Downsizing For Artists

Episode 260 · July 22nd, 2023 · 33 mins 24 secs

About this Episode

The contents of an artist’s studio tend to be anything but minimal. Most of us accumulate a lot of art supplies not only for our current needs but for other projects that we have in in mind, or just because we love the possibilities suggested by a new material or tool. Then there is our inventory of older work, sometimes going back decades, as well as lots of miscellaneous items that tend to land in a creative space. Shelves, drawers, and closets become crammed as all this stuff builds up. Whether you are planning a move or just want to clear out some space, downsizing is a major project.

Downsizing a studio requires a great deal of energy and many decisions, and it may be your total focus for weeks or even months depending on the scale of what you’re doing. While the
basic logistics of clearing out a studio aren’t very different from similar work in a garage or basement, personal attachment to what you need to get rid of is stronger when it comes to your artwork and other things in your studio space. Much of what you must deal with is intimately tied to your creative self and part of your personal history as an artist.

Dealing with artwork is probably the biggest challenge you will face when you are clearing out a studio. There are some good ways to sell some of this work, including holding a studio sale or online sale, especially if you put some thought and planning into the logistics of this. Other pieces may be given away or donated to a local art center, hospital, or charity organization. Putting old work or other items from your studio in the common area of a building that houses artist studios with a "free" sign is another solution.

Art supplies, art books, studio furniture, teaching supplies, and miscellaneous things you've collected for inspiration can all be problematic as you sort and decide their destinations. But there will be many items that you realize you no longer need or want. Art studios tend to accumulate decades of your various projects and ideas, many of which you will have moved past.

Downsizing or clearing out living space has been a topic for several years in the general media but as artists we have special challenges due to the highly personal aspects of what we are dealing with, and the fact that in terms of the value of things, the usual categories of what can be given away, sold, or tossed, are less clear. It is a challenging project, but the rewards of finally finishing the clearing process are great.

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy? As Rebecca and Jerry reach the end of their third year of Live sessions they are launching a new phase of programming aimed at reviewing and reinforcing foundation topics--beginning with Color in their Summer quarter that starts on July 5th. This summer's sessions will also mentoring and professional development topics, as well as a painting clinic and a member critique. As always, Members of Cold Wax Academy have unlimited streaming access to over 100 previously recorded sessions. And a table of contents to easily find specific topics in the recordings will soon be available. For more info and to join CWA please visit

Please visit for more information as well as basic information about using cold wax medium.

Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."

Also-- please visit to learn about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. A few booking openings are still available in 2023, so please incquire if you are interested.

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