The remnants of older work has a stranglehold on me that is difficult to break out of.

Tewksbury Landscape, oil on wood panel 2003

I spent yesterday sorting through the chaos of my studio.  So much of my workspace is taken up with large empty frames as well as older paintings that will never be exhibited nor hung on my walls.  Tewksbury Landscape was painting when I was attempting to break old habits and move in a different direction.  I felt playful and refreshed though I did not continue in that direction.

Throughout the day I felt paralyzed by the inability to let go of “stuff”.  The cost of the frames that sit empty, taking up space as well as taking up mental energy, keep me from throwing them out or donating them to a local art association.  The thought of trying to sell them is exhausting.  Repeatedly I think to create new paintings to fit the frames in order to put them to good use.  What a horrible idea!  It’s not at all what I want to do.  I don’t want to be controlled by frames I don’t even like anymore.

I look around my studio and see that I’m buried under the weight of unfinished paintings, projects and supplies that I may never use again, yet can’t bear to throw or give away in case I do find myself needing them.

My current love affair with my sketchbooks has brought this dilemma to the forefront.  I want to travel light and keep growing as an artist.  My sketchbooks allow that and nurture both spontaneity as well as careful, sometimes tedious study.  Though I love working large, I no longer want to spend precious time matting, framing and exhibiting.  Why then do I keep all those cases of glass and large empty frames?

Tewksbury Landscape – 2 foot x 4 foot oil painting on wood panel