A couple of weeks ago while we were compiling  Artist’s Studios with Sofas + Rest Spaces, we stumbled on picture of earth artist Roy Staab‘s that had the notation:  The Site Is My Studio. There was Staab creating in the Hudson River in 1989. IN THE HUDSON RIVER!

It got us thinking about what our studio is. We realized that it is NOT just the space where we write, experiment, document projects. Our improvisor’s mindset expands the field infinitely daily:

Improvising gave us the transforming questions we walk around with: What can I use that can help me solve this (whatever THIS might happen to be)? And …What’s lying hidden in plain sight?

We realize that as we wander, travel, meet, we’ve been practicing looking… scouting solutions to ideas we have, or might write about. This song from Yosi Horikawa’s Wandering seems fitting…


Passages suddenly leap out of books and magazines…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

We wonder what we could do with the tree branch slices the Parks Department arborists left lying around…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

We spot a sculpture made by a hunk of boulder breaking off in the perfect way, as if by design…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

In the park, we found an abandoned book about Harriet Tubman guiding more than three hundred slaves through the Underground Railroad. We hadn’t known a thing about her…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

We read it then and there, and came to THIS:

Harriet was a master of every trick in the conductor’s trade. When necessary she dressed men in….

Underground Railroad excerpt

Tubman was an improvisor with serious courage… like many people.

We’re dazzled by the various forms individual creativity takes, like this astonishing dress Tessa Perlow made out of t-shirt…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider
Creativity is a kind of listening…
Susan Dworski nailed it with this poem by William Stafford, which she took a picture of and sent to us, to accompany a conversation about why she’s spent her life making things:
Susan Dworski
Susan Dworski
 I am your own way of looking at things…When you allow me to live with you, every glance around you will be a sort of salvation.
 roy staab outdoors storm king studio bw**
What is YOUR studio?


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7 replies on “What is YOUR Artist’s Studio?

  1. space

    and also the park

    thank you for the beautiful ‘muse quote’ .
    very inspiring post, could you make this into a kind of series ( did someone send you photos ) ?


    ps. and now she is going to be the 20$ bill ~

  2. I could ask for photos… there are all kinds of studio spaces. I just really wanted to remind people that once you get in the improvisational mindset, you started looking at everything as an possible material. I plan to do a post on what I’ve found in airplanes, which are so stressful these days, they are challenging to make comfortable…Stay-tuned.

  3. A post like this is why I love IL. Things I’ve never thought of before hit a point in my heart or my mind and become part of my DNA. They pop up at all sorts of odd moments and remind me to keep looking for what’s good and beautiful. I write this the morning after the horror that has happened in Nice – I need it as a reminder even more this morning.

  4. I’m sitting in the garden of a friend. Your beautiful site came up on my iPad. I’m looking at all shape of things before my eyes. With the “wandering” music you provide. For just a few moments I can forget all happenings in my life, (stress) related. Thank you
    Pat t

  5. Thank you so much for describing your discovery of Improvised Life. You found a particularly good post…. Welcome and gracias.

  6. yes! where I work is my studio and also my exhibition space for a while. and then I leave it and all goes back to nature.

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