for four days at a wonderful place called Taraloka in Shropshire. When I came back I felt totally overwhelmed by all the stuff in my house. I want to have the clarity in my physical space that I have emtionally/mentally right now.

    Also, I am now understanding how much of my identity I have wrapped up in stuff.... particularly books. I'm letting all that go and having a big book sale. I need to get comfortable with who I am, not as a projection of the fancy schmancy books I have on my shelves...

  4. Sounds like a deep cleansing process is happening for you on many levels! I totally get that about feeling calmer. I had to empty my room to have it repaired and re-done and now I love the empty, clear, calming white vibe. I do hope it stays like that! How's it all going? A.x

  5. great post - we invite such alot in when we are prepared to "let go" of some clutter. I've been on a declutter mission for a couple of years and it is still continuing. I found letting go of books really hard but once I got going I decluttered loads of them. I now have a policy around books, for each new book I bring into my home I have to let an existing book go! You may appreciate this link:


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