Ren on Paper is about creating, using art, photography, film, writing, or digital media. Most of the time, in the past, it was about selling my work. Now its about documenting my life and finding ways to keep a record of my adventures. Okay. Once in a while I do art to help earn money, but mostly I just want to tell stories.
My Studios over the years
In the early years, my studio was a used library desk, purchased at a yard sale. Later it was a small desk in a corner of a bedroom or living room. Much later it became an entire room, as you can see below. Today its back to being a desk, but its in a travel trailer.
My studio from 2007 to 2017 – Great experiences with creativity and teaching!
From 2017 to 2020 my studio was in a motor home, traveling the country
COVID and Divorce
My studio moved to apartments in York, Pennsylvania
NOW – back to full time RV life in March 2022
I think this is my favorite studio, even though its small. Its funny how my first studio areas were tables or desks in the corner of a room and now I’ve come full circle. Immediately after purchasing the travel trailer (which does indeed travel) a friend removed the dinette, ripped the legs off the second-hand table I had in my apartments, and made it into a desk. The table top sits on two Ikea drawer units. My projects need to be smaller, but my creativity is bigger than the whole wide world.
You can be creative wherever you are!
To there and back – a journey
I’ve been an artist since I was ten. Oddly enough, I think my work is returning to what it was in the beginning, when I was making art because it was visual and because, as a quiet and invisible person, it filled my senses, woke me from a slumber, and caused me to see the world with new eyes. In the middle years I created art as a way to make money for my family. One day I realized it was about much more than a bit of money that was gone after a run to the grocery store. It was about enjoying my work, getting lost in it, looking up, blinking, amazed at how much time passed. Its about documenting my own life and teaching others to find creativity in theirs.
At eleven years of age, using leftover paint from a paint-by-number kit. I painted on a piece of cardboard. The above painting was my second one and I’m glad I kept it. This little painting reminds me of how much joy I got from those early days of art.
The decades between those first paintings and now are filled with a lot of training and practice. My work’s purpose has turned from a way to make money to a way to tell a story. When I moved into this small travel trailer, there wasn’t room for paintings all over the walls or to store a lot of art supplies and finished pieces. It was necessary to think smaller and my work sort of stalled out for a while.
The answer seemed to be…do smaller art projects and have fewer supplies. Could I be satisfied with only using my iPad to do art? Could I forego the feel of a brush covering paper with beautiful pigments of watercolor or the feel of colored pencil laying down pigment on a piece of paper?
I decided to compromise, do smaller works, use my iPad more, but most of all, do art with passion and for the joy of it. There’s something amazing about getting creative and getting lost in it with your heart and soul.
Its funny, but the me who attempted to paint for profit seemed like a black and white, stop motion version of myself. The me today is living in full color!
I tell you all of this, because I’d love for you to find creativity in ways that will open your eyes to the world around you and find ways to express what you experience, see, and feel. The best part will be getting lost in that creativity so that everything else going on in your life moves to the time-out corner.