We are loving our new home. The upstairs is almost completely together — only lacking a few things like new curtains here and there or other little decorative touches. Because of the COVID-19 situation, I’m not getting out and doing much shopping, so those little things can wait. Our home is cozy and comfortable just as it is.
The downstairs area is now where I’m focusing most of my attention. As you can quickly see from my art studio photographs, the basement isn’t finished — but it’s usable. In other words, the floors aren’t tiled or carpeted; the walls are unpainted; the ceiling will need a bit of work. But beyond that… well, the downstairs space is awesome! To me, buying this place was like getting two houses for the price of one.
The “upstairs house” has a huge living room with fireplace, two bedrooms, a bath, our gorgeous music room for the baby grand and our violins, the kitchen, the kitchen eating area, and a big laundry room, pantry, and mud room — perfect for my husband’s entrance.
But that’s only half of it! Downstairs, you see, I have my office with computer, bookshelves, and file cabinet. We’ll soon have a nice sewing area set up. We have a little “downstairs music room” with a keyboard and guitar, a play area for the grandkids, an “entertainment area” around a wood-burning fireplace where we’ll enjoy munching popcorn and watching our KC Chiefs when football season returns. We have a table and chairs for a little “downstairs kitchen” — complete with microwave, refrigerator, and a huge sink. Oh, there’s a full bath, too, and it’s soon going to include a hot tub and become a complete home spa.
And then there’s my new art studio. The huge sink is part of that, and it’s just perfect for cleaning up. Along with the sink, the art studio area includes two closets, one filled with shelves. Oh, my goodness! I’m definitely in love with it all.
These pictures aren’t great. The studio doesn’t look like much right now, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not how it looks but how useful and practical it is, and this new studio is going to score high on those areas.
Here’s a peek at the shelves — a place to sort and store my canvases, drawing paper and supplies, and all those sketchbooks I’ve accumulated over the years. At least that’s what is on those shelves right now.
And look at this!
A shelf where I can keep my art books! Yes, my handy husband will take care of any electrical wires, so there won’t be any danger. Beneath this shelf, in the closet itself, I have lots of additional storage. I’m using it primarily for frames and mat boards. At least that’s what’s there right now.
And — for right now — here’s how the studio looks.
To you, maybe it looks dim and dismal. It’s not. My husband has already installed two daylight bulbs and there’s actually a lot of morning light coming in from the window (upper right).
We will be painting the walls and putting down a floor covering in the near future, and I’ll be putting a few paintings on the wall. One wall downstairs — maybe I’ve said this before — will be a “gallery wall” where I can hang my favorite, framed paintings. I’m sure I’ll be putting up other pictures here and there — works in progress, paintings that are drying, canvases waiting to be varnished and framed.
I’ve spent the morning setting up my studio, and it was quite an interesting process, one that required me to think about being an artist and to consider my needs. If you’ve read much of this blog, you know that I never intended to become an artist. I never really thought that was possible. But now, golly gee, here I am!
Because my journey from “I’m going to learn to draw” to “Oh, my gosh, I won a ribbon!” was unplanned and unintentional, the process was erratic. A daughter bought me my wonderful drawing table/easel. I grabbed a cheap plastic storage chest at Walmart one day. I’ve bought various paints and brushes, trying out this and that along the way. Just as I “happened” to become an artist, my art area in the past also just “happened”.
Now, it’s different. Now I have room to spread out, room to organize, room to make a true mess! So, how do I put all this room to use?
It was interesting, indeed, to look at the available space and make deliberate choices. Did I want my brushes on the right or the left? What height did I want my palette? Where would be the most convenient place to keep my oils? What about other little things I’ll be using — charcoal, pencils, Q-tips?
Of course I sorted through old paintings again, enjoying memories of lessons learned — or lessons attempted, at least. I laughed at a few, winced at others, and nodded in approval at a few. I’ve learned a lot since I first started oil painting a few years ago. Some of those old paintings will be painted over — or tossed in the trash — but some will always be close to my heart.
Now it’s time for me to see if I made good choices or not for my studio. Will I really find it convenient to have my brushes sitting in that corner? Will I end up moving my palette and paints here, there, and everywhere? Will I like my easel where it stands now, or will I find that it needs a bit of adjustment?
I’m looking forward to giving the new studio a try, and once my husband has finished all his “fixing up” with walls and ceiling and flooring, I’ll be showing it off again!