Merriam Frank

Cut & Paste Artist

A designated “studio space” & a collage in progress…


I don’t have a finished piece to share today because I spent most of my spare time this past week working on a collage space rather than a collage itself! It felt a little bit like procrastination, circling around the new ideas & tools I needed to start on instead of actually – you know – starting on them – but at the same time it needed to be done! Although my sweet husband hadn’t complained one bit, I was starting to feel apologetic about the stacks of magazines & clippings on our dining room table, coffee table, bookshelf, and end tables downstairs…  Especially considering the fact that there was an entire spare bedroom upstairs with a spare dining room size table in it for my use if I would only sort through all of the junk that had accumulated on it and then move my stacks upstairs!

So I did, & I LOVE it. I now have my stacks of magazines and mat boards all in one place, my clippings somewhat organized, and a nice, roomy surface area to work on – with the best part being, I can leave it all spread out and just close the door to the room to keep it safe from my cats! (Paper scraps are some of their favorite things, too!)

my little "studio" corner...

my little “studio” corner by lamplight…

The framed photo you can see on the stack of mat boards if of me as a little girl wearing one of my grandpa's undershirts as a smock & painting outside on their patio. :)

The framed photo you can see on the stack of mat boards is of me as a little girl wearing one of my grandpa’s undershirts as a smock & painting outside on their patio. :)

It’s so “my happy place” I actually have a picture of it as my phone background right now.

So after all that sorting & shifting around, I didn’t manage to create a finished piece, but I thought I’d share my (in-progress!) (rough!) first attempt at working with 2 new approaches: leaving blank space, and using markers to interact with the clippings and between the clippings/blank spaces…


As you can see – rough! Not much of this is even glued down and I haven’t gone back over any of my marks for precision. (This is only a cell phone pic, too.) But I was excited to already begin seeing the possibilities! Though gosh, blank space opens up a whole new world of indecision for me. Typically for me a piece is finished when the entire surface is covered & I like the arrangement. Blank space means I have to decide when a piece is finished! SO much harder!

I’m curious, where do you do most of your art work? Do you have a designated area or do you shuffle supplies around from place to place like I was doing?


Author: merriamfrank

Cut & paste artist

12 thoughts on “A designated “studio space” & a collage in progress…

  1. I love your cozy space and so agree with you on the need for a ‘place’ to create. I used to have my ‘art space’ in the living room, I started in a corner and eventually took up half the room, Your story here sounded pretty much just like mine ;), as my dd’s have gotten older 20 and 18, they were spending less and less down in our family room so a few years ago I decided it was time to pack up and head down there. I am still adjusting to the fact that I no longer have any natural light down there, one tiny window allows a few rays in at 8AM but after that I have to rely on lights but I do love having an entire room to spread out in and I have spread out but it’s become my ‘haven’ DH was still using the room to watch sports now and again, but we’ve even since relocated a tv for him in his office upstairs, seemed a no brainer since he’s always on his computer in the room. So now my space is truly all mine. xox

    • A WHOLE room! That’s awesome! Good for you on declaring it your space since it wasn’t being used much anymore! But I’m sorry about the lack of natural light, that would be a tough one for me, too.

  2. Everyone needs a room of their own, and all creatives should have at least one table where a huge mess is allowed! Looks so cozy!

    • I want to cross-stich that on a pillow! “…all creatives should have at least one table where a huge mess is allowed! ” Love it! Thanks for commenting : )

  3. it’s so great that you have your own space, where you can keep things laid out if you want. I have what I call my workroom – computer, work desk, filing cabinets, tables and shelving. I love it! {:-D

  4. I can relate to magazines taking over. I cutback on my subscriptions until I discovered art journaling. Now they seem to have taken over. I started a bluebook but haven’t discovered my style yet. I enjoyed looking at your designs, very inspiring.

    • You know what the crazy thing is? I actually CANCELLED my subscriptions a year ago & that’s still how many magazines I have stacked around the house, haha! I figure if I ever actually cut up allllllllll of those, I’ll subscribe again. Thank you for your comment on my designs!!! I really appreciate it.

  5. it’s so cute – great job! it must feel wonderful to have your space laid out, so even if you’re mid-project and half to walk away, it’s just hanging out waiting for you! we have major limited space, so my workstation is our dining table. so, i have to pick up my work every day so we have room for dinner….it’s terrible. sometimes i dont even want to start painting because i dont want to have to clean it up! grr.

    • EXACTLY! The ability to walk away & leave it out is the huge, huge thing, cause I was the same way as you – times I might have worked on something a little, I wouldn’t, just because I didn’t want to pull it all out / put it all away unless I had a few hours to spend. (Which… never happens?) I hope you persevere with painting despite the cramped space!!!

  6. great job on your new and welcoming art space-it looks wonderful! I have a spare room that became my art space after our son moved out a few years ago but still have so many material/supplies that some things are stored in our bedroom cabinets, in a hall closet, in the basement. And magazines-oh my!!!! Guess I need to do some serious organizing and purging-the winter months are approaching so I won’t have any excuses:) Nice composition on your WIP. I like the idea of using markers to interact with your clippings!

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