Today I made the decision to do something new and exciting: to rent an art studio close to home. My current studio situation is kind of disjointed. I have a small painting studio in our apartment, and the Co-Habitant and I share a photography studio outside of Boston. Neither has been working out very well. I have a difficult time painting at home, often feeling stir-crazy and unable to focus. And the photo studio, while a great space in theory, takes so long to get to that we do not go there as much as we envisioned. Some restructuring is in order if we want to be more productive.
When I began to look for studio space, I was hoping for a moderate bicycle commute. A manageable distance would be key to maintaining a daily practice - especially in the winter when it gets unpleasant to cycle in the snow in traffic. Good studio spaces are pretty scarce around these parts, but I didn't want to settle for something so far away that I'd end up never going there. I looked around and didn't find much. Then suddenly a great space turned up a 10 minute ride from my house. That's almost too local!
But while the studio is close by, it is in a neighbourhood I do not normally venture to - separated from my neighbourhood by a great big hill. In fact, the entire trip is basically the hill: Both going there and coming back, the first portion of the ride I spent climbing and panting, taking care not to weave in front of moving cars. The second portion I spent descending - careful not to go too fast, as cars appeared out of nowhere. Oh boy. This is what awaits me every day, twice or more a day, in high traffic and on an upright city bike! Laden with a heavy pannier, my 3-speed climbed faithfully, maintaining a consistent line of travel. I did it, but I didn't like it. Hopefully I will get really strong in a couple of months without breaking my knees first. Of course I could also just walk; it's close enough... but what would be the fun in that?