Some artists have studios.
They are lucky.
Some artists can make BIG works of art in their studios.
Until very recently, I didn't have a studio. I couldn't make big works of art.
At the top of our house I have a Study that I sometimes refer to as my 'Permanent Installation'. (Other people are less, much less, flattering about it, referring to is as, for example, 'Val's junk room'.)
The Mission Control Centre of my Study is my Desk. I have had it for almost half a century, and it is where all of my literary and artistic works have been and are created.
It is not very big, and indeed the writing surface is only – and I now stop to measure it – 116 by 38 cms, or 44 by 15 inches. Anything and everything I do must be done within and on that very limited space. Or, but as I said, only recently, in my studio.
But I don't always have 116 by 38 cms or 44 by 15 inches of space on the Mission Control Centre's working surface because I have to share it with Bianca – my large black cat – who, when she stretches out and goes to sleep, takes up at least half of the available space. I don't know exactly how much working room I have when Bianca is asleep on my Desk but as she takes up between a third and a half of it it's not very much.
And so I have a very limited working surface, and that is why many of my works of art – envelopes, postcards, even collages and assemblages – displayed on this web-site are on a small scale.
I have downsized my art accordingly, and for several years have worked on what I call 'Arty Slides'. These are miniature works of art that fit into a 35 mm photographic slide. (Remember film? Remember slides?)The available working space is 35 by 23 mm. That's all. The art has to fit into that space, and a bit more can be fitted onto the frame itself.
Each Arty Slide (in French 'DiaPositive Art') is made up of a visual image taken from, inter alia, old cigarette cards, postage stamps, Victorian studio portrait cards, my drawings and aquarelle paintings, clippings from books and magazines, adverts and packaging material, etc.
So far I have developed Arty Slides in two formats:
- the standard 35 by 23 size
- a double size (2 x 35 by 23) obtained by opening out a photographic slide.
I typically display the Arty Slides in groups of 3 double size ones, and sometimes add a standard Slide to a threesome. The possibilities of combining Arty Slides in different groups of 3 are almost endless, and it's interesting to explore different combinations, whether linked by a common theme or not.
Pictures from the two Arty Slides/DiaPositive Exhibitions I organised in 2012 are shown in the 'Arty Slides' section of this web-site.
I organised two Exhibitions of my Arty Slides (or 'Dia Positives' as they are called in French) in 2012.