This week we’re all thinking about our working studios. Our assignment is to videotape an introduction as Emerging Artists…We’ve been encouraged by Danny Olda, Tabitha Cervantes and Creative Pinellas Executive Director Barbara St. Clair, the creative brains behind the EA grant program, to do whatever we want.
Talk about our artist’s journey, show our work, our studios, our tools, shed light on our inspirations, our mentors. How this COVID-19 pandemic has influenced and changed our work.
My identity as an artist has been defined during this tragic, unsettling and most uneasy time in my lifetime. As an “older” adult (I was on the “qualified list” of people 65 years and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine), I’ve had a long professional career in communication, marketing and public relations and witnessed many things. Looking back, I’ve had a wonderful 65+ years in this world.
A richness in history that I would’ve never imagined as a girl growing up in rural New Jersey (the Garden State, my dad grew Chinese vegetables)! Men walking on the moon. A war that was never declared that took the lives of thousands of young men, some who graduated from high school with me. The start of new music with the Beatles, the innovative, creative long-haired Fab 4!
My 101-year-old Dad and my “younger” Mom living every day cooking their delicious Chinese meals and watching Wheel of Fortune, Let’s Make a Deal and Jeopardy.
So my video will focus on how I evolved into a mixed media artist despite not having a real studio and how time has simplified “my mission” in creativity. I used to make for myself weaving traditional baskets, then I become very non-traditional. And now?
I still weave and create for myself, and now add in the audience element. Will they like what I do? Will they understand why? Most importantly: Do we speak the same language?
Photos of magnificent creative spaces show up all the time on Zoom. Since October, I’ve been lusting over those well-lit inviting studios, all clean, organized, even colorized!
My “studio” is all over the Stehle house. My stovetop in the kitchen with a cream tablecloth is my Photography Studio. The floor is one big organizing shelf.
The home office is the “nucleus.” It houses my Fellowes paper shredder and all of my basketry books. I do most of my thinking and organizing, my “To Do” lists on the PC.
The Garage: It’s my “storage facility” for many supplies. Rack cards (colorized) in bins, strips of paper in boxes, Ikea linen storage bags for reed (not using for this EA project) hanging from a shelf. The washing machine is my “before and after” prep area for cutting large pieces of cardboard on a desk paper cutter. It also serves as the table for finishing off pieces with a final coat of acrylic spray.
My past work, precursors of what I’m doing now in paper weaving, is artfully displayed (or not!) on shelves or stored somewhere in the house in bigger baskets.
All these areas will be included in my “virtual studio” video. I haven’t yet figured out what to do if someone asks for an on-site “studio tour!”
If you have time, check out “Conversation with the 2021 Emerging Artist Grantees” on Facebook, Creative Pinellas.
Oh, almost forgot: I DO have a Facebook page, The Happiest Rabbit, that kinda chronicles my art adventures (starting with beading) and a very new Instagram, emilystehle. So take a look here and forget about my messy “studio!”