I knew it was dangerous for me to set foot into an auction house but last week I took the brave step, just out of curiosity. Luckily it was crammed too tightly to accommodate me and my entourage any further than the entrance, so I could only peer across the room and try not to be enticed by every stickered suitcase and mottled mirror. But I didn’t need to venture any further to catch sight of this artist’s box, complete with ceramic palette, bushy brushes and mangled paint tubes.
It was enough to make me get over my shyness and actually bid, but sadly my budget didn’t match my enthusiasm for this wonderful old thing. I was pretty pleased to sneak a few photographs (poor quality, with my phone) so I could at least hold onto the dream of it.
A week later I was still obsessing about it and I started to wonder why. What was the appeal of this scratched old tin box? I think the answer is that it evoked the romantic notion of an early twentieth century studio and artist’s lifestyle.
I gathered some of my ‘cuttings’ together to try and capture the mood of an imaginary atelier.
A Manhattan loft with light pouring in and an easel permanently in position. The one above is the studio and residence of Isabel and Ruben Toledo (the original photos are by Troy House, these are details).
A cheery inspiration board and a multitude of colour pots. (This is the studio of Mariavera Chiari of mv% and the original photos were taken by Giacomo Giannini).
A pair of paint-splattered overalls hangs by a bed, a comfortable chair offers a place to relax and ponder the next painting. (The top photograph features Elena Barthel’s farmhouse in Tuscany, and was taken by Nathalie Krag. The chair and the paints are in Nic and Madeleine Goodwolf’s South Hobart home, photographed by Tim James for Country Style May 2009).