Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In The Artist's Studio

I sometimes get emails from students who are writing reports on artists of one style or another, and one of the common questions asked is to describe my studio/workspace. I'm not sure I understand the fascination, but here's a photo, which I hope will help set the scene.

On the easel is a painting I started in -I think- summer of 2005. It has undergone a few changes since I began it, and here is the finished version:


On the chair is a painting I eventually finished as well, and you can see it here:

On the chair!

(Of course, you'll have to scroll down to see them...I don't know how to link to exactly the right post)

As you can see, my set-up is fairly rudimentary and mundane. My tools are simple and so, sadly, is my chair. But I have music and sunshine and trees outside the window. Beyond paint, brushes and something to work on, that's all I really need (my family would argue food, water and rest were also kind of important, but those are details, right?

When I get stumped, or I feel like I've been too long pouring out the energy, I'll try to pump some back in. I play the guitar (badly), and I go for walks (excellently), and above all, I try to keep my sense of humour intact, such as it is.

That last bit, it can throw people when they meet me. There seems to be a perception that I live in the clouds and should be either romantically serious or stolidly dour. It may come to that, but in the meantime I want to get as much happiness out of my days as possible.

There is a whole lot to get sad over. There is no shortage of sorrow or suffering in the world. Injustices can be found by opening a newspaper...or walking out the door. Somehow, I don't think allowing anger about these things to become the pervasive response of choice is going to help anything.

In dark times, all anyone needs is light.

Sounds a little too simple? Could be...but like any family, mine has had it's share of tragedy and disaster. Like many, my siblings and I grew up with lives of love and terror intermingled.

Do you turn a blind eye to the bad? That's kind of a ridiculous thing to do -pretending something didn't or doesn't exist...crazy. And that's where you'll get to if you try that.

The big lessons I learned from my relatives is that laughter is what keeps you together, both as a family, and as a person. You could cry about a lot of things, but to be able to see the lesson and smile, that's what a person who is really serious about life learns to do.

It's what I try to do.

And most of that effort takes place in a room of sunlight and windows - a canvas on the easel, and a paintbrush in my hand.

And a smile. Don't forget that.


Anonymous said...

Aaron! You still have my favourite painting! I think it might be waiting for me.


Aaron Paquette said...


PG said...

I love seeing workspace, even though I get studio envy! And I get intrigued by the bits of work peeking out, like the raven (?) in the hat.

Aaron Paquette said...


Yup, it's a raven. You get studio envy...anyone who looks over your journal gets location envy. A gorgeous little cottage in the middle of a lush, rolling countryside replete with wildlife...and mushrooms!