My little (imperfect) studio
It may not have all the bells and whistles, nor even some basic amenities (like a sink), but it’s my studio.
In all the years I’ve painted, I’ve never had a studio. When I first enrolled at art school I was living in a caravan and, while surprising to my mentors at the time, I managed to fulfill all the practice requirements of drawing, painting and sculpture on its tiny ‘dining room’ table.
Later, I moved to a house-sitting situation and thereafter a flat. In both situations I laid down a square of plastic on the floor, super careful not to spill any art materials on the carpet. It was somewhat constricting, but I managed.
It wasn’t until I bought my own home that I got to have something more akin to a studio space. But, the studio has always been relegated to the garage due to a lack of space elsewhere.
When I restarted my art practice recently, following a several year hiatus and a house move, I once again got to work on setting up a space in which I could paint. My ‘Mr Fix-it’ brother saw promise in the corner of the garage, with its solid wooden bench and good lighting. So, we scoured the second hand shops and bought a wonderfully sturdy trestle table and a particularly nice length of linoleum for the floor (which would have gone well in my kitchen actually!).
The most expensive item I bought was a light fixture with four directional daylight LED lights, but it’s been well worth the investment and has proven to be incredibly effective in casting light throughout the space. And, while the garage doesn’t have a sink, it’s right next door to my kitchen and laundry, so water and a sink are within close range.
It may have to share space alongside a freezer, washing machine and microwave, but this studio is about as close as I’ve ever gotten to having a dedicated studio space. It isn’t quite perfect, but I love the look and the feel of the space and I love being in it. And, surely, that’s the main requirement, isn’t it…
My first studio was in my bedroom, my drawing board fitted under the window in front of my bed with just enough space to squeeze past. Over the years I rented space in a couple of design studios or office space until I moved out of Auckland and turned a bedroom into what I thought was the best space ever but I think I’ve topped that with the studio I work from today. It’s a pimped up garage! It’s been reclad, insulated, and has loads of room and is comfortable now in winter since the heat pump was installed. It took nearly 35 years but worth the wait! But if I lost that space today I know I’d find or make studio space somewhere even if it was just a corner of the lounge or garage.
Totally with you on that Deb! There really is no excuse not to do art is there.. And, when it’s so long in the coming, you tend to appreciate it more eh..