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  • aliciafaciane

The Studio and the Artist's Brain

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

After painter Francis Bacon's death, the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin obtained the entire contents of his studio. His studio is considered by many to be a work of art. Some artists work really well in studios such as Bacon's. To them it's not chaos: They know where everything is and it all makes sense. I think in lots of ways the studio gives you insight into an artist's brain and the artist's approach and development of their creative process.

Francis Bacon's Studio, Image by Perry Ogden

This week my studio got new lights, reorganized and slapped with a fresh coat of paint.

It's miles away from its previous life as a pool cabana room. By moving some shelves and repositioning my work table and wheel, I was able to make the space more open and inviting.

The redo of my studio highlighted some things I value in my creative process. First and foremost being light. Not only was it important to me to add more light to my space, but I painted the walls white in order to add reflective light into the space. I could have added more light fixtures, instead I chose just enough to improve the visibility but not so much that it would be hard on my eyes. I also chose LED fixtures with a more natural wavelength to be easier on my eyes. Did you know certain kinds of lights can be headache triggers? For example, fluorescent lights have a nearly invisible pulse to them that can cause migraines and tension headaches. I didn't want the light to overwhelm me visually. It was also really important to keep my two windows clear to allow in as much natural light as was possible. Something you can't see in the image of Francis Bacon's studio is that he had a huge skylight above his work space. Natural lighting seems to be something he and I would agree on as significant in a studio space.

Shelving matters: I sacrificed some shelf space, having to cut them shorter, to position them flanking the sink. But now I can fully open my entry door which makes a huge difference in the flow of the room. Before the door cut the room in half, and as most artists have been taught in design, cutting something directly in half causes a lot of distress to the composition of a piece, or room in this case. The more shelves I had, the easier it was to justify having more things to fill them up. I made a deal with myself that I hope I can keep: I chose to leave the three shelves to the right of my sink entirely empty in order to accept my creations.

Bottom line, clutter easily distracts me. I was having a hard time feeling invigorated to go into my studio and make. I'm still moving back into the space. After the studio redux I can honestly say I have been in my studio making every single day since.

Alicia Faciane's Studio, 2020

Alicia Faciane's Studio, 2020

Alicia Faciane's Studio, 2020

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