Sunday, February 7, 2010
Untitled Collage, 6 inches by 6 inches, by Leslie Avon Miller
I think of my studio as a vegetable garden, where things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to graft. You have to water.
Some more progress has been made in the last two weeks on my studio space. Although the physical progress is small, we continue to work on the logistics of the process – who, when and how being our primary questions.
We unloaded two pick up truck loads of sheeting. That’s 72 sheets of wood; 72 trips up and down the stairs. Can you see my biceps flex? Me neither, but I feel powerful having helped with that task! This material (called OSB) will be used for walls and ceiling. The equipment that will assist with this material installation, called a sheet rock lift, has been delivered and assembled.
I appreciate all the good wishes for a quick finish to the studio, but since we only work on this project weekends and we take some weekends off to do other things, I suspect the earliest the studio will be finished enough to move in will be late summer or early fall.
As the project unfolds, I’ll post a few photos. Today’s image is from a couple of years ago when the building was first constructed. My studio is the top floor, this end. Kurt’s woodworking space is on the top floor of this building at the other end.
I added some links to artist studios on my blog side bar. I love to see how other artists arrange and use their space.
It is my pleasure to share with you another art studio tour. This time we are visiting the studio of Rebecca Crowell. I have included here a video of Rebecca working in her studio. When I first saw this video, I knew we were kindred spirits when Rebecca pulled out her whisk broom and used it to create texture. I love to do that too!
It is also interesting to me that Rebecca’s studio and mine are similar in a couple of ways. They are separate buildings but just a short walk away from the house, and they are nearly the same size. We both live in the country and have views of nature out the windows.
Rebecca tells us I love my studio and want to be there almost every day-- and sometimes even in the middle of the night. I am fortunate to be able to work full time as a painter, so I spend a lot of time there.
It's kind of shockingly messy and disorganized to anyone else's eye--although for me it's fine, it's comfortable. (It is a mystery to me why a messy studio is OK with me when I like my house to be neat.) When I'm working I leave a trail of stuff everywhere, and usually have no interest in picking it up.
I have a lot of work in progress at any one time; piles of panels, stuff scattered on various tables and stacked along the walls. I feel engaged as soon as I walk in, so I guess there is some energy in the disorder.
What works best for you about your current studio space?
It's large (about 850 sq. ft.) and well lit with daylight fluorescents. There is one long open wall that I can spread my work in progress out across, then I can back way up for the long view. It's a separate space from the house, but close enough (just across the back yard) to be there in no time at all. We live in the country so there is beauty all around, including a sweet little rock garden just outside the studio door.
What one thing would you change about your current studio space?
I'm going to say two things, because one is already in the works--which is better heat. For over 20 years I've relied on a wood stove in the studio that has to be constantly fed in winter, and it takes quite a while to heat up the space to a comfortable warmth. However, the studio was built with coils for hot water in the cement slab floor...we have not had the resources so far to get the whole system going (which includes a wood-fired outside boiler.) BUT that is going to happen in 2010, or I'm moving to Arizona!
The other thing I would like are proper storage racks for older work--right now it's all just stacked and piled in the back of the studio.
The studio is no more or no less sacred than any other place where people work at what they love. But it is certainly more private than many. My studio feels uniquely mine--coming in to the studio does trigger a shift in awareness towards what I think of as my true, inner self. When other people come into the studio, I am happy to have them yet I do feel slightly nervous and over-exposed.
Rebecca's web site has more information about her work, and her blog has even more images of her studio.