Sharing our work in the studio can shed light on the processes and practices of artists, helping people to understand our artworks. It also makes art making less mysterious and more accessible, showing that anyone can do it. I also see it as a bit of an ‘open house’. It is always interesting to have a peek inside other peoples homes and to see how they live. This is how I live and work in my studio.
My studio is in the centre of our home, as you walk in the front door, there it is. We designed the house this way. Above it on the second level is our kitchen, the other creative centre of our home. Our house is unconventional in that our main living area is upstairs, taking in the view of trees and hillsides.
In my studio I have one big south facing window, which is best for consistent light in the Southern hemisphere. Along one wall is a set of twelve plan file drawers for storing paper and older artworks. I was lucky to buy them in the mid 1990s from a printing firm that was going digital. They were double shades of beige so I painted them with dark red spray paint. I am fortunate to have a very handy husband and father-in-law and I had a bench top and drawers underneath made that build the drawers into the space perfectly. I also have a big bookshelf on top that holds all my art books and teaching resources. That bench top is also a place for me to store old paintings on canvas (I have plans for some racks here, maybe I need to employ my handyman again!). I also have a radio on the bench. I’m an ABC radio fan in the studio, I find that I work best listening to classical music or Radio National.
On the other wall is a long cupboard with five sections for storing art materials. It was rescued from a hairdressing salon and renovated by my husband. In that cupboard I store all my materials, acrylic and oil paints, printmaking equipment, rollers, foam brushes, silk painting supplies, anything and everything I have ever used. I have been a bit of an art material hoarder over the years, I still have some vintage art supplies from childhood! On the wall above is a big pin board for displaying inspiration of many kinds. A little Ikea trolley holds bits and pieces that I like to have close to me wherever I am working.
I have a large easel on wheels that can be positioned anywhere to catch the best light and it is also handy for storing paintings in between painting sessions. My other workspace is a table that sits under the window for the best light. It is here that I work on my smaller works on paper, paint with watercolour, make prints and write.
Importantly there are pet beds for my little companions, my dog has a cosy pillow on the floor topped with an old woollen rug and the cat has a pillow next to the window. But of course the cat will often decide to sleep somewhere inappropriate like on my chair or on a pile of fresh paper! My little friends like to visit on cold days when I have the gas heater working. In an ideal world I would have a little wood fired heater there.
I hope you enjoyed my introduction to my little studio, I hope to share regular studio updates showing tips, tricks and processes. I’d love for you to share your creative spaces too. Where do you get creative?