Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Exciting News! My Studio is Ready for "Prime Time!"
Over the past several years, I have been lucky enough to utilize a room in my house for studio space, but until recently it was shared with a lot of other things (storage, filing for taxes, home files, etc.). I never truly had a full room devoted to creating art- UNTIL NOW!
This has not come all at once for sure. It has been a process that has been coming for almost a decade, and contains supplies that I have accumulated over the past twenty years or more, but about two or three months ago, my family and I decided to move the behemoth piece of furniture which housed my computer and all of our home files out of our eat-in kitchen area and add it to my studio.
It makes so much sense, because much of my graphic art and photography is tied to my computer use, and I also run a website about dogs and do all the graphics for that site as well. I need a quiet place to write for my site, and since I already had a space I was using (albeit badly) for my studio, combining all my "stuff" in one place was a good plan.
I used to have a smaller room on our first floor, but my husband convinced me to swap rooms with the one he was using for an office/guest bedroom.
We decided to sell the bed that was in the room, since I could use the space more efficiently on a daily basis, and we could figure out an air bed for the few times a year when we might have guests. I really pushed for getting rid of the bed, and fortunately, my husband agreed.
He wanted the first floor room I had been using for a studio, because he can see when UPS is coming to deliver packages for his business, and he can bring business associates more easily to that room if need be (a very rare necessity, but still valid), rather than traipse them through the house to the 2nd floor, where he previously had his office. Also, my studio is not always the neatest room in the house, so if I am in the middle of craziness, it doesn't have to be on view for the whole world to see.
I ended up with a larger, sunnier space AND a walk-in closet for storage! I lost a built in bookshelf, but with the computer armoire being added to the room, that helped me have book storage. I also converted two shelves in my closet for book and sketchpad storage. We moved the home files out of my studio and into his office, which made more sense all the way around, and now we are BOTH happy. YAY!
For additional storage, I keep paper stacked in sheets on the top of the armoire, which is a large, flat space, and have purchased eight flat plastic bins to store other necessities.
My husband built me my work table, an L-shaped wooden counter, with seating for three. It is a multi-purpose work area. I use it for watercolor painting, scrapbooking with my daughter, and even for making glass beads with a hothead torch setup, and other jewelry items.
My drawing/drafting table is on wheels, and my favorite place to draw.
For painting on boards and canvases, I utilize a very heavy-duty folding easel for my studio- the Mabef M-32. It is great, because I can fold it up and get it out of the way. I can also utilize it outdoors for sketching and painting on location. I really enjoy products that have multi-functionality.
Since I teach several classes every week, I have all my resources at my fingertips for lesson plan preparation- my computer, books, and art supplies. The only thing I don't have is a color copier, but Staples is just a few miles away, and so I usually stop in and and make the necessary handouts for my classes on my way to teach. I print out the originals from my printer, but find it is more economical to run copies elsewhere.
Here are some additional pictures of my studio. I hope you like looking at them. I always enjoy seeing other people's work spaces, and I feel very fortunate to have such a lovely, useful one myself now. I just finished it over the Memorial Day weekend, and got a new chair to replace my folding chair. Much better for the long hours at the computer when I am writing away!
Besides having some of my own artwork on the walls, I also have some of my daughter's art and sculpture from many different ages and stages (she is now eleven). There are a few important mementos of my childhood (a little Owl and Pussycat figurine set), as well as some things that were my mom's. Her name was Madonna, and she just passed away two years ago. It makes me feel good to have her monogram jewelry box, and a bronze tree that used to be in her room on display in my studio. The tree used to hold ceramic birds, none of which survived intact, but I have a seashell propped in its branches because she used to collect shells, and I also have the passkey hanging there that I used to use to enter the assisted living facility where she lived. Mom lost her memory, which slowly declined over the final ten years of her life, and I feel better having some things near me that keep my memories of her alive on a daily basis.