Tag Archives: art

Artists: Improve Your Studios for Success

Artists need inspiration and motivation to keep producing art. Years ago I visited a number of

A studio housed in a garage.

artists’ studios to get a sense of the environments in which artists work. As a feng shui practitioner who appreciates the feng shui principal that what you have in your space and how it’s arranged affects what happens in the space, it was interesting to see that many artists work in very utilitarian spaces that are cluttered, disorganized, and not very inviting. The priority in many studios seems to have been to expend creative energy on art pieces rather than on the space itself.

Feng shui teaches that if you make a space a personal paradise, an attractive space with many sources of positive energy (light, color, plants, treasures, useful supplies, etc.) and few sources of negative energy (clutter, piles of paper, trash, supplies you no longer use, etc.) and utterly comfortable, you will attract more good into your life (motivation to create, increased productivity, commissions, ideas, opportunities to show your work, resources, etc.). Given that reality, it would behoove artists to invest more time, energy, and creativity into transforming their utilitarian studios into luscious places to work.

I recently had the opportunity to do a feng shui consultation for Kymberly Keniston-Pond, an artist and wellness consultant whose studio was in a small shed in her backyard. As most sheds are, it was unpainted on the inside and had no windows, a pretty grim, utilitarian space much better suited for storing yard tools than for creating art.

I initially questioned Kymberly about the idea of trying to make that space her center of creativity. It was so small, dark and uninviting. When it became apparent that the shed was her only option for a studio, we began brainstorming ways to make the space work for her. We identified areas of the space for specific activities and discussed furnishings, shelving and storage options. I made recommendations for color on the walls, for softening hard edges, for bringing a sense of the outside into the space, and for my client making the space her own. When I left that day, Kymberly had a long list of steps to take to create a studio that she’d love to come to every day.

As happens when I do a feng shui consultation, months passed with no word from Kymberly. I

The beginning — adding color to the walls and fabric in the eaves to soften the hard edges of the rafters.

often never hear from feng shui clients and wonder if they followed my recommendations but never let me know the results of their efforts, or if they never took action at all. In this case, I was lucky to receive an email from my Kymberly eight months after our consultation sharing her progress once she got a majority of the work done.

I share the following photos to show you an example of what can be done if you turn your creative energies to making your studio a personal paradise for your work. What you see may not appeal to you, but remember, it is an expression of Kymberly’s personal tastes and choices. Your expression of YOUR personal paradise will be very different.

Using fabric for visual interest, to balance the hard edges of the walls and shelving, and to screen art supplies stored below.

The specific color and content choices are not as important as the fact that Kymberly created a space she loves, one that inspires her engage in creative activities. Here’s what she had to say about the space,

“I love going into my ‘korner’. . . it makes me smile, and I feel instantly relaxed, happy, nurtured. I am looking for a beautiful chandelier to hang above my table. I will know it when I see it. I painted the covers of the florescent lights, hung some awesome Edison ones, and when I get back I will be taking down the florescent ones and hanging two more strings of Edison. . . that’s the lighting I’m most comfortable with.”

As you can see, her studio is a work in progress, one that she has enjoyed creating and now

A framed outdoor scene creates the sense of a window. A work table is transformed into an object of visual interest by covering it with with colorful fabric.

enjoys working in.

What can you do to make your studio a place that draws you in and motivate you to create more art?

A sign with the name of Kymberly’s business and a swinging chair with colorful pillows add whimsy and a lighthearted, warm energy to the space.

Good Bedroom Feng Shui Includes Art

What hangs on the walls of your bedroom? What kind of energy surroundsScan 14 you when you sleep? The energy of each painting, print, and photograph affect the quality of your sleep and the quality of your relationships. In fact, the feng shui of any art in your bedroom is also directly related to your overall health and general well-being. So it’s important to check out each piece of art to make sure that its energy is in keeping with the primary energy you want to achieve in the space.

Remember, bedrooms are primarily about rest, changing your clothes and intimacy (sex).

So, ideally the art should have a restful, peaceful and/or sensual energy. Landscapes, beach and garden scenes are good choices for a peaceful bedroom. Scenes with people should be avoided because people have the energy of fire. Fire is the highest energy element and therefore not restful.  Violent or troubling scenes can affect your interactions with a spouse and can disrupt your sleep. Definitely avoid depictions of war and anything disturbing.  You also want to avoid art in the bedroom that conveys sad or lonely images. So what are some important feng shui factors to consider when choosing bedroom art?

Check out the subject matter of each art piece.

What is going on in the scene? You are sleeping with the content.  The best feng shui advice for bedroom art is to choose images that you want to experience in your life. Remember, what you put on your walls is alive with energy. To ensure peace in the bedroom, good sleeping and intimacy, remove anything that has a negative association or a busy, frenetic energy.

If you want to attract romance, choose art that feels romantic

If you are part of a couple and want to add some spark to your love life, add prints of couples embracing, sensual subjects that you both find appealing and pairs of prints, candles, or objects of any kind. Or, to make the bedroom all about the two of you, enlarge photographs from your honeymoon or a special trip you enjoyed together, and frame them. Avoid art depicting single women or single men. They hold the energy of being single and could affect the strength of your relationship.

