Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Door open or door closed

Do you work inside the house? Does your studio have a door? I have now moved into my new inside the house studio. It doesn't have a closeable door. Mom lies on the couch much of the day, just around the corner. She is quiet but I sense her presence.


I COULD close these curtains which would give me a sense of privacy and separation. I can't decided. Would it hurt Mom's feelings? I know I just need to ask her, but haven't done so yet.

What about you. Do you close the door of your studio to be more private? Or are you fine with people walking past or "lurking" nearby?

Be sure to check out the post below about The Big Draw

33 comments:

Kim said...

Suki, I can completely understand how you are feeling about this. I do not close the door to my studio, although one is there. One of the reasons is I need some access to running water from time to time and opening and closing the door would be more distracting. Rarely sometimes my son will walk by or even stop to make a comment to me, but I usually have music going and am oblivious to them being there. I would actually probably like to open up one of the walls to create more of a studio space in the upstairs, however that probably would not be good for resale (which I am always painfully aware of) as it would take away one bedroom.

You know back to the Myers Briggs, you could probably get an idea of how your mother might feel about the suggestion if you can identify her personality type. But you never really know unless you talk it over with her.

I suppose the other question I might have is this...would the curtain make a huge difference for you? Is it a matter of your mother not being aware of your movement in the studio? Or you just like that closed in, cozy feeling?

sukipoet said...

thanks Kim. Interesting. Well, I like a sense of openness really. so if alone I would never close the door. Unless to keep the cats out for some reason. I think it's just I dont like being watched. However, Mom is not really watching me in actuality. She doesnt seem to pay much attention to me as I work. So, this must be just something within me and I'm not even sure what. I have taken right now to listening to books on tape and that seems to take my mind off mom being there on the couch. I'll have to work in here a bit more to be sure about what I want/need.

Too bad about not being able to open up your room. Hard to balance what one wants in a house vs resale value.

Annie said...

I live alone, so it is not a problem, but I would need to be alone to work. Talk to your mom and if you explain, I am sure she would understand.

Lynn said...

I have neither door nor curtain to close. My work space is our family room. DH & Henry V can walk through any time. But so far it's never bothered me. Usually I am working there alone...if DH is home he's watching TV or reading in the living room with the kitchen between us. Henry has been known to get in my way, but he is easily put outside (possibly with hurt feelings too bad.)
I get pretty lost in what I am doing and do not notice much in the way of distractions.

If your mother hasn't complained and you can't hear her, what's the problem? Just wondering.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Have laptop will travel, that's my motto. My favorite spots for writing are out on the deck overlooking the lushness of the garden, in my favorite rose-covered chair right in the middle of the gathering room in our house, or up in my delightful sitting room (decorated like a paris apartment). The key for me is having a welling of words that simply must spill out -- the location is definitely secondary for me. I guess you could say I carry around my own "little writing studio" in my head, and I just plop and pound away on the keys whenever the need arises. : )

WILSONART said...

I so relate to this being an issue, Suki.
I think it's about that room being ours,,,,our world.
I enter another place when I enter that room,,,,and want no distractions, whether real or only imagined.
I have a door, and don't want to close it either, as I then feel 'shut in',,,,maybe claustrophobic even,,,,it's psycological, this not wanting anyone else in my world,,and maybe a tad selfish even, but there ya go.
I understand.

sukipoet said...

Thanks annie. Mom probably would understand. At the same time, I dont want to shut her out. but, to answer Lynn, i can hear her eating crackers. Remember, I lived alone for 20 yrs.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, mom wouldnt complain. NO. It's me. Adjusting from the outdoor studio through which no one came. To inside with a minor thing of mom on couch around corner. Probably this all stems back to my unreasonable irritation about people lying around all day on couches and beds. Of course i sometime do too. So it is completely irrational. And unfounded. Who cares really. I am slowly beocming more comfortable though with working in here with the door open. I've only been in here painting for two days or so.

sukipoet said...

Debbie, that's great--the writing studio in your head. With such a large family I imagine you get used to focusing despite any activity going on around you. Your paris apartment sitting room. wow. Have you posted a picture of that? Sounds so lovely. thanks for your reflections.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Babs. Yes, I think it is partly having my own world where I can be messy and/or lie on the carpet and dream and/or paint or whatever without feeling someone else is out there wondering (maybe or maybe not) what I'm doing and munching on crackers. I dont think this is selfish. I just think different people have different things they need or want to be creative. I think with this i just need to give myself a bit more time to get used to working in the house with another person walking about.

