mariposa studio blog   november 2016     Open Studios
Mariposa Studio Blog:
November 2016

Where's the
Mess?
Open Studios

by Anna Dal Pino

T his year I displayed the following essay in the studio and it turned out to capture
people's attention:

I've been doing Open Studios since 2007, spring and fall.  I set it up like a gallery.  I'm
aware that some people are expecting to see an "artistic" mess. Something like stacks
of canvas clutter, colorful splatters on drop cloths, tubes and vials lining the walls, jars
of brushes.

Not seeing this scene, a lot of people enter anyway.  Something else brings them in.  I
hope it is the finished artwork.  Here's a peek behind the scenes, and some secrets:

1.  Wheels

We keep the studio flexible.  Look closely and you'll see everything is on wheels.  We
can make it my painting studio, a rehearsal and performance space, or a gallery, and
arrange appropriately depending on the unique work at hand.






2.  Why No Splatters?

Well, maybe just a few.  High quality paint is expensive.  I like to keep it to the paper or
canvas.  

Below is a photo of the space as studio, with still life set up and painting in progress.
3.  Simple Palette

Though I work in several media (dry, watercolor, oil), I use simple palettes to unify my
paintings.












Tempting as an art store full of pretty colors is, all I need for my oils fits on a hospital
cart.  All I need for my watercolors is portable (for field trips) and fits in a fishing tackle
box and a bag (or tray in the studio).
4.  Three Things at a Time

Or thereabouts.  I keep a few projects going at once so there's always work to be
advanced while paint dries on something else.  I do tend to finish what I start.  And
space is limited, precious, and flexible, so there aren't piles of abandoned projects.
5.  Making a Living

That's what I'm doing.  So I want to show you the artwork in a clean, well lighted
environment, so maybe you'll consider owning some of it.  And I'm always happy to talk
about how and why I make the work.
Postscript:  

I do hope you'll visit when you're in San Francisco.  We set up the gallery and open our
doors on Sunday afternoons.