This week's blog post was written by mosaic artist June Martin of Moth and Twig.
“Without the studio, however humble, the room where the imagination can enter cannot exist.” -Anna Hansen
Whether it’s a beautiful space in the corner of your garden, a sprawling live/work space in a bustling city, or a humble corner in your flat, the art studio is a sacred space. A space to dream, create, and to explore; a space where time stands still yet flies by, simultaneously.
I moved from San Francisco to Portland about a year ago (I apologize for being another California-Portland transplant). In San Francisco, space was at a premium, even more so than in Portland. My fiancé and I shared a 650 square foot rent controlled one-plus bedroom apartment in the heart of the vibrant Castro District. My “studio” consisted of a farm table planted in the corner of the tiny living room. Luckily, my fiancé didn’t seem to mind that I took over the living room, especially since the apartment was solely his for about 15 years before my cat and I invaded the space. Though not an ideal space, I made it work, often times spilling out into the kitchen, especially when grouting mosaic pieces was called for.
Before moving in with my fiancé, I lived across the bay in the town of Emeryville where I occupied a 1200 square foot live/work space. Without defined spaces, I was able to set up or transform my art space to suit the needs of the day. Those needs toggled between working on small mosaic projects to hosting large art parties.
I confess to being somewhat of a nomad. For me, the act of moving has always been a source of pleasure, partly because whenever I move, I get to create a new space, not only to live in, but to create in as well. I am highly influenced by my immediate surroundings so each space I have occupied holds a special place in my heart and has been interesting, often unusual, and inspirational. My art space is as much a part of my art as other environments that also influence my art. It is the space where I feel happy, complete, and safe.
As I mentioned previously, my fiancé and I moved from our small apartment in San Francisco, to a cottage in the John’s Landing neighborhood of Portland. I purchased the cottage 13 years ago with the intention of moving to Portland. Life happened and it took 13 years to finally make the move. The cottage is a 100 year-old Cape Cod-turned-loft, tucked away at the end of a forested cul-de-sac. Though compact, the house serves our needs. I am no longer relegated to a corner of the living room to create art. I have a separate art studio complete with chartreuse and red walls that send a spark through me every time I enter the space. Though not a sprawling loft or a cool space in SF, my Portland studio is unique and it is my sanctuary. A place to dream, explore, and create. A safe space. A sacred space. The art studio.