We go into the artist's studio and find there are unfinished pictures covering large canvas, and suggesting great designs, but which have been left, either because the genius was not competent to complete the work, or because paralysis laid the hand low in death; but as we go into God's great workshop we find nothing that bears the haste or insufficiency of power to finish, and we are sure that the work which His grace has begun, the arm of His strength will complete.
F.B. Meyer, The Epistle to the Phillipians.
I am not sure when I began to love art studios. It's just always been that way. Perhaps it was in elementary, Mrs. Snoke told me that she was certain that I would be a quilt designer. The middle school art room smelled like paint thinner and clay. I loved the stacks of paint brushes, spattered counters, and print blocks. My high school art teacher was my hero. She had just graduated from art school in Cincinnati. She had red flamboyant hair and jangly earrings. She let us go into the clay room and dip our arms into the clay slip. I visited the Brandywine River Museum with my aunt and I can still remember walking into N.C. Wyeth's art studio. It had huge windows that let the sun shine through beams onto the wood floors. You could see unfinished work and worn paintbrushes. I pretended that I lived there. I search for "art studio" in Pinterest and gaze at the messy rooms where art is born. I do not paint, I do not sculpt, I do not even love art in the sense that I find beauty in the strokes. It's the rooms. It's pretending I am an artist. It's the smell. It's the beauty of unfinished work.
I love the promise of God perfecting my good works in Philippians 1:6. He will finish what he has begun in me. He's swirling the paint, smoothing the clay, and tying His spattered smock. I am looking forward to that glorious day of Christ when we are covered up by His grace and allowed to enter His empty workshop.
Empty, because His work is complete.
(This picture links to an artist that sells on Etsy. Her studio sets empty, not because she is uninspired, but because she has leukemia. She is still sketching her designs while sitting at the hospital hooked up to her chemotherapy IV poles.)