Last week I went to the Mitchell Library to see an exhibition of photographs showing Australian artists in their studios. The photos were amazing, but I especially loved the DVD they had running on a loop. I sat on a bench and watched one artist after the other talk about his/her inspiration, workspace, routine, personal hopes and dreams. Later, while I was ordering our cappuccinos in the little library cafe, my mother sneaked into the shop and bought me the book, and I have been poring over it all weekend. I'm even tempted to get out a magnifying glass to see the tiniest detail of each artist's studio.
Sometimes it seems that I enjoy the process of artmaking more than the artwork itself. Colours the Clown (you know her by now I think, you know, we go way back) is an artist, and I love hanging out at her house, annoying her by gushing over sketches she was preparing to trash, or sniffing madly at the oil paints and murmuring "ah...aromatherapy!" Sometimes I really wish that letters and words and sentences had a smell. Oh well...at least books have a special smell, I suppose that's something.
You can see some of the photographs here, and this is a sample of the book, if you're curious to see what I'm talking about.
Marina Strocchi (one of the artists featured in the exhibition) is quoted as saying that she's not sure that you can ever make a mistake when you're making art.
"What's a mistake? she asks. "It's a mistake if you dip your paint brush in your cup of tea instead of your water tin."
I thought that you, dear reader, might like that quote as much as I do.