#7. Launching on the new moon


“Bald Porcupine at Dusk”  12×12, mixed media on board. © 2103 Karen Rand Anderson

As the old phrase goes…  “Let ‘er rip” . So, it’s January 1st, 2014, which happens to coincide with the Capricorn new moon, an excellent time for beginning something that is crafted from an internal, thoughtful place. You know that feeling of starting a new painting/project/piece–  making the commitment to do, begin, create with passion; having the gumption (love that word) to go for it..? I’ve made a 2014 commitment to myself to confront my fears, my past, and my future; hence, the launch of this blog, “Cleaning Up the Studio“. Welcome… I’m glad you’re here. (I’m glad I’m here!) I hope you’ll scroll down and see my previous posts… this blog has been private until today, coinciding with the new moon which, I’ve just discovered, is considered a “supermoon”. Quite cool actually.

Now that the solstice has passed, winter’s darkness is beginning to lessen, day by day. (Thank God.) I’ll be wrapping myself up in studio work, getting ready for my upcoming show at Alexey von Schlippe Gallery in April. I’ll also be thinking about and planning what to focus on here— writing, wondering, questioning, and marveling, while continuing to be inspired by the words and insights of so many others [see sidebar]. Art, writing, and messes will get made, that is, until that tipping point is reached, when I can’t get anything done in the midst of the chaos, and it’ll be time to clean up the studio again, start afresh, and get new stuff going. I do love cycles.

In the meantime, I’m stumbling around as a complete newbie in the art blogosphere. So please forgive the bumbles and faux-pas as I get going with content, comments, and concepts. By putting myself out “here”, I plan to share my art and studio thoughts, make connections, get exposure, interact with other artists and bloggers, shed light on things, sprinkle inspiration, and pose questions. I’ll be posting images of my work, which is available for purchase… Let me know if you’re interested.

And by all means, please let me know what you think — I’m looking for my tribe. Join me?


#6. Looking back & stepping out

Turning the corner. Out with the old and in with the new. Making resolutions…? Nope– no resolutions. Instead, I’ve decided to adopt one word for 2014 to sort of underpin how I want to live my year. My word is “ACCOUNTABLE”. So, being accountable is what I want to focus on– accountable to self, others, my art, my daughters, my doggie, my home, stepping up the learning curve, finding joy, and finding a way to do more in terms of service. Not sure exactly what, but it will involve my art. Basically, being accountable, in my life, every day.

Though I did manage to read a couple of books, I haven’t watched even one Netflix movie in the past several months– not since I began delving deep, doing research, taking some e-courses, and making the commitment to create this blog as a part of my art practice. It’s the Blogs of Others that did it. I’m continually amazed at what’s out there, who is saying it, the energy and information and creativity that is being shared and spread around, for free, essentially. I like the concept of free culture and questioning copyright, although I need to find out a lot more. I’ve allowed myself to become inspired and kicked in the butt by The Blogs of Others.

The Blogs of Others that have been circling me these last months include stuff about





expanding  horizons







letting go



and lots more.

And blogging.. .the opportunity to share, spew, show and tell, read and be read, respond and be responded to, spark and be sparked, find and be found.


“What Really Matters”  2010. graphite + gouache on Fabriano paper, mounted on linen. 36×28″

©2013 Karen Rand Anderson

#4. Cleaning it up

Every so often, we need to clean it up, the mess. Maybe your studio is your kitchen table, your basement or garage, a corner of the living room, a loft, or a space in an old mill—it’s wherever you make your art. My studio has been all of these places, and I am one of those notoriously right-brained artists, whose work is, for the most part, all over the map (more about that later) and also all over the floor, walls, and every available horizontal surface. I revel in my creative process, which includes but is not limited to drawing, painting, gluing, wiring, tearing, twisting, building, sawing, sketching, stitching, hammering, and writing. Until suddenly—there comes a point where things are getting lost in the creative mess. Like tools and materials, self-confidence, motivation and vision. Focus, intention and drive. 


This is, I kid you not, my studio in process of being cleaned up and reorganized a few weeks ago. 

As artists, we (some of us) love our messes, but when they get out of hand,  well, one has to clean them up in order to move forward. Move things around, rearrange, pitch, let go. Put the old work away to make room for the new. It’s a challenge, at least for me—letting go of old work, past mistakes, and people who are no longer part of the picture. But when the cleaning up thing takes place, it’s amazing what happens…  new ideas, new people, new work all begin to show up.   


Embarrassing…!! But that’s why I’m here, doing this– putting myself into a new and courageous place. (Just getting into the studio is pretty damn courageous, especially when it looked like this. )

Is your studio practice fueled by headlong creative onslaught, or focused and preconceived concepts? Are you organized and methodical in your art approach, or energetic and spontaneous? (I guess it’s fairly obvious which one I am.)


Truth be told, I would love to have little elves come in once a week and tidy things up in my studio. But then, they probably wouldn’t know where to begin, and I probably wouldn’t be able to work in such an organized space. (Hmm. Food for thought.)


My faithful studio assistant, Theo.