|Cotttonwood Center for the Arts|
Liz Kettle here today...I have never been one for taking big risks. All those quotes that say leap off the cliff and your wings will appear or you will build them on the way down have never motivated me. Why would any sane person jump of the cliff? When faced with a big goal I take a breath and look down the side of the cliff for the first step. One step at a time and before you know it I am at the bottom. Maybe it took me a little longer than those who jumped but it is less stressful that’s for sure!
I have been thinking about a studio outside of my home for quite a few years. I never found anything that was right. Most studios are set up for painters and are much too small for a mixed media textile artist. We have way too much good stuff to fit comfortably in most studio spaces. I started talking about sharing a studio space with my friend and fellow textile artist Cass Mullane. But, still nothing we found was right.
You know, how sometimes you just need to be totally ready for something and it shows up? Well, that is exactly what happened to Cass and me. We were at Cottonwood Center for the Arts at the same time dropping off some art for an exhibit when we stopped to chat with the new director of the arts center Jon Khoury . He mentioned that there was one studio spot that had just become available and would we be interested in seeing it.
The moment we walked into the space we both got one of those intuitive hits, an overwhelming desire to leap off the cliff and say yes to the space. Of course neither of us said much in that moment, we didn’t want to seem too eager or pressure the other one to commit to something this big without considered thought...neither of us are cliff jumpers. We left the art center and grabbed a cup of coffee to discuss the possibility. We listed the pros and cons…only we couldn’t come up with much on the con side of the paper. We both knew that this was what we had been waiting for. We just couldn't wipe the grins off our faces.
|The view from the entry door|
The studio is perfect. Big enough for two people to work comfortably in, great light, great access on the first floor, room to teach classes, room to display our art and at an affordable price. Did I mention the studio is in a thriving art center with over 70 artists in residence? It was a leap of faith rather than a cliff jump to sign the lease. Faith in my work, my abilities and my future as an artist.
We haven’t even been in the space a month but we both know this is going to change our art and the way we work. I found it too distracting to be at home. I had plenty of space but there were so many distractions when the work got hard. It was too easy to say, I will just fill the dishwasher or check e-mail or I just remembered that I need to weed the garden. Before you knew it a week had gone by and I hadn’t gotten to that next step. I sometimes just want to avoid the work when I am stuck rather than push through. Which is really silly because eventually you just have to push through!
|My work space and a peek down the hall to the main lobby|
There is plenty of space for teaching classes and I think my work my begin to get larger because I have space around me rather than too much stuff in too little space. I won't bring all my studio supplies to the new space. I have only brought the 'good stuff'. You know all the hand dyes, vintage fabrics, fabrics I have created with surface design...the expensive ribbons and paints. I know I will have to bring things back and forth but that is ok. I must say that putting the key in the lock each morning and walking into that beautiful space makes my heart sing.
The thing I hadn't imagined I would like is the public popping in to see our artwork and chat about our processes. They are all intrigued with our mixed media textile art. It is so rewarding to hear their comments and get feedback daily. We have a once a month art walk on the last friday of each month so if you are in the Colorado Springs area be sure to visit. We are working on our schedule so one of us will be at the studio each day. Our Grand Opening will be Sat July 6 from 10-2 if you are local or visiting it will be a blast.