Decluttering: Can A Messy Studio be Too Messy?

Episode 186 · July 10th, 2021 · 32 mins 17 secs

About this Episode

Artists are always given the good advice to be productive as they can, to make lots of work, to go to the studio nearly every day. That’s because only by doing a lot of work can you really progress and explore your full potential. Yet the results of all that creative output will inevitably pile up in the studio and in your home, leading to storage problems and other more personal issues. Today we will talk about the challenges of dealing with the accumulation of your own artwork.

Few of us are able to sell or give away everything we do as we go, if we are at all productive or have been making art for any length of time. We all have different amounts of storage and wall space so for some people it is easy to hang onto things if they have room. Yet for all of us the day will come when we want or need to downsize our past work-- if only to make it easier for others to deal with it when we no longer can.

This is an emotional and demanding task. But athough it is often tedious, there are also some pleasurable aspects to reviewing your work over the years and choosing the best pieces to keep. Some of this work may end up in your own collection, and some may be offered for sale or given as donations or gifts. While selling or gifting may sound easy, the reality can be complicated. What is the best way to run a sale of your work? Do you need to take your local gallery into consideration? Can you find a place for a donation where the work will be on public view?

The mediocre work, bad work, or repetietive work that you cull is also challenge to dispose of. Some artists choose a ritual buring, others brace themselves to fill a dumpster. Probably the best strategy is to avoid massive accumulations of work in the first place by purging your stacks periodically.

PS: if you are interested in the older work that Rebecca is offering for sale from her own studio/moving sale, please visit

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A new quarter is underway at Cold wax Academy, the online learning program developed by Rebecca and her partner Jerry McLaughlin. This summer, the weekly online sessions focus on Mark-making, Setting and Following Intentions, and Composition. All sessions are recorded so that you can learn at your own pace, and there are supplementary assignments and other opportunities to participate. Join Rebecca, Jerry, and current members to take part in this exciting international community of artists. Please visit to sign up and start taking advantage of all that Cold wax Academy has to offer its members.

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