a studio

by Karen Phillips Curran


Its morning, even before I open my eyes I can tell by the sound of the crows bellowing nearby. A crisp morning greets me, my arms outside the covers are tingling with a chill. I bring them in to comfort them, I sigh.
Then I open my eyes. A gentle morning light greets me. I blink, wanting to clear the sandman’s deposits and gain some focus. “What day is it” I think, Saturday is the answer. Another Saturday, a break in my daily stumble, one of the only days with a regular agenda, I make coffee, read emails, do yoga then trundle down to the Neat cafe to meet with friends from the area. Its been a tradition since the early days of the cafe, all of us wanting to show some kind of support to the new business on the block
Burnstown is a tiny village, just a hamlet really. It doesn’t qualify as a village; not enough residents. But the town is full of energy, or it was. It had a community of people who had worked together to make art and life happen in the only way artist can, wild parties, art of many sorts being produced by artists and artisans who have dedicated their life to the pursuit to of it, the dream, the adventure of creation on a continuous basis. I felt I had found a home when I arrived, suddenly, one day.
I was homeless. A chapter of my life had ended tragically and I needed a reinvention fast, without forethought or any understanding of the probabilities. I was flying blind.
My time in B’town was not to last, but I didn’t know that then, I acted as if I was forever, and that I had always had been a part of it . A trick of mine, throwing my ideas and sensibilities into the mix, changing the hue of the hamlet, making it something it would not have been without me. My entrepreneurial essence was not strong, but I worked hard at tuning it up. I learned from others, took advice, or not. The economy stumbled and then the building I resided in was sold and I had to move. Suddenly, Springtown became my new home.
I bought a tiny cabin, by North American standards, no hot running water but cold came from a tap some of the year. It was a big enough piece of land to allow me to build a studio.
Had this been a dream? I’d always had a studio. Now I had one, a big room dedicated to art, filled to the brim with supplies and apparatus to make art. In it, I would paint, sing, dance, dream and make things, various things, things that were me saying this and that, commentary on my world often obscured in meaning by doubt and internal bleeding. Sometimes the images were bold and unapologetic but mostly they would celebrate the quiet moments of my life. Those times when a shadow on a wall can make me stop in my tracks, a reflection makes me not turn my head to see the solid object because the reflection is so much more beautiful and I don’t want to spoil the intense rush of love I feel from it. It being an inanimate object or a tree or a bit of sky.
The process of building this studio took up the better part of a year and most of my creative energy wet into it. No ordinary place, I worked hard to make it something I could be proud of and distinctive enough to attract attention. I did that. But the momentum has waned and my ideals are shifting. Life as a single home owner hit me. I’d owned houses before with various husbands and I had always participated in the upkeep and management. But to be responsible alone was a different story I found. Quandaries plagued me, decisions became more and more difficult. Monetary restraints kept me in line, ‘can’t afford’ became a mantra. Its an illusion, one can afford anything if your priorities become that thing, where there’s a will there’s a way…. Once again reinventing myself, rising from the ashes. What are my fears, are they real or just retinal images from the past. Can I succeed? what is success? Can I do this alone? Am I alone? What is it I am doing here? It doesn’t matter if I stay here forever, am here now.
My horoscope says I am on the threshold of a dream but I don’t know what it is…that much is true. Floating in a silver mist now, wondering, wandering….seeking.
I want control over where I am going, not just imaginary dreams that end up nowhere.
I want to make use of the studio space in a smart way….I want to get back to enjoying life….
I have recommitted to my selling art, I have to become some kind of an entrepreneur ….