In March, we are thrilled to partner with the Concord Art Association (CAA) to present State of Art, an exhibition featuring the work of MCC awardees in Painting (from 2008) and Crafts (2009). The show runs March 17-May 1, and all ArtSake readers are enthusiastically invited to attend the opening reception on Thursday, March 17 from 6-8 PM.
In conjunction with that show, we’ve invited participating artists to share a view of their studio. Here’s Todd McKie (Painting Finalist ’08), who blogs as wittily as he creates visual art:
I began my life as an artist working in a dark, dank basement. My studio consisted of a drawing board, an old chair, a small formica table and a lamp. I’d spend all night down there, smoking cigarettes and painting. When the morning sun leaked through the narrow basement window, I’d stagger upstairs, make a pot of coffee, and take a shower. Then I’d head off to whatever crappy job I had at the time.
Eventually I was able to afford a real studio. One that was larger than 80 square feet and wasn’t right next to the furnace and water heater. I rented six or seven of these above-ground studios over the years, some nicer than others, some bigger than others, some pricier than others. They all had one thing in common: problems with the heat; landlords heated these spaces only to the legal minimum. And on winter weekends there was just enough heat to keep the pipes from freezing. I vividly recall days of working in gloves and a coat and hat. And how about air conditioning for those humid, broiling August afternoons? Har! Har! Har!
When my wife and I bought a house a few years back I turned its basement into my new studio. It’s pretty nice down there: lots of storage space, file cabinets, a big industrial sink, long counters, great track lighting. It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
I don’t spend my nights down there, but, yeah, I’m still near the water heater and furnace. Their rumble is a comforting reminder of the good old days.