"Swath" ©Ruth Armitage 2013, Oil on Canvas 18"x24"

“Swath” ©Ruth Armitage 2013, Oil on Canvas 18″x24″

In farm lingo, a swath is a row of cut grain or grass left by a scythe. Swathe can also mean to bind, wrap, envelope or swaddle. I’ve also heard it used as a term for cutting a path, which is what I had to do to get started in my studio today.

When I returned from Utah, I quickly unpacked, leaving everything on the tables. I got my painting for Watercolor West framed and shipped, packed for the Rogue River, and took off again. Then I returned for the second time in less than a week, and dumped everything on the tables again. That left not a single surface in the studio uncluttered.

One of the wonderful things about having a dedicated studio space is being able to make a mess of it, and not having the rest of your house look a wreck. But getting inspired to work in a messy situation is difficult. I’m also trying to get everything organized for my October Columbus Day workshop!

I looked up images of messy studios online, and mine didn’t really come close to some of the clutter-fests that I saw there, but here are the before & afters of my clean-up session today.

Stacks of paintings, ready for Open Studio

Stacks of paintings, ready for Open Studio

Clutter-Fest

Clutter-Fest

Cleaning all afternoon makes Red-dog tired!

Cleaning all afternoon makes Red-dog tired!

 

 

 

clean-studio

Finally Clean!

I’m hoping each of the bare tables you see here are filled with creative and inspired students come October. If you’d like to join me, you can find out more on my Workshops page. If you have a great messy studio photo to share, you can email it to me at ruth (at) rutharmitage.com. I’ll show a few of the best on this page.

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