Studio Tour

Welcome to my art studio!

The studio is a mother-in-law apartment from the 1970’s. It has its own entrance but is part of the house, and there is a sound buffer door between our TV room and the studio, so I can work undisturbed.  There is no longer a stove or refrigerator, but I do have a sink, a very nice wide counter, and other horizontal surfaces, plenty of room for a ping pong table, and multiple dressers providing 21 drawers for storing creative supplies. Dismal carpeting has been removed, and the floor is concrete. The lighting is original and pretty poor, so I use an OttLite for supplemental lighting. I share one end of the studio with my husband, who uses it for his sprouting towers and soil sprouts. He uses the sink a lot, and has taken over some of the cupboard storage. There is a lot of cupboard space so it hasn’t been a problem. This is the view from one end of the room. Plenty messy.

Over View

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my fabric stash is commercial fabric that I have purchased. I usually get only 1/3 of a yard. I am given fabrics from friends, and I cut up old shirts from the second hand store. I also like to paint linen fabrics.  Most of these fabrics are rolled into bundles, which are stored in dresser drawers arranged by color.

Storage by color

Fabric Bundles

 

 

 

 

 

 

The room has brown paneling that I did not like for display of artwork. So I have covered it with fabric, secured with small nails (every six inches) along the top of the wall. The nails are also used to hang artwork, which can easily be moved around. (I would like to someday change the wall fabric to something closer to white.)

Paneling 1970’s

Small nails along top of wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Harvest’ over the cat’s couch

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wide kitchen counter is a perfect height for ironing. This photo shows a work in progress, a figurative piece that uses fusible web to ‘glue’ pattern fabrics to a muslin backing, using a hot iron. There is a tissue paper image guide that shows me the placement of all the parts, and the bean bags weigh this down, so that it does not shift during the many times it is lifted up and down. As you can see, the size of the counter has limitations. It’s about 38 X 58 inches. I seldom work larger than this, unless it is an abstract piece that I sew by hand, laying it on the ping pong table.

Ironing place

 

 

Size of surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

The windows are south facing, which is both a good and bad thing. It is nice to have the warmth of the sun in the winter, but it can also be blinding! When I am sewing at this table, I sometimes block a portion of the window.

South Facing Windows

Sewing Machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To store my art pieces, I wrap two or more quilts around a swim noodle (front of quilts are on the outside) and cover this with cloth and close the ends with a rubber band. Each long package resembles a big tootsie roll. It is very important to label each roll. Don’t forget this step! As quilts come and go from shows, they will change their bed fellows, so the labels change a lot with titles added and subtracted over time.

 

Noodles and Shipping Boxes

Art Quilt Storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labeled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have my large cutting mat, which I purchased for my 50th birthday in 2000, and also smaller ones. My thread is stored as shown below. Hanging sticks are stored on a shelf and reused. Each stick has multiple quilt names on it, indicating quilts it might be used with. Stick choice depends in part on the weight of the quilt. I have a small spot on the wall for notes. The paint swatches posted there right now include the wall color of the Wyoming assisted living center. I am currently making artwork for this space, using a Wyoming color palette. 

Large Cutting Mat

smaller cutting mats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanging Sticks

 

 

 

Thread Organization

OttLite

 

 

Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last photos show the fusible web and fabric paint that I use, as well as my old school music corner. I listen to CD’s. Good grief.

 

Fusible Web

Fabric Paint

 

Music Corner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, my studio is not fancy, and not very picked up right now! But it works, and I feel very blessed to have it.

I have a cooking studio too. It is the upstairs kitchen. My recipe this month is Rhubarb Sauce. The time needed to make this delicious seasonal treat, including harvesting Rhubarb from the garden, washing, cutting and cooking, is just 20 minutes! Wash stems and dice into lengths about 1/2 inch each. Put 8 cups of diced Rhubarb and 1 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of sugar. That’s really all there is to it! Yummy!

 

 

 

 

Radical Pruning

For weeks now, my response to the pandemic, has been to do lots of radical pruning. What does that mean?  You might think that it means cleaning out my studio or office or some other sort of spring cleaning that many artists spent the month of March doing. I applaud them!  No. My radical pruning… Read more »

Responding

People are influenced by what they experience. The current pandemic has many of us even more focused than usual on what it is we want to do with our time, and what we want to say.  I will share with you my newest artwork (created February to mid-March), and what I was thinking about. This… Read more »

Keep Going

In any creative activity, whether it be gardening or building an image of a donkey, it is not easy to know when to stop. Creators in every medium are often warned about this. Art: If you go too far, the paint will become muddy! Poetry: The freshness of an idea might be lost. Cooking: The… Read more »

Just Right

Goldilocks tried out bowls of porridge, chairs and beds, to find the ones that were just right. When this child wandered into the home of the three bears, I assume that the bears were out doing work, or getting their exercise, or attending choir practice. Maybe baby bear was climbing trees or swimming with a… Read more »

Two Gems

This blog is just a quick show and tell, to share with you two commissions completed recently. I am showing you the reference photo given to me, next to the artwork I created for a friend. Notice all the things that are removed (background and shirt logo) and the things added (bottom of shoe and… Read more »

Abstract Art Quilt

I recently visited the art room at an elementary school, as a guest speaker. I was at school all day and talked to 7 different classes of all grade levels. I brought along three examples of my artwork, two abstract and one figurative. I explained my ideas and why I had made the choices of… Read more »

Art Plus Location

I have recently returned from a wonderful visit with my girl (old lady) cousins that took place in Lexington MA, near Boston. We did a great deal of talking and eating and seeing artwork. My dream vacation realized!  So even though some of the conversation had to do with aches and pains of old ladies,… Read more »

September in the Studio

    Above is the small mock up version of “Long View”. I have been working on the large version that, when complete, and remodeling to the building is done, will hang in the State Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming. It is 38 X 54 inches . I was able to use my usual ironing surface… Read more »

What to do next?

We grapple with this question over and over in our lives, year to year, day to day, and hour to hour. There are some big questions about what to do next, but there are the simple prioritize-my-time sort as well. Because it is summer, I’ve had difficulty smashing-cramming-condensing four hours of exercise and gardening into… Read more »