So finding myself in Dublin over the New Year break I was delighted to stumble upon two quintessential examples: the Irish portraitist and still life painter Edward McGuire, and the more famous Francis Bacon.
Nick Miller and the studio of Edward McGuire is currently showing at The Irish Museum of Modern Art (the IMMA) until 3rd April this year. http://www.imma.ie/en/page_236947.htm
The exhibition displays numerous objects from McGuire`s studio - the detailed colour guides he created, trays of mixed paint in multifarious hues, easels, his ubiquitous green visor and various other Heath Robinson-esque inventions to facilitate his painting: a wooden rack from which brushes could be hung, a form of camera obscura, an anglepoise-clamp-canvas holder.
Bacon`s studio was located in the attic of 7 Reese Mews, up a precipitously steep staircase. There was nothing in the mundanely modest and tidy flat beneath to presage the chaotic discombobulation of the painting space - a mind-boggling clutter of paints, brushes, slashed canvas, photographs, source material, and walls upon which he had cleaned his brushes and tested colour combinations.
Bacon`s studio - partly through the publicity from this permanent display - has become something of an icon symbolising the immense complexity of the artistic mind. Its as if we are looking directly into Bacon`s brain at the process of creative cognition itself.
Part 2 of the fascination of artists` studios will look at the beautiful and grandiose Leighton House Museum in London which boasts a magnificent example of the genre.
In the meantime I leave you with a glimpse of my own studio in Tokyo. As this adjoins the kitchen and doubles as a living area, space and `clutterability` are somewhat limited!