Friday, November 2, 2007
I belong to an online art group called Everyday Matters, a group that has encouraged me to paint or draw every day. I have been inspired and challenged by this group of people, and have on occasion seen photos and read descriptions of where they do their work. Many of them work outside on site, but so far I find that I don't do very well working outside. I don't enjoy being watched. I'm a whiner and a wimp about heat, cold, damp and flying insects. I like to have my materials at hand when I work. You get the idea.
My studio (AKA the cabin) is a little room with two gable windows and a funky slanted ceiling. The previous owners of our house used it as the children's play room. For a decade we used it as a guest bedroom for one, since only a twin bed fits in the narrow space. Anyway, once I started really trying to do some art I decided I needed a place to store my materials and do my drawing and painting. The first try at making a studio was downstairs in an enclosed porch. That had good light and enough space. But in the winter it was so cold my hands shook, and the work table tended to accumulate odds and ends intended to be carried to the car, or the garage. So I took down my table and reconsidered.
My decision to take down the guest bed was difficult. I don't have many overnight visitors, but I like having a place for friends to stay in comfort. Cold reality is that my guests only come once or twice a year, and I do art most every day. So, the bed is stored in a deep closet, and the work table went upstairs in its place. There are problems with the space. I risk beaning myself on the slanting ceiling if I don't watch my head. The small gable windows don't admit much natural light, though I have added an Ott light, a tabletop task light, and an overhead florescent shop light. Storage space is limited, but I have two plastic sets of shelves and a small dresser (seen in my baby picture with the pumpkin in a recent post) for materials and books. I have a little gizmo that has speakers and recharges my iPod. Paper is stored flat under my bed. Other odds and ends go in crates under the table. Down the hall I have access to the bathroom sink, so I don't have to run the stairs for water. Not shown in the photos is a comfy chair, a small television. and a doll cabinet I inherited from my mother.
It isn't a palace, and it has its faults, but for now my studio is a place I can go to make art, read, listen to music, and sometimes indulge in some guilty pleasure television. Being retired has its advantages. I'd love to see other people's studios, so if you want to share, please email me with a link to a photo.