The purge

inside of flat file drawer

Sometimes it’s good to look back at what you’ve done, and sometimes it’s just good to get rid of it.

Flat file and artworkRecently I had to disassemble the flat file I use for storage and I decided to take the opportunity to purge some things I’ve accumulated over the years.

When I was in university I discovered the surplus property department was selling an oak architectural plan cabinet. Imagine my delight to be the winning bid with $35! Well, admittedly it had no top, one of the drawer corners had been sheered off, and one drawer was from a different cabinet and had to be modified. But it worked, and that was the main thing.

drawings in flat file drawerI immediately set about filling it up.

That was more than a few years ago and recently I’ve been having trouble with some drawers sticking or not working at all. So it was time.

When I finally got one of the drawers out that had been hard to budge, I discovered the little nylon roller had sheared off. Luckily, with my husband’s help, we were able to fix it.

Since I had to take the drawers out anyway, I decided to get rid of some old drawings and paintings that, while part of my development as an artist, were things I’d never show again.

Now I feel like I do just after getting a haircut. Much lighter!

I know artists who regularly destroy old work or periodically have bonfires of good work because they run out of storage space. I once read that Jasper Johns destroyed all his old work before launching into his flag and target paintings. What do you think about this practice?

inside of flat file drawer
Newly organized flat file drawers