The creating and making of things is one of my great joys in life. Always has been and always will be. I never leave home without a project in hand to work on the way. I can make and create anywhere.
So having a studio space like some of the ones I see in glossy magazines is not in the cards for me right now and may never be for that matter. It won’t stop me from living artfully .
I don’t need anything fancy to do my painting and fibre art or any of the myriad of other creative pursuits I enjoy.
Having said that, the one thing I came to realize in earnest after Christmas in 2013 was that I needed a space to make a mess, walk away from that mess and know that all the bits and pieces I needed to created that mess were accessible to me.
I may be working away on a 3D piece of art and decide to add a set of maple seeds that might look like wings that were collected from my garden last fall ( as long as I can remember where I put my stash of dried items from my garden ). Or I might decide to add a piece of fabric as a dimensional element when I’m in the middle of a painting. It’s so handy to be able to let the ideas flow and not have to stop to go searching for something.
Our house isn’t huge and I like it that way. My kids are all grown and have moved on in their lives which is the way life works and the way it should be , but it doesn’t mean they don’t come home to visit. A lot. And with all the little people they have acquired along the way, my house can swell pretty quickly and I love it. It is so fun to have a home full of noise and chaos for the time they’re here. But when everyone departs and we have our space back to ourselves , the house can seem pretty quiet and empty. Back to the studio I go to pick up where I left off. As an added bonus my grandkids are little artists in the making and love to spend time working with my supplies. That is one of my greatest joys. Whether they are the ones that live around the corner or the ones that live a ferry ride away, I love sharing my space with them.
I like to be ready for visitors whether they are family or friends and I like to make my home feel like a welcoming place for the time they stay. But when I had to pack up my partially completed project for the time the house was full , and then of course bring it all out again once everyone left , my frustration level was getting pretty high. Especially when I was wasting a lot of time trying to find where I had stashed something in that ‘ put away ‘ phase ( more likely than not done in the last minutes before the company arrived ).
Which brought me to the realization post Christmas 2013 that I needed to find a corner of my world to finally make a home for all my art supplies.
The only logical place for me to set up shop was in our garage.
View from inside .
Ours is detached from the house and we don’t park our cars inside because, well , we are lucky to live in a climate where it’s not necessary to protect our vehicles from the ravages of snow and cold. My husband has a work bench in it and in all honesty we use it more for storage.
When we bought the house in 1998, the one thing that struck me as a complete bonus was the fact that the garage came equipped with a bathroom. Even at the time I knew this was better than anything I could have wanted in a living space. That meant I didn’t need to track mud and grime into the house after I had been in the garden. But of course over time I started to slowly ooze into this garage space with my paints and art, and with the ability to clean up my palette and rinse my brushes in the bathroom sink, or wash glue off my hands , I didn’t need to look any further for a place to gather my supplies.
Over the course of last year, using my WOTY to take ‘ ACTION ‘ I started the process of setting up my studio. My WOTY for 2014 is ‘ BUILD ‘, and part of that build concept has to do with my studio area. If your not familiar with what WOTY means, come over to this blog post and read what it’s all about.
But every artist knows that it’s not just a sink you need to make the space work.
When the weather started to improve in March last year I started to set up some shelving and paint the walls.
The process gave me an opportunity to purge some of my supplies and pass forward products I knew I’d never use. The biggest improvement for this working space was that I could organize my supplies and make it easier to put my hands on what I needed at the time I needed something and not have to start ‘the big hunt‘ to find whatever it was I was looking for.
These IKEA ‘ Expedit’ storage units did the trick to divide the space up .
My dad’s old drafting table from his university days in the 1940″s and an antique Parson’s Table my parents used as their kitchen table served to round out the feeling of familiar items that make it feel like ME.
It was handy last summer to throw open the doors when the weather was good, listen to the birds and watch the garden grow from out of the corner of my eye. But I knew this wouldn’t work once fall and winter came.
Because this area faces south my hope was to capture the light that naturally flowed in on a sunny day. So I saved my pennies and was able to have these doors with one way glass installed in November.
There is still lots to do but as I said in my last post, tempting as it is to wave a magic wand and have everything happen instantly, that’s not always the best answer. I’ve had fun coming up with this idea and of course I’ve loved watching this space come to life. It’s not done yet, but it’s a HUGE improvement.
Now I look out on this…..
It inspires me to have a space of my own where my creative juices run free and any of my supplies are but a reach away.
I love the way the seasons are reflected in the glass when you approach from the driveway. It’s double the pleasure from inside and out.
Spring is here in my world and summer is just around the corner.
I still have to tackle the bathroom and add some shelving and storage, but it’s all working for the time being. There will be lots of time to keep making improvements in and amongst me Taking Flight with my art. I know I’ll be throwing open those doors and trying not to get distracted by the activity of the birds that come to keep me company.