Kim said...

Suki, I had to come back to see what others had to say about your issue here. I have to say when you said you can hear your mother eating crackers, that did it! If I heard that, I would have to have a door! No more said...or would have to have something to mask that sound. I am excessively sensitive to the noise people make when they eat. I absolutely know what this goes back to, but try as I might I can't get rid of it!

Elizabeth said...

Yes the perennial dilemma (for women, mostly, I think).

Such was my guilt at having a lovely studio space to myself that I not only 'opened the door' but also let husband and son in with their stuff. I wish i hadn't but I was bought up to 'share, like a good girl'!

If I was in your position, with your elderly Mum so close, I would probably keep the curtains open - but I may not be the best person to ask :-) I also HATE to be shut in, and alone, and would probably like the company.

HOWEVER, I have just scanned down and read about the cracker munching problem! I have to agree with Kim when she said:

"I am excessively sensitive to the noise people make when they eat. I absolutely know what this goes back to, but try as I might I can't get rid of it!"

These could be my words EXACTLY. No, the noise would 'drive me up the wall and back again', so it is a real dilemma. To close the curtain and get rid of the noise, and not wanting to appear rude.

I think my first solution would be to put my iPod on while she was eating, to see if that helped.

See you at the big draw tomorrow.
x

Lynn said...

Well, I guess if you were used to being alone even hearing someone eating crackers might crack into your quiet space. I hear you!
Isn't it interesting what we get used to and how it's sometimes difficult to adjust to differences/changes.
Good luck with working through this one. ;-)
In the meantime would you like a cat?

marianne said...

Difficult I can understand your hesitation...... However I think the best way is to talk about it and to try.
My door is open but I mostly paint in the evenings when everyone is asleep or when I am home alone. My only stalkers are the cats.....I have difficulty concentrating and with people around it is even worse and it makes me grumpy, so not the right mood to paint.
I'm curious how you are going to handle this......
take care!
hug >M<

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I dont close the door to my studio because mine is the sunroom. I like activity. Am use to it so it doesnt bother me.
I usually like to have music playing anyway so I hear only that and my head thinking. :))

sukipoet said...

Such interesting responses to this question. KIm so sorry but had to chuckle at your response to eating noises. Mom also makes them at the dinner table which I cant escape. And has some eating habits I just have to close my eyes, and ears, too. Hey, she's almost 91 and certainly totally unconscious of these things.

It works ok when I listen to books on tape. IE the sounds are masked or ignored by me. So maybe I just need to play some music when tired of bks on tape. Or as someone mentioned, get an Ipod although I dont exactly know anything about those.

sukipoet said...

thanks Elizabeth for your comments. Well I must say I was very impressed last yr when I read about your new studio and the sharing of it. I hope that's working out for you. You are certainly painting a lot of lovely new paintings. I like yr idea about the ipod. I'll have to look into that. I don't always want to listen to books on tape.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, you're so funny. I would like a cat really but my two would probably rebel. I think you make a good point though. Part of this is about no longer being alone and having to adjust to another way of being. A way, I must say, that the majority embrace (ie living with others) whether by choice or by necessity. I guess in time i'll figure out the best mix for me of how to maintain my creative inner space at the same time as being kind to Mom and not shutting her out in what may be the last year, or years, of her life.

sukipoet said...

thanks Marianne. Yes, grumpy could describe how I've been feeling. Also sort of spoiled child-like. I want things my way and don't want to have to compromise. When in truth mom has been so kind as to give me this whole room to work in so I can be warm this winter. Grateful is what I need to be. With headphones.

sukipoet said...

Hi Cris, i had remembered that both you and Lynn work in spaces used by other family members even if just to walk through to another space. Course you both have been married for yrs and are maybe used to these guys who are around. I've only lived w/Mom, (except for when I was a child of course) for a year and mostly I painted outside. So it's an adjusting time.

katie jane said...

I'm okay with open doors. I tend to float in and out of the studio while I'm working anyway, sometimes cooking, sometimes doing laundry, sometimes cleaning house while I'm making art.

I do close the door if the hubby is playing the TV, because that noise annoys me, but I don't mind if he stops by the studio.

