Cleaning, Clearing, and Great Finds

I recently wrote a post about finding Casemaking Moths in my studio. Finding the moths was rather perfect timing. I had planned to eliminate some of my stuff. I knew that would be a difficult task because I have the habit of collecting loads of “potential” art materials for “someday.”

After reading several posts about lessening chaos and removing clutter on Zenhabits and Discardia, I liked the idea of photographing unused or sentimental items and then discarding them. That was until I began looking through and touching the past.

I was able to remove 17 boxes of books from my shelves. The shelves didn’t stay empty. I now have a clean place to store some of my small completed pieces.


I found a folder of newspaper articles that was labeled, “Odd.” The first article had the headline, Chicken With Prosthetic Legs Mauled by Dog. The other headlines were just as unusual, hence “Odd.”

There was a folder of items about artists. I made a pile of articles on artists that I liked quite a lot to google. A couple of favorite artists–

Marsha Pels’ Solstice still excites the heck out of me.

Marsha Pels Solstice 1993

The article about Kate Hunt’s work had an image of Marriage (For Todd) Torrington dated 1997. She made newspaper and bailing twine into something beautiful. When I visited her website I found Trophy.

Kate Hunt’s Trophy

The piece has the addition of steel, encaustic, and boat building epoxy. I wonder how it smells?


Back to cleaning and clearing–an interesting thing occurred. I am from the generation when you had stacks of slides to document your work. What should I do with all of the slides that I haven’t digitized? I am thinking that it would be a waste of time to digitize most of the really old work. Potential art materials?


I have always been a compulsive note taker. I have all of my notes from all of my art classes that I took and taught. Whenever I start a new series I spend a great deal of time researching. I have binders full of notes.

I use composition books for sketchbooks and go through them rather quickly. I always index the books but trying to find a particular sketch or code takes some time. I thought about scanning the sketchbooks and notes, but thought better of it.

Pretty sure that I am going to set up a camera and shoot them. That would be just like how folks of my generation shot images from books to use in class and for papers.


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