The Visual Artist’s Listening Room

"Rosy Glen", detail, oil, KGT

“Rosy Glen”, detail, oil, KGT

My musician brother Bob has a listening room in his home. It has no keyboards or horns, and is his place to review music and think, and maybe make new decisions on the next steps to take in a composition.

Where is the “listening room” for a visual artist? Do you have a place to go and think about your art, shut away from busy life? Determine your next plans or projects, or revise a current piece?

Away from the easel, I can take an unfinished painting to a new place, new light, even outdoors. Sometimes I take a photo of the piece, like this one, and have a new look at it on my computer screen. Things sometimes jump out at me that I like (or don’t like), and I suddenly know what to do next to complete or fix that painting.

My listening room is sometimes in a chair with art books to rediscover. Or I can take some sketchbooks outside and see some of my former drawings, and remember things I once explored and see a progression of ideas. Often I’ll want to grab a pencil and get a new idea on a page after this, or scribble a few notes about a technique I want to revisit or strengthen.

Do you have a “Listening Room”?




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2 Responses to “The Visual Artist’s Listening Room”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    Great post. … and sometimes my listening room is in a busy coffee shop! Sometimes it’s in my car. Wherever I can get some alone time. The library and the bookstore are also good places. Rediscovery is fun!


  2. Karen Says:

    Leslie, someone asked me if I had a *favorite* place, and like you, it changes and doesn’t have to be entirely quiet. Seems like I gravitate to the same places as you. Driving up into the mountains is also a good place… again, in the car! Cars are good “thinking” places. But you can’t jot down ideas so well. 🙂


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