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Morocco – 7.25 x 5.25 inch Collagraph with Watercolor – Available in my Etsy Shop here

I spent a few days this week hanging art, and unpacking the last parts of my studio that have been in boxes since moving from the desert to the coast over the summer. As much as I loved seeing those previously inaccessible art supplies, I also realized I haven’t missed some of them, and I’ve been storing supplies for “just in case” scenarios. In an effort to de-clutter, focus, stand down and apply myself like Gorilla Glue to just printmaking and watercolor, I boxed and donated all supplies I haven’t used in the past year.

A small Stephen Cefalo drawing, and a mail art post card by Matt Adrien (the Mincing Mockingbird)

Earlier this year, The Huffington Post published a slide show of 44 artist studios (you can see it online here) and the images affirmed my conviction to keep things neat and as uncluttered as possible in my 11 x 9 foot studio. Printmaking – especially with a press (mine takes up a footprint roughly the size of a twin bed) can swallow a studio in supplies, so I stick to just a few methods; collagraphs, drypoints, and relief prints (linocut & woodcut). My challenge has been to fit everything I need inside my studio without tripping over it all.  I’ve configured and re-configured the closet several times to accommodate my computer desk, carving tools, reference photos, video-making equipment, frames, print inventory and shipping/framing supplies.   It’s not a glamorous, or even noteworthy studio, but I love the space and feel very at home to create and think and plan the next project in this little room. I’ll post a studio tour soon, if you’d like. What are you doing to prepare space for art-making in your home this year?

Morocco framed and ready for a wall 🙂
Building the collagraph plate with mat board and construction paper cut into shapes and glued with gloss medium
Inking and wiping the plate to print it intaglio style
After a trip through the press, I’m pulling the collagraph print from the plate. Once the ink dries, I’ll add watercolor to this small edition of 10.


Art Quote

No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important.

Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.

Marie Kondō

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13 thoughts on “Collagraph: Morocco (& de-cluttering the art studio)”

  1. I have just found collograph, and love it, i love your work and ask you to du
    o more for beginners , I do not have a press can it be done without one, also would like you to do more videos,

    1. Hi Joyce,
      Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m in the process of the final unpacking in my studio, and video production will commence soon. In the meantime, you can watch a tutorial on printing a collagraph without a press here:
      I hope you’re subscribed to my channel so you’ll get new content the moment it’s posted! 🙂 Happy art-making!

    1. Hello my friend, Thanks for the compliments. Don’t you think chilly winter is a perfect time to sort and organize and purge? And paint? 🙂 Here’s to a *very* productive winter in your studio. xoxoxo B.

  2. Yes, would love a tour of your new studio. My little work room gets quite untidy, but I do have fairly frequent clearing-up attempts between projects (and often use the excuse as a delaying tactic).

    1. Hi Sonia, I have been known to sort and clean as a delaying tactic, so I’m riding shotgun with you on that segue. Thanks for stopping by, and come visit again. Studio tour is in the works, cleaned up or not! 🙂

  3. Belinda, I admire your resolve to declutter your studio and concentrate on printmaking and watercolor. You excel at both and it’s fun to see your latest creations. I wish I had the personality to stick to one or two mediums, but I’m afraid I enjoy the creativity of a multitude of mediums too much to give up any of them. Plus there is always something new to try. Fortunately my studio area is ample enough to accommodate everything I enjoy doing, including machine embroidery and sewing. I may be like a fly at the window some days deciding what to do next, but I’m never bored.

    1. Hi Mickey, It sounds like you have the *dream* studio: lots of space and a variety of art supplies to tinker with as the mood suits you! Bravo to your good fortune and wide interests! I’m with you on the love for a multitude of mediums. Have fun this winter and be sure to post your results so we can see your creations!

  4. Love the collagraph process photos and finished product! Also appreciate the encouragement and example to focus and simplify. Would I like to have a tour of your studio? You bet!

    1. Thanks for the compliments, Kathleen. So far, the simplification in my studio is sprouting enormous creative urges. There’s so much more room to think! I wish you much the same. ◊ And a studio tour is forthcoming. 🙂

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