The Sons of Freedom, a Doukhobor sub-group, were known for their practice of purging in regular intervals. Translated, a fully committed member of the Freedomites practiced nudism and arson to protest materialism. The definition in one sentence: Every seven years the Sons of Freedom would round up their worldly possessions, including the clothes on their backs and ignite everything ensuring a fresh start and enough incentive to only own the bare necessities.
I must say, I can see a certain, better yet, a definite benefit in this. 😉 We finished installing the new studio floor on Monday. It looks great (I will post images in the near future…). I am now fully immersed in sorting through supplies. This includes papers, paints, brushes, pens, inks, fabrics and odds and ends deemed absolutely necessary at the time of purchase.
I am not sure how often I have been tempted to pick up the telephone and order a clean pack. It would be so easy to toss things over the railing of the studio deck. At the same time I feel it is a wake up call. What was I thinking when I picked up another set of pencil crayons??? Yes, I used most of these sets for my workshops here in the studio and away, however – I feel like I fell victim to consumerism in its worst form!
At this time I am only spending time and energy in the main studio space. I have not begun on the mezzanine where I store samples, books, large rolls of batting and reference material (that will be next). Granted, I started this journey almost 19 years ago. But I also moved from Calgary 8+ years ago. In April I celebrate eight years of inhabiting the studio space. I should have purged better when I moved in the 100+ boxes of books and supplies in 2008. Time restraints prevented that. I was leaving for a teaching gig on the West Coast and had just enough time to move supplies into the cupboards. Once I returned I jumped in and started creating… thoroughly enjoying the space and light and an abundance of inspiration.
This week I experienced THE moment of truth: We can’t escape responsibility forever: This is the time for me to sort through every basket and container. I equate these last couple of days to a treasure hunt. I have found and rediscovered many things either forgotten or replaced long ago.
My friend Gillian pointed out last night during a phone conversation, I need to organize a sale. Yes, a studio sale of supplies, books and art is on the agenda, most likely this summer. Stay tuned… meanwhile I am avoiding work. I am back to clearing the floor and filling cupboards and baskets. My mantra has been for a while: “I shall not buy what I don’t need right now!”
Rest assured, not everything is tossed in the trash. Dried up paints and bits of paper (I have no idea why I kept these…) quickly find their way into the trash bag, a large box is filling up with oil pastels, paints I no longer need or have too much of. This box will be donated to the children’s art programme at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery… and the mountain of fabric scraps (containing assorted fat quarters and more) will go to my friend Shirley who has graciously offered to find a new home for them. Shirley creates stunning quilts with what most of us call scraps.
OK, back to the sorting ans purging…