The importance of quietude

I have finished combining two studios into one. In May, Regina Partridge and I closed Studio Goddard Partridge, our printmaking studio which we jointly maintained in Pawtucket, Rhode Island for nineteen years. I acquired the etching press and all the equipment and moved it into my studio in Newport. I have not allowed myself to make art until I re-organized the spaces, throwing out what was not necessary or useful, and trying to put as much “stuff” behind cupboard doors as possible. I have also acquired from an estate sale a small letterpress and a lot of type, which I am sorting into appropriate boxes. Needless to say, organizing supplies is only one aspect of a studio. Another huge challenge is properly storing the work that I have made so that it is accessible and protected. This past week I gave myself a 90% completion score, and made my first prints at 12 Leroy Avenue.

As I begin working, I am reminded of the importance for me of a quiet space, which allows me to tap into my inner voice.  Our lives are generally so fast-paced and fragmented that it is almost impossible to be aware of our individual thoughts, sensations and emotions as we navigate life. That is why quiet is so important; quiet gives us an opening into our interior selves. Whether in churches or libraries, yoga studios or art studios, nature walks or isolated vistas, places that are apart from mainstream living become the environments for contemplation and creativity.

I think art-making requires that environment….at least it does for me. As soon as I begin working, I am aware of an inner communication with myself. I tap into that communication and let the tools of art bring what has been interior to the exterior. Sometimes I feel this is a communication with God. Often, it is an expression of the deep gratitude I feel for being alive. I hope this comes through in my finished pieces of art.

I look forward to sharing some of the thoughts and practices that guide me as I move into this new phase of my life. Please feel free to respond to me.



Iris II, 2006
Monotype, 1/1
8.75” x 8.75”

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