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Designing the New Studio

August 5, 2009
Studio with Previous Owner's Furnishings

Studio with Previous Owner's Furnishings and Deer Heads

Right now the studio is one big empty room — formerly a 2-car garage. So I’m guessing it’s about 18 x 18 feet. The deer heads are gone from the walls now, but the deer wallpaper border is still up. Nice, peaceful, innocent deer, peering out through trees backlit by the sunrise. I may keep that border.

The wall that joins the living room (to the right just out of this picture) is brick, with the chimney section jutting out into the studio. This makes that span of the brick wall into a nice little alcove for some of my book shelves.

There is a large storage closet with two high shelves. There are three windows, but I plan to add some track lighting in the ceiling.

The remaining walls are paneling painted dark brown. I will have to paint them white to brighten the room.

There is room for several tables if I need them. Not only do I paint flat on a table, often working on many pieces at a time, but I am thinking of the possibility of teaching some classes. In addition, I sometimes take a week or so for a wonderful collage break. So tables are definitely the way to go.

Working on Multiple Pieces

Working on Multiple Pieces

Thinking all this through, I am hoping not to have places to put too many things. All I need are the materials I’ll be working with on a daily basis, and easy access to things that are used only occasionally, such as my encaustics and their tools, and the printmaking supplies, etc. It’s good that I have kept only the essentials for a good working environment.

For years I painted in a classroom with several other students at the local communithy college, taking the classes first for credit, and then continuing to audit painting class for several years just to have a place to paint with other artists. One habit that it taught me was keeping all supplies, brushes, and just the bare necessities closely at hand.

There is plenty of storage area for all of my paintings out in the carport shed. I’ll be thrilled not to trip over those all the time. Even if my husband and I share this space 50-50, we both still have lots of storage. And he is not a tinkerer, so will not require a lot of room for tools and toys.

Carport Shed for Storage

Carport Shed for Storage, with Previous Owner's Belongings

Sitting here in the quiet of the early morning, it’s nice to think pleasant thoughts instead of thinking about what I have to do today. It will mainly involve one thing: Sweat. Today I clean.

I wish you all a pleasant, creative, and hopefully non-sweaty day.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. candiedfabrics permalink
    August 5, 2009 8:37 am

    Cleaning is ALWAYS easier where there’s no furniture to deal with, so ENJOY! 😉

    Here’s a how-to on painting wood panelling:

    My last house also had a converted garage with dark wood panelling – I always wished we’d painted it! Good Luck!

    • August 5, 2009 9:30 am

      Candy, I love that painting link! I might have to paint the brick too!! It looks fabulous.

  2. August 5, 2009 9:49 am

    Martha — how wonderful to have that studio space (minus the deer heads, of course)! I envy you — I’m still dealing with laundry and ironing boards and husband’s tool boxes –ugh. Enjoy your space and your quiet time — you’ve earned it!

    • August 6, 2009 7:56 am

      Kelly — Ironing boards and tools . . . I know, I know! this is going to be something brand new for me.

  3. August 5, 2009 10:27 am

    Ahhh… now you can enjoy the days with no deadlines and slowly make the changes that you want. xoxo

  4. August 5, 2009 1:08 pm


    Looks like you’ve got lots of room to spread out – my own experience having moved to the country with lots more space is that within a short time you wonder where all that space went and wish you had more! But it’s nice to be able to feel that feeling for a while. Good luck setting up shop – looks like a great space!

    • August 6, 2009 7:59 am

      Bob! You remind me of the mantra I’ve been repeating to myself throughout this experience:

      “Stuff expands to fit the space available.” I think the only way to combat that is to have a strict rule of getting rid of one item for every item you bring in. Not realistic.

  5. Sandra permalink
    August 5, 2009 6:39 pm

    I shall love to think of you creating art in that great space, once it has been lightened up. Your inspiration will be very important to me because, devastatingly, this wretched government of ours has cut the funding for community adult education altogether, the minister responsible sneering about how useless it is! So my lovely class finishes in six weeks. I have gained so much from it, and intend to continue on my own, using my “how-to” books, and blogs like yours will be just invaluable. Afraid I can’t show you the result of my circles as I don’t have any of the necessary technology – something for when I start retiring.

    • August 6, 2009 8:00 am

      Sandra, your elected official sounds like many of ours. Sad. However, there really is a wealth of inspiration on the internet. I am thankful for that. And thankful for your being here.

  6. August 6, 2009 6:05 am

    A new studio is exciting stuff! I’m still trying to figure the best way to make the most out of mine, which isn’t huge, but the size of a normal room.
    Can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

    • August 6, 2009 7:54 am

      John, I think we all tend to crowd our work space, so a little judicious space management should make it all work just fine for you. I used to work in a corner bedroom and managed without too many problems (except for a little splatter or two on the furniture.)

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