My favorite room in the house

Over the past 11 years, I have moved my art studio to 6 different spots in our home. I’ve worked in the basement, in the kitchen, in a bedroom & in our sitting room to name a few of these spots.  They all have worked for a short time, but after a couple of creative sessions, the charm wears off and I realize the lighting is terrible, or I have to clean up so we can use the table for dinner. The bottom line is none of the spaces have felt right for creating.

Then, one day I looked over at our front room and saw that it wasn’t being used.  In fact, it had been awhile since we really used that room.  So I decided to move in.  I pushed the couch out of the way, cleared off some shelves, and brought in my drafting table.
drafting tableIt was a perfect fit.  I’ve been working out of this studio now for a few months, and I love it.

Studio 2

This room receives sunlight from 2 large pictures windows on either side of the house.  The lighting in here is great all day long, and the huge shelving unit provides plenty of storage space.

studio 1

studio storage Studio shelves

The best parts about working in the front room is that it’s centrally located to the rest of the house. So, when I’m working on artwork, I’m not off in a secluded part of the house away from my family.  I can easily take a break to engage in a conversation and jump right back into my work.  Plus there is plenty of room to share!

kids painting

A Place to Create

As we come into the the New Year, I’ve been evaluating my needs as a working artist in regards to my studio. I have been living and working out of our house for the past 11 years.  Over this time, I have had my studio in 5 different spaces in our home trying to figure out what works best.  Now I am considering investing studio space outside our home.  I have the opportunity to share a great space that I believe will fit my needs.  However, after being a stay-at-home-mom for the last 10 years, I feel torn about working outside the home.  Even if it is working for myself.

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As I have been weighing the pros and cons of both options, I came across some quotes from other artists sharing their thoughts about their studios.

What I try to use the studio for is what I call ‘thinking with material’. To do that you need an arena. You need a page to write on. You need a space to work in. That is what a studio is.”  – Tony Cragg, Wuppertal, Germany

I like his choice of the word “arena”.  A large space is needed to get everything out, make mess, and experiment. It’s important to be able to walk away from the project, leaving everything out for you to return to with a fresh mind.

“I tend to work on the floor, sometimes on the wall and then on the floor. It’s constant movement between the vertical and the horizontal. Part of the reason I work on the floor is that I need the physical contact. You get the consistency of gravity and you can move the paint around … I try to get in to my studio as often as possible. At times I set myself a certain goal to reach. Some days are very long.” – Tony Bevan Deptford, south-east London

I never thought about there being a “consistency of gravity”, but he is absolutely right.  I also like that the floor gives canvas stability.  I can work directly on the canvas without having to stretch it first.  I MUST work more on the floor, but to do so, I’ll need more floor space.

“The studio is the place where it’s my world. When I leave I do take work home in my mind, you always carry it in your mind, but hopefully you can separate it or you will go insane. You have to turn your head off sometimes.”  – Marc Quinn Clerkenwell, London

Working from home makes it incredibly difficult to separate, and turn your head off.  It’s also hard to be present with my family when there is a constant pull on my heart to go paint.

 

photo credit 1, 2