Today we take a sneak peek in the Studio with Karen Ann Myers in Charleston, SC. I met Karen while I was interviewing Joesph Burwell (my last interview) while we were at the Halsey Institute. Karen is a prolific painter and holds down a ffull-timejob as the Associate Director of the Halsey. She currently shows her work locally in Charleston at Robert Lang Studio’s and also has had several solo exhibits in the South East in recent years
HKPS::What age did you suspect or know you were an artist?
KAM::I have always been interested in art and have always made art.
HKPS::What mediums do you work with?
KAM::I spend most of my time painting with oils on canvas or wood panels. Printmaking and collage are also processes I dabble in.
[Karen’s desk and even palettes are sorted by colors and kept until she finishes a painting]
HKPS::Where do you make Art and how big is your studio?
KAM::Currently, I work out of my home studio. It is the second bedroom in my apartment. My studio is 15’ long by 20’ wide. The ceilings are 9’.
[Karen turned her second bedroom into a studio and paints vertically on the wall using a system of screws so she can raise and lower her work. she also uses artificial light because she feels she has better control than with natural light, she’s even gone as far as putting drywall up over the window]
[wow! this painting had to be hoisted up the outside through the railing because it’s so big!
HKP::Do you consider yourself to be an organized person?
KAM::Yes – I am organized with non-tangible items (i.e. files on my computer, my time, and art supplies)
No – While I am organized with most items, to an outsider, it would appear that I was messy.
[Karen’s color coded planner with color blocked time slots]
HKPS::How or where did you learn your organizing habits and systems?
KAM::Organization comes naturally to me.
HKPS::What types of schedules, systems, tools or tips do you use to help maintain organization in your studio? (calendars, planners, technology-phone apps etc)
KAM::I utilize the following systems and tools: Weekly calendar, Time Clock (awesome!), Alarms on Phone, Checklists
[Yes, that’s a good old fashioned time clock outside of Karens studio…and this chick is dedicated. She put’s in over 40hrs/week at her “Day” job and clocks another 40+/week on her paintings!
HKPS::What kinds of materials/tools do you find challenging to keep organized or locate when you need to use them?
KAM::Basic power tools (rotary sander) and other items that I do not use on a regular basis are typically difficult to find when needed. I share my studio with my boyfriend, and he likes to rearrange objects within our tudio on a daily basis.
HKPS::How often do you purge or declutter your supply stash due to space or other constraints? (ex. yes monthly/few times a year or when I feel like it/no-having lots around inspires me)
KAM::Whenever guests come over or when an exhibition of my work is returned to me.
HKPS::Please describe how creative cycles of organization or dis-organization affect your creative process? Are there certain phases of projects that are more or less organized? (ex. I can’t focus unless things are put away, creative chaos inspires me, things get messy as I work but I clean up at the end of projects)
KAM:: Every part of my studio practice is organized.
[I’d have to agree!]
HKPS::Do you give much thought to your artistic body of work in terms of historic value and the overall artistic legacy you will leave behind? How do you store/archive your work or records? If not why?
KAM::Yes and no. I am less attached to my work right now because I think of it as practice for better paintings that will happen after I have become more technically skilled. I take high res photographs of EVERY work of art as a record to document the evolution of my studio practice.
[Karen shares some of her digital archiving methods with me]
Thank you so much Karen for inviting us into your studio and sharing some of your organizing methods with us. You inspire me to work more at my craft (in addition to my day job) and maybe even use a time clock!! If you would like to see more of Karen’s work please head over HERE and you might also want to check out her blog, where she shares all sorts of interesting info about her process and work (including info about her time clock and palettes more recently). I’ll be back with another artist feature in the next few weeks! If you missed any of my previous Inside the Studio posts please go back and take a look!
* Inside the Studio was my brainchild in 2011. There are a lot of popular studio features on the web and in magazines but I’m specifically interested in showing how organizational process influences the artists studio work. These photo’s are not styled and are typical of how the artists working studio looks. I request that each artist leave their space as it would be on a daily basis (just like I ask my clients). This series is meant to highlight how artist REALLY work rather than showing STYLED shots (popular in home and organizing magazines and blogs). I’m sure just like me, you are fascinated by the “behind the scenes” sneak peek into these artists working lives!