An artist's studio houses many things.
On the shelves between the varnish and the beeswax you'll find crippling insecurity right next to purpose-filled direction. Child-like questioning juxtapositions right by burning fear. "Don't judge me" balances off against, "I know you will judge me; that's why I'm doing this, quite possibly." Fierce knowledge born of mistakes and destroyed canvasses and broken pottery and bruised hearts. It's all there, there in the artist's studio. Where we create what we think will best express all of it - or none of it - because maybe when we're making it we'll find out that we feel differently about all of it. Or some of it.
More than anything, the art studio is a vortex of hope. Hope that the yearnings expressed will be the yearnings felt. That it all will lead to something more. That even a small part of it will touch someone in that place that art is supposed to touch.
There is one thing you'll rarely find in the artist's studio. That's finished business. Things that get completed go out to the wider world, find their place, crash and burn, get used, broken, revered, hated. We hope they get loved. We pray they get loved. They go out into the world to make room for new questions, new resolutions, new hope, new insecurities. For reflection and obsession and absorption and to just get better at something.
My studio is currently bursting at the seams with unfinished business. Instead of standing in judgment of all that's left to do, I am viewing it as a symphony of questions that will be answered, one by one, when the time is right. I am finding that the work is submerging me in the eleven years I spent in Italy. What it meant, how it was. Why we went, why we left. How Italy moulded me, changed me, cracked me open in ways that made certain I would not be the same person coming out of the experience as going into it.
I come out of the studio and I write lines in my next book. The pots lead to thoughts; the canvass leads to words. It's all part of the same cycle. Of beautiful, blissful unfinished business.