Friday, May 1, 2009

My Current Studio Space

This is a small article I did about my studio for someone else's website . I thought you might like to read it here.

My studio is in the upstairs of my old but charming 220 year old farmhouse in beautiful, rural Vermont. It has only been a few years that I have had a studio at all. For a quarter of a century or more my six children, now grown, filled up my house and my time. Over the years I made do with whatever space I could carve out for myself. In one house the dining room was my domain. In another it was the porch room. In this house my bedroom was my studio, with work and supplies stuffed under the bed, in closets, and in various cupboards around the house. When all my kids grew up and left home, my consolation for missing them was being able to take over two small bedrooms upstairs for a studio.

My studio looks out over a small stream which runs all year long. In summer it is delicious to listen to water running, soothing the soul. Because my domain is upstairs, it provides me with much needed exercise. I probably go up and down the stairs at least twenty times a day. The windows are on the north side (back) of the house, which means that if anyone comes to the door, I can't hear them. I've told everyone to open and yell. Many times I've gone downstairs after a bout of working and see something a friend has left on the kitchen counter. I didn't even hear them come in! While steady north light is great for artwork, and cooling in the summer, I often regret, especially in winter, not feeling the sun shining in my windows. North light can add to the dreariness of winter days.

I am somewhat in denial about being a pack rat when it comes to art supplies. Fortunately, my little studio (10ft x 24 ft) has lots of storage space. In the rest of my house I've achieved a calming level of tidiness but the messy gremlin stalks the studio. I love looking at photos of other people's beautiful, bright, clean, and decorated work spaces. Mine is a bit cramped, fairly functional, and crammed with stuff. Lately I've spilled out into the bunk room as well, setting up a couple of little tables in there to hold my huge new printer (for giclees) and hot press.

Having my studio at home is both a blessing and a curse. It is a siren, calling me at all hours of the day and night. I am sure that I work much more because I am at home. On the other hand, there are other sirens calling me here. When I feel lazy or challenged by a project, I am easily distracted by housework, dishes, bed, television, the phone, food, my To Do list.... On the other hand, I was ill last year and would have never been able to leave home to travel to a commercial studio. My space was easily at hand, quiet and comforting.

Probably the greatest challenge to me at present is having my computer in my studio. It is so very easy to get caught surfing the web or doing other kinds of work. I tried removing the computer to another room, but that was not successful because I use it quite a lot in my work. It is also connected to all three printers and the scanner. Ah, my tumultuous love affair with technology!

Even though I long for a larger, garage-size space (one capable of housing flat files, a large work table, and more shelves) I am grateful for what I have at present. It has been important to carve out a space of my own, if only to remind my deeper self of my seriousness about making art.

1 comment:

  1. great article & wonderful space. Love all the natural light