Remember the functions of your bedroom: rest, changing your clothes, and intimacy (sex). Make sure your art is compatible with those functions and you will have good feng shui in your bedroom.

Feng Shui: The Power of Associations

I first came across the original pastel of the Lee Bridge, a Richmond, Virginia landmark, when helping a client clear out her house in preparation for a move. I was not impressed by it at the time. When it was clear that my client was not attached to it and was prepared to donate it to a charity, I asked if I could have it to sell at a silent auction being sponsored by the alums of my college graduating class. My client readily agreed and I hauled it off to the Randolph College reunion.

The pastel didn’t sell at the auction, so I bought it myself. I’m not sure what possessed me to do that, but it felt right at the time. When I got the print back home I hung it in my dining room in a place where I see it every time I enter my living room on my way to the front door.

Over time I’ve become quite fond of the pastel. It has been comforting in a way I never expected. It looks nice on the peach colored walls. The bridge reminds me to look for ways to build bridges in my relationships instead of hanging out alone on islands. But, as I considered my growing affinity for the pastel I realized that its power not just limited to its aesthetic qualities and subject matter, but also as a result of its many positive associations. They are:

the association with my very special client who has since moved away from Richmond;
the association with Randolph-Macon Women’s college and the wonderful reunion weekend I enjoyed when it was for sale at the silent auction;
the association with art, my first love and source of soul food;
the association with pastels, one of my favorite mediums both in the art I view and own, but also as my next art learning goal;
the association with bridges which symbolize the significance of connections over time, and
the association with Richmond, VA, the place I’ve lived longer than anywhere.

With all those special, powerful associations and the positive energy it holds in place, I have come to love the piece. It is like an old friend who reminds me that there is much to be grateful for in my life.

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner, Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in life. If you’re ready to clear clutter and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.

10 Characteristics of High Performance Environments

Want to create a high performance environment? My guess is that you already know many of the characteristics listed below. But, you may need some incentive to motivate yourself to create that type of space. Here you go! High performance environments:

  • are comfortable and make visitors immediately feel comfortable
  • are places where you can be productive and accomplish your goals
  • are optimal for positive human interactions
  • are places where you want to spend time

Following are ten characteristics of spaces where you can be both productive and comfortable.

  1. Clean–Dust, dirt and grime are sources of negative energy. Negative energy is distracting and interferes with your ability to feel comfortable and motivated.
  2. Organized–When you’re organized you can find what you want when you want it, keep track of what you need to do and work efficiently. Being organized also helps you feel more in control and empowered.
  3. Uncluttered–Clutter distracts. Clutter irritates. Clutter attracts more clutter. It also talks to you. I’ll bet the last time your space was cluttered with paper it said something like, “Why don’t you take care of me?” or “What a mess!” Who needs a space that says unkind things to you!
  4. Walls painted a color, not white–When you are in an environment that is predominantly white you are more prone to anxiety and depression. The reason for that is that color doesn’t show up against white walls. You are nurtured by color. When you don’t have enough color in your environment, you’re more likely to feel blue or anxious. Paint your walls a color and watch the color in your wall hangings and window coverings pop off the wall.
  5. Good natural lighting–We all know that rooms with windows are preferable to rooms with no windows. But, for optimal performance you want to have rooms with light that is not too bright and not too dim. Light is energy. In rooms that are too bright, you run a risk of burnout because there’s too much energy. If windows let in too much light, bringing in heat and glare, window coverings can be used to moderate the level of light. If a room is too dim, there isn’t enough energy in the space and it’s very hard to feel motivated to take action. In that case adding additional light is essential.
  6. Well lit with at least three sources of incandescent light–Avoid fluorescent lighting. We need full spectrum lighting to thrive. Fluorescent lighting is not full spectrum. It also makes noises–buzzing and popping–that are irritating to the nervous system. Many spaces feel most comfortable with at lease three light sources, two lamps and one pole lamp that provides up-lighting.
  7. Attractive, comfortable furniture in good condition–It is most important that you avoid having furniture that you hate because it’s ugly, is uncomfortable or is associated with bad memories or bad feelings. Always choose comfortable furniture whose appearance you love.
  8. Healthy live plants or clean silk plants–Our natural habitat is the out of doors. Plants make spaces feel comfortable because they bring the outdoors inside. Live plants also remove pollutants from the air. Their green color will nurture you and can transform a sterile environment into a comfortable space. While live plants are preferable, silk plants that look like real plants can be used as long as they are kept clean.
  9. Interesting, colorful art–Art feeds a space with color and scenes that can lift your spirits and your energy. Violent scenes and scenes with a negative association should be avoided because their negative energy will affect your energy and could attract negative circumstances.
  10. Mementos that matter to you–Mementos hold the energy of the memory associated with them. When that association is positive and you bring them into your space, you are anchoring positive pieces of your history. When surrounded by things that remind you of some of the best experiences, accomplishments and people in your life, those things can help you keep on track, focused on your abilities and blessings.

© 2012 Clearing Clutter for Good Online Program | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner, Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in life. If you’re ready to clear clutter and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at www.letcluttergo.com.