An update on the massive purge. Thank you to everyone who donated to my Colleen’s Closet Donation Incentive Drive. Not only did you help me raise money to produce nearly two issues of A Distant Soil, but you helped me clean out my office.

When I first moved to my little farm house some years ago, my two-room office suite was a dream cottage of drawing happiness. Such a big improvement over my tiny condo clutter-horror.

I set it up with one room devoted to drawing, and the next room for library and storage.

Unfortunately, the library room was simply too small for all my books and records, and I couldn’t find anything. I had many more books stored out in the wellhouse, as well as lots of art supplies boxed away. Nothing was in any kind of order, and it was all so cramped I couldn’t make room to make order.

The primary problem of too much stuff was exacerbated by a rush move and poor packing from the start. Later, a flood in the well house, which necessitated another rush move of boxes of goods which made things even worse.

A few years ago I started pruning. But though I had given away, donated, or sold at least half my collectibles and books, I still had too many things.

In the office, it became obvious that I had made my art supplies and art secondary to my book collection. Well, that was dumb.

Though I’d managed to organize a lot of the art supplies in bins, most of the the art has never been in order. Sketchbooks and papers were a total mess. Flat files only handled a small portion of my work. I could not find many supplies when I needed them, because the bins were crammed. I’d quickly forget where things were.

The only solution was to get rid of the office library and to prioritize making art instead of reading about it. Hence my donation incentive drive of a couple of months ago.

Anyway, here is a look at my library in January:

And here it is now:

I’ve removed most of the books from the shelves. They are packed in clear plastic storage boxes. Each box is filed by category: Greco-Roman history, mythology, religion, animals, fish, space science, etc. They are stacked where they can be easily accessed in my wellhouse. I have many obscure reference books I don’t dare get rid of, but I don’t need to have them at the ready all the time. Eventually, I will go through and make a computer catalogue of my entire library.

The art and supplies are now where I can see them. I have enough paper and pens to last for more than a year, and plenty of canvases and gesso boards for several years. I refrained from buying brushes when I was last in an art supply store, and good thing, too. I found an entire stack of pristine, natural bristle brushes in a box.

Anyway, this has been a lot of labor, but kind of fun as well. Sort of like Christmas, finding all these things I didn’t know I had, lots of art I had forgotten.

Alas, in my urge to purge, I stored away a few things I was supposed to ship out to donators, and I apologize. I am getting those packages out now. Just shipped a few.

Once again, I thank everyone who participated in the donation incentive drive. Thanks for helping me clean out my place, raise some cash, and for helping me to prioritize my work space for the production of NEW WORK instead of reading about other people’s work. There’s a lot left to do, but now I can breathe.

I will post some of my nifty finds as I can. I think you will get a kick out of them.