CHEWY said...

Hi Suki,
If you close the curtains you are only shutting out distractions for the time period you are creating art. I hope you aren't feeling any guilt about closing yourself off from your Mom.

I live with my Dad. He is full of energy early in the morning. I am the opposite. In the morning I'm a grouch and don't want to talk. Some months after I moved back in with him I told him this and am glad I did. He may talk to me, but I might not answer him and he knows why.

At your Mother's age she isn't about to change and, as you say, is unaware of her little irritating habits. You might want to explain about closing the curtain as your need to enter your own creative space; in mind and body by closing the curtain.

m. heart said...

i'm with you suki, i need a closed door if someone is in the next room or else my mind is pulled away from my work and to them, even if they aren't paying the slightest bit of attention to me. it's as if their energy itself is distracting!

my mom paints and she is the same way. and i am actually like this about cleaning too - i like to clean when nobody is around and will sometimes spend a whole afternoon obsessively cleaning when i have the house to myself.

sukipoet said...

Katie Jane, that's great that you flow. Actually, I do too, in fact sometimes even like to just pace around the house, walking back and forth. Or going to get a cup of tea etc. Of course my door is only a curtain, so wont really close off any sounds etc. It would just give me a sense of being in a separate space.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Chewy. I thought of you when I wrote this post as you have a similar situation as I do, living in the same house with an older parent (after years away from parents, at least in my case.) I know what you say is right, just tell mom where I'm coming from. She'll be okay with that I'm sure, it is ME really who has the "problem." That's so great that you could tell your dad about your morning self. I did have to chuckle though, he may still talk to you but you don't respond. I guess living with people is a long series of various adjustments on both sides to the others quirks. Thanks.

sukipoet said...

Thanks for sharing M. Heart. I think I'm getting clearer on what i want and need from hearing all these interesting responses. I did have to chuckle a bit at liking to be alone to clean. :)

soulbrush said...

your posts are so interesting and brain testing too. i like my own space, i've had to do both, share and be alone, and i mostly like doing my own thing on my own. i belive that your mom (at her age) probably likes her own space and privacy too, you both know each other is 'there'...let us know what you decide to do.listening to audio books is also my fave thing... hugs.

San said...

I leave my door open, as my studio is rather small and the open door makes me feel as though I have more space. But, yes, I can be quite self-conscious about lurkers, even though they are loving lurkers.

If you really would feel more comfortable and open to your process by drawing the curtain, Suki, I would do that, after of course, talking to your mom about it. I understand how the closed curtain could be interpreted on a deeper, hurtful level, but I also understand the need for a sense of aloneness. You will be right there, on the other side of the curtain, if your mom needs you.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, My studio is right smack in the middle of the house so there is no curtain, door or screen. Pablo owns the den and we try to be careful of one another when we are obviously working but conversations, questions creep in and we are sometimes a distraction to each other. I talk to myself, sigh or grumble under my breath so I can be a major distraction. I am clear about uninvited comments...sometimes the work (me)is too fragile. Making a big mess is sometimes a problem but oh, well,I worked alone for years and that had it's problems. It's all good! I would feel closed in with a curtain so it's your call!
Mary Ann

sukipoet said...

Soulbrush, I think you are perceptive to say Mom, at her age, likes her own space too. Really, she's had to let me into her space big time. It must have been hard for her at first. Well, not just me, but two cats too.so far, I am just working in here with the curtains open and seeing how it works for me. As Long as I dont feel too self-conscious.

sukipoet said...

San, when you used the word self-conscious I knew that yes, that is what I've been feeling painting on view so to speak. Not that Mom comes and peers over my shoulder. Thanks for your kind advice. mabye it depends on what i'm doing too. I dont mind if someone sees me bookbinding. Painting is harder for me to do and so I'm more sensitive. And I dont want anyone to see me watercolor.!

sukipoet said...

Mary ann, thanks for sharing the way it works for you. I had to chuckle at the image of you sighing and grumbling. Working with someone around, working alone. Its all good you said. What a lovely perspective. I suppose every situation has good things and things we might like to be different. I think I may work leaving the curtain open in fact. Think I just decided. Thank you.

sukipoet said...

Wow, what a great conversation. Thank you everyone for sharing what you do with your doors or lack of doors. I found it all fascinating. what a wonderful world of friends we are.