What do you do with old work?
Updated: Feb 17
My hair smells of smoke, my feet are dusty with charcoal, my mind is clear!
Today was the day for the physical clear out of my studio. Now, in the past, I have stashed my previous years work into storage portfolios, carefully labelled and stashed in the attic storage space. The digital products on my website were moved into the archive section of my Artstore.
In recent months I have been looking back over some of this work, from 3 or more years ago...and then upto the present day. Now while I have enjoyed seeing the shifts and progress of my story, I do NOT like my remaining old work. The best pieces sold and are busy making people happy, making homes. I have no desire to fill my storage space with work I really do not want to keep. And I am prolific! I make a LOT of work in a year. so what to do?
Over January I offered these up for sale, with a discount on top, to those of you wanting to have a little bit of original art for your home or workspace. And then?
My solution, barring a few favourites I have in my personal stash, is to reuse, recycle and release! Some work is on especially thick paper and worked in layers that can be rubbed over, worked over. So I have a pile of these for re-using in life drawing sessions. From here, the best images will be reworked afresh into richer paintings. Some pages are painted and drawn on in colourful patterns and these have gone into my collage stash for future projects.
Next, I threw armfuls of paintings and drawing down my loft ladder and hauled them out to the recycling bin...which is now full. I buy a lot of recycled papers, so I like to think it all comes back to me somehow!
Finally, a very small selection of pages are carried out in a basket, to the back garden. I thank the work, the artists who worked alongside me, the artist models, the inspiration that visited me...and load the pages into the firepit and set them alight! I celebrate as they burn and think of the new work itching to find it's way out of my fingers! Now I realise that burning is not great for the environment, so I keep this to a small, quick process, and I know that I feel different, freer as a result of my little fire ritual.