Monday, March 23, 2009

New Studio Construction

Phew. Almost done. For the past three weeks I've been moving, cleaning and organizing the new studio. That's involved building new furniture (vertical files, matting table, tool caddy, flower tree, model stand, computer caddy and a lightbox table). The light box already exists but it needs a special table to stand on with a glass bin and cabinet for tools. What can I say...I'm in organizing mode. I've also been painting moldings, and doors, hanging pictures and continuously washing floors. I haven't even gotten to the house yet. But I just found the guest room walls! Seriously. I hadn't seen them in four years for all the paintings, frames, boxes and supplies cramming the room. I'm so glad I took this month and a half off from work to get things done. I'm throroughly exhausted at the end of every day and there's no way a painting could come out of this craziness. But it's almost done. I'm giving a demo at the Sequim Arts meeting on Thursday and will finally get to paint. My students will be having their second lesson on Wednesday in the new studio so once my office is moved later this week or early next week, I anticipate being able to finally settle down and work in a peaceful, organized and airy space.

I kmow you've all been busy in your own lives and haven't given a thought to this blog, but still it's nice to know there are folks out there that will be happy to see my work appearing regularly again here and in there mailboxes. Here are some photos of the work in progress.

This first shot is of the old studio - soon to become my new office and packing/framing room. You can see the matting table I built at the far end of the room. It has a picture leaning against it. Things are still out of order here because the workmen have to finish the thresholds between the old and new studios and in the closet as well. The French Doors on the right lead into the new studio.

This next shot is the left side of the same room. Things will be moved around a bit when my desk gets moved in (awaiting a phone line for the modem). The still life shelves are on the near left. We moved them in there yesterday from the studio so that we could keep the space open in there. If it proves to be an inconvenience in the future, we'll just move it back.

Here's one of the vertical files I built. I made this one to fit over some flat files and thus fill the dead space above them. It holds an abundance of stuff that had been cluttering up the walls and floors of my home. The French doors to the new studio are just beyond it. It took my friend two hours to scrape the plastic and white paint from the glass on the left door yesterday! I honestly think Home Depot would be better off not putting that stuff on there. Tape works better and is easier to remove. The door on the right has a blemmish in it an has to be exchanged for a new one. You can see the threshold below the door still has to be finished.

Welcome to the new studio! Here's a full shot from inside the French Doors. The only thing missing from this shot is the model stand which still needs to be built and the Par theatre light which still needs to be hung. The work table in the center of the room is just a hollow core door on horses which can be broken down when classes are in session or open studio occurs. You can see an ironing board or two scattered about also if you look closely. I use them for still life set ups because they fold up and can be adjusted to various heights. For flooring, we finally found a great buy on Carbonized Bamboo. We got it at less than half price - about $2.74 a square foot. My cat, Boo Boo loves this room. He's in the bottom left of the picture.

Here's a close up of my painting corner. Although everything is on wheels and can be moved easily, I choose to paint in this corner because of the way the light flows in through the north facing window. The small clear story windows behind can be blocked off easily to control the light.

Moving around the room...this shot is the north west corner. There will be a light table there eventually for stained glass work.

This next pic is of my drawing board corner. I love this light filled space. A good place to plan and seek inspiration.

And lastly is my flower tree. With all the work I do in florals, I have managed to collect quite a pile of silk flowers. They were previously kept in plastic bags piled on top of furniture or under things where ever I could find space. Now they're organized in a tree that hangs from my ceiling. I can lower the tree anytime I want a few flowers, pull them from the tubes that house them and then up goes the tree - out of my way!

I hope you've enjoyed my studio tour and can see that the time spent away from the easel has not been wasted. Give me another week to finish the office and I'll be back with you, happily painting away. Take care until then.

Monday, March 02, 2009


OK. I've been whining and complainting but most of you don't have a clue. Here's what has been my temporary set up for painting. My dining room. I'v managed to teach three students in here and put out an occasional painting while the chaos continues throughout the house. This doesn't look bad, and in truth, it isn't horrible, just close and difficult because I have to keep moving things back into the old studio to keep stuff out of the way while I search for materials for each project. Here's a pic of the living room with the dining room stuff stuffed into it.

It's difficult to control the light in the dining room because I'm surrounded by french doors and a couple of skylights. Here's the old studio. I spent 9 hrs yesterday putting a matting and framing table together. The project is in the foreground covered by a tarp. It's huge, but not as large as the photo makes it appear. Nearly everything is coated with plaster dust. I've put up and taken down tarps for five months. Forget it. I'll clean it all in a couple of weeks. It's hard enough to find things without me suffocating in a plastic baggie.

This next photo is of the chaos in the back of the old studio.
See what I mean?

OK. Here's a shot of my guest room which is housing all my paintings and still life objects so they don't get smooshed by the workers. I can't let my cats in here or they'll get lost. Seriously.

Last...but definitely not least of all, is a picture taken through the new french doors into the new studio. We finish mudding today and the wall texture goes on tomorrow. Then we paint. Add the wall switches and lighting and lastly, the floor. So in about three weeks, hurray! It will be done. I hope. Five months late, but done.

But then the real work for me begins. I'll have to get things organized, pictures hung, new furniture built and installed and all my supplies organized. Then I have to CLEAN MY HOUSE!!! So - all this to say, you won't be hearing much from me for a month or so while things get organized. I'll post whenever I can clear enough space to put something out, but I anticipate being pretty busy and burried here over the next few weeks as things draw to a final chaotic end. Wish me well and I promise to write.