Make it easy

Create an environment where the impossible becomes inevitable.

~ Jason Goldberg

I recently heard a friend describe their art-making space. They have a small art table set up next to their main living room workspace. They ensure that the table is somewhat organized, but not overly so. After each session, they clean their palette and refill their water glass. They have found that by reducing the friction between themselves and the creative process, they are more likely to engage with it frequently and casually.

  • This week’s artist is – Sarah Becktel – whose work I ran across through Strathmore papers. She creates art inspired by animal ecology and natural history – animal portraits painted with 💜 and attention to detail. Find more on her website and instagram!
  • Elaine de Kooning would have been 105 on Tuesday.
  • These drone sculptures allow us to see a glimpse of past and future architecture.
  • Here is an overview of Leonardo Da Vinci’s studies of gravity (a century before Galileo Galilei).
  • Here are photos of “lost places” in Europe. I worked in a 119 year old building in Kentucky that has been modernified – but the boiler room below the basement was definitely lost in time!
  • Apparently there are whole Instagram accounts of people cleaning carpets. Sounds weird, but it is oddly satisfying to watch. (I don’t know if that much work and water is worth it though.)
  • Here are some relaxing little online games and calm, lofi music accompaniment.
  • Like “Choose Your Own Adventures”? The winners of the 2022 Interactive Fiction Competition are like that but diverse, modern, award-winning, online, and free.
  • There are so many AI tools out there – here’s a list.
  • Here’s one you can interact with – which face is real?
  • This weekend is the Spring Friends of the Library Book Sale: Friday & Saturday from 9:30-4:00 in Program Rooms 1 and 2 at the Durango Public Library. (Hardcover and Trade Books are $1.00 each, Mass Marketing Paper Backs are 2 for $1.00, and DVD’s and CD’s are 2 for $1.00)
  • It doesn’t currently feel like it, but it’s time to start thinking about your upcoming garden! Join the Garden Guys – Darrin Parmenter and Tom Bartels – once again to get your garden seed needs taken care of! They will have over 40 different varieties of copen-pollinated/heritage vegetable and herb seeds for sale at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Sunday, from 10-2.
  • Step into the world of strategic chess and make your Monday evenings more exciting at Guild House Games. Join in the weekly battle of chess from 6:30-9 p.m. upstairs in the Main Mall. Test your skills and seize the opportunity to become the next champion!
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the Dancing Spirit Community Arts CenterLet’s Letter Together, the Scrapbook NookCreate Art and Tea, the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, Seed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • Kristen recently started researching Sennelier pastels. As a result, we have a variety of new-to-us extra-soft half-pastel 6-stick sets. Other than the fact that pastels can be messy (as can so many art supplies), I don’t think there’s anything negative to say about these! If you’re a lover of color, you’ve got to come in and check these out for yourself!

The very minor adjustments my friend made to their art-making space are trivial – but impactful. That description brought a few questions to mind: How might I rearrange my schedule to make more time for the work I want to create? How might I change-up my creative habits so I’m able to work when my mindset is most optimized for it? How can I motivate myself to go out and socialize, while also creating and preserving opportunities for productive isolation? Small tweaks can help eliminate the friction that keeps us from creating. Make it easy to make art. After all, the world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew

P.S. – As a reminder, we’re going to be having a spring clean art supply drive in April. We’ll take in donations of art supplies and materials that you aren’t using and distribute them all to an organization or two who can really put them to great use. So while you’re looking through your supplies, keep that in mind. Note the things that you aren’t using and haven’t in some time. We’ll send out reminders when we start accepting donations.