Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Room to Bloom" with Kim Candlish!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome to my blog series "Room to Bloom"! Some amazing women from around the world will be sharing their personal creative spaces with us. No matter if our space is desk in a corner of our kitchen or a spacious loft studio, we all need room to bloom, don't you think? I know you'll find these sanctuaries as inspiring as I do.

Today's guest is Kim Candlish! Kim is a busy Mom who knew she needed room to bloom . . . she claimed the sunniest spot in the house - just look at her shine!


I came to claim my own space when my stepson moved out of our house and into his own apartment three years ago. Up until then I had been working in corners, working small and cleaning up constantly or worse – not cleaning up at all. It took a lot of courage to stake my claim since his room was a prize piece of real estate in our house. Now I can see how that was a big step in speaking up for myself and because I did, I have a large room with many windows to let in a lot of natural light.

I share the studio with my art dog and my 8-year old son who has no qualms about staking his claims on space! The demands of being a mother have helped me learn to work when and where I can and not wait for the perfect mood or setting or to chase that elusive muse. It is a lesson for me about just showing up at the canvas or with my lump of clay.

For inspiration I keep a small altar, ever changing. Right now I have a tray of rocks painted by a fellow artist (aka The Rock Fairy) and a bowl my son made me for mother’s day last year that holds some of the clay objects I’m working on.

Having just come down off of Connie’s BIG class I am feeling somewhat depleted creatively. I knew when I finally signed up over at Dirty Footprints Studio that I had to be ready for it. I had eyeballed it many times before I said yes; now I’m accepting that I have undergone some intense changes there. I understood that the class was going to be about the process and not about finished product so I was hardly bothered when every painting I did was horrible. I started with just plain ugly, moved on to awful, then to atrocious and finally ended up with hideous. I felt like I was getting so much gunk out that it was a relief and at times funny. It surprised me that so much ugliness was hiding inside. But it feels amazing to have released this and I think I learned a bit about paint in the process.

I have just spent two days cleaning up and cleaning out the studio – my half of the space anyway. I have thrown out, dusted, washed down, tidied and organized my tools. I actually lack messiness right now which may have never happened before. Instead I have clean surfaces, orderly piles, I can even see the top of my table. After going through all the personal part of the BIG work, I am seeking out the basics with Alisa Burke’s color palette class, creating simple color wheels and learning all over again. It is quite delicious to dip myself into pure color.

I have a ritual of getting up before everyone else in the morning at 5:00 and spend the first hour by myself in my studio drinking cold tea and feeling myself, alone, tuning into the world. This is the only hour I can usually be guaranteed to be absolutely alone in body and in thought and I treasure it.


Kim is a mixed media artist who also dabbles in clay. She blogs over at and has aspirations to move to a warm climate and finally open an etsy shop this year.


thecatalanway said...

Lovely to see more about Kims life and space and I really like the idea of showing the spaces where women work. I am very guilty of 'waiting' for the right time and place. Haven't made any sculptures for more than two years. But this has inspired me. I will begin in a dark dusty corner of our workshop and dream of a light filled room that will one day be mine. the important thing is to turn up for work - as Kim says. And if time is short - get up earlier! Thank you both love Kate x

Margie said...

Really enjoying these Tracie! A nice job by all thus far and each so different which makes it fun!

Tracy Carlton said...

hurrah for claiming your space!
and oh i wish i was an early morning person, that hour to yourself sounds do divine!