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Where and how do you do your art? This is where it ALL happens - Maree by Maree  Clarkson

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Where and how do you do your art? This is where it ALL happens - Maree by 

Camera : FujiFinepix 2800Zoom

My art table, situated in my office, next to my desk, and my computer at the back against the window. (in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa).

I’ve always been fascinated by what other artists’ studios look like, where they do their art – and it’s always a been a big thing for me to have a ‘proper’ studio. And I did have the most gorgeous studio at the previous property we lived on – a large patio that had been enclosed with large windows and it’s own entrance out into the lush garden, but also with a door leading into my bedroom, so I had direct access from the house in the cold winter months. It faced North and West, so in winter the lovely sunshine just flooded in, warming the studio with light and cosiness. It was rigged out with a large (2.4m long x 1.4m wide) art table, lots of shelving, pretty curtains, a comfortable couch and coffee table with some flowers and plenty of space for easels and all my art paraphernalia. I was constantly surrounded by the stuff I loved.

My previous studio

When we moved, suddenly, I had no studio! What a disaster! My life seemed to be ruined! What was I going to do?! Very soon every conceivable space was over-taken by art supplies and my heart ached and longed for my beloved, organised studio. I was ‘making do’ with using desks and tables all over the house, but soon my office ‘became’ my studio and I settled into this routine, albeit it with the constant thought in the back of my mind of building a ‘proper’ studio again.

Then I read an article about a distressed artist who was getting divorced and, because of that, because he would be losing his studio, he was forced to give up his art. This struck fear and pain into my heart for this poor guy and I was really feeling his pain as if it were my own.

But slowly the absurdity of his ‘pain at having to give up his art’ dawned on me – what utter bollocks! I can understand his pain about the divorce (and losing the studio), but giving up your art because of that?! Never! I realised that my art has always been a source of strength and inspiration for me and something I always turn to when life throws me a lemon.

So here’s the conclusion I have come to, and also something I have come to learn when I started painting plein air, when you make do with the minimal of art supplies – never, ever again will I be unhappy, ‘making do’ and be tied down to ‘the perfect studio’ – my ‘studio’ will be wherever I am – doesn’t matter whether it’s the kitchen table or in bed, whether it’s in my office or in my car – my art is forever with me!

  1. “When times are good, artists make art.
    When times are bad, artists make art.
    When time stands still, artists will continue making art.”

At present, my studio table is an old wooden door standing on trestles. On the top I have a vintage Cane letter holder which houses art books, canvasses and general art materials.

Some old Kitchen units used for storage space

Work in progress

Home-made storage for all my brushes, pens and pencils – 13 toilet roll cores stuck to a board with some craft glue.

In summer I often take my paint supplies outside and work in my garden/potting shed (which also sometimes is storage space for all sorts!) – wonderful light, fresh air and often live subjects like birds, lizards, geckos and Solly’s chickens marching past!

However … plans are in the offing to extend my current office (we run our business from home, therefore an ‘office’) by breaking through the window and adding a section with HUGE windows and sliding doors – maybe, one day, my art will be able to pay back the money for that…!

(Also in this series :
The Heart of a Home,
A Special Sanctuary,
Where and How Do You Do Your Art,
Bath Delights and
The Cozy Heart of the Home
Mommy Bobby and her clutch of 10
Mommy Bobby – doing what chickens do
Hi! I am Jacko, a Fox Terrier/Chihuahua cross and
maybe a couple more!)

5th January 2010 – FEATURED in Studios, Artist Workspaces & Tools


studio, studios, art studio, maree clarkson, tarlton, magaliesburg, krugersdorp, art studios, gauteng, south africa, workspace, artspace

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • rjheller1150
    rjheller1150over 3 years ago

    Thank you for allowing us a peek….Happy New Year

  • Thanks for popping in Rick and a joyous and inspirational new year to you too!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • paulramnora
    paulramnoraover 3 years ago

    Your studio looks ok to me; compared to the total mess that I do live in; I wish we could swap! ;-)

    Actually, my mum is always telling me, “go and tidy up; as we might have to receive visitors!” But, even though somebody else sees a huge pile of papers; me, I actually I know exactly where everything which I want is being located inside of the mess. Then, when I’m not in, my mum tidies up on her own; and, when I return, I don’t know where anything this is, anymore?! I don’t even bother complaining, though; because she never listens to me; only listens to herself, alone. I guess, we are both extremely stubborn, sometimes; only listening to our own opinions so long as it suits us; and, not really too interested in what anybody else thinks about how we should live or not.

  • Oh Paul! You’re such a laugh! I actually cleaned the mess up a bit for the photograph, normally it’s much more cluttered than this! But as you say, I also know exactly where everything is! Although, at the moment I’m missing a painting and can’t for the life of me think where it is, as I have various boxed and suitcases filled with watercolours! ha ha!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • And Paul, thank you for adding it to your favs!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesover 3 years ago

    Ongelooflik! Waar ’n wil is, is ’n weg! Ek is in presies dieselfde situasie as jy! Droom lankal nie meer nie maar kom klaar met waar ek is en wat ek het!
    Dankie vir ’n kykie in jou persoonlike lewe en kuns!
    “N Geseende en Voorspoedige 2011 vir jou en jou geliefdes! xx

  • Maar ek glo nie ons moet OOIT ophou droom nie Magriet! ‘Dreams are the stuff that fairy tales are made of!’ Dankie dat jy kom inloer het en ’n Geseënde en Voorspoedige jaar vir jou en jou familie ook! xx

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Heps
    Hepsover 3 years ago

    Wonderlik om te sien waar die kreatiwiteit vandaan kom! Ek het ’n paar esels verskillende kleure geverf waarop ek my uitstallings wil hou, maar vir nou is hulle in ’n hoekie in my studio.

  • Dankie Taschja! En bring daai esels uit vir ’n uitstalling, klink soos ’n wonderlike idee!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 3 years ago

    Ag hoe heerlik om hier rond te kuier so op die Oujaarsdag! Ek hou die heelmeeste van:“When times are good, artists make art.
    When times are bad, artists make art.
    When time stands still, artists will continue making art.” En natuurlik jou potlood en kwassiehouers, mal daaroor! GENIET jou lekker studio Maree!:-)

  • Dis ons leuse “artists will continue making art, NO MATTER WHAT!”, nie waar nie? Dankie dat jy kom inloer het, hoop jou Oujaarsdagaand was fantasties! Ek het nog planne gehad om 12uur hier te wees, maar het dit gemis! giggel!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • dasSuiGeneris
    dasSuiGenerisover 3 years ago

    Nice! I love the many aspects where you have recycled and re-purposed materials, especially the door. You have quite a lovely and spacious area to do your art Maree!

  • It really is nice and big Generis, just awaiting a total revamp! Thanks for popping in here, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • WoolleyWorld
    WoolleyWorldover 3 years ago

    Now you have set the scene…great space!

  • Thanks a lot Maree! Glad you popped in!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • EdsMum
    EdsMumover 3 years ago

    How wonderful of you Maree to let us in to share where you work, must say your area is a little tidier than my desk. well that is another story….Shirley

  • It’s my pleasure Shirley and no! It doesn’t look like this all the time, life happens! thanks for stopping by and having a look!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottover 3 years ago

    Nice work space! I do my work on the kitchen counter….it’s a nice height while standing. If I need to sit, I just move to the table. My supplies are stored in the cabinets below the counter when not in use……but when in use, they’re all over the countertop! I use to have a very private place to myself….well lit, carpeted, nice temperature, etc., but I felt too isolated while working there. I need to be with my cat, the coffee pot & my husband, so the kitchen it is! :)

  • That sounds so wonderful Marsha! And you’ve hit the nail on the head! Hubby and I were discussing adding a studio on to my office, and it brought up all sorts of problems like far from him, far from the customers, far from the coffee pot, etc! I say ‘comfort’ is the keyword! Thank you for your lovely chat. xx PS: Are we gonna see some photos? There’s a lovely group Studios where you can add it to.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Pat Yager
    Pat Yagerover 3 years ago

    Thank you, Maree, not only for your studio photos, but for your lovely and inspiring description of your past and present work space and your great attitude about art. My spot is on the landing right at the top of the stairs. I also have my gardening info there, too, and frames, etc., so I’m constantly looking for a way to make it less cluttered and more workable. So I think each artist has our own particular challenge, and I think our love for our work keeps us “at it” even when space is at a premium. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Aaah, thank you for your heart-warming words Pat! Your spot sounds ideal, and I also have my gardening books and half the tools close-by! Just in case I want to rush out suddenly and dig a hole! lol! As I said to Marsha above, have you got any photos to show us? Would LOVE TO TAKE A PEEK! I’m mad about seeing other artists’ spaces!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • And thank you for the fav Pat!

    – Maree Clarkson

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