One room at a time, we are making our new/fixed house a home. After a year of nuts-and-bolts rebuilding, to be in fluffing and nesting mode is a pleasant change of pace. Of course, among the first projects on my list was the studio. While I was grateful to have carved out a spot to paint at the rental, it was not ideal by far. I tend to spread out over multiple tables and meander from painting to painting. The rental space was tiny, only big enough for one small table…unlike my new glorious dreamy, dream, dream of a studio, my favorite spot in the house.
When we first bought the house, the studio had dirty blue carpet, peach walls, poor lighting and a dingy and low dropped ceiling, but it was huge and had a sink, bathroom and window so I was thrilled. About a month before the fire, we replaced the floor with hardwoods, painted the walls and called it a day. We were not planning on doing anything else. The ceiling would be too costly to raise. Extra lighting and ventilation too troublesome to install. But then the fire hit, and the ceiling fell and the water from the fire hose flooded the basement. It would have to be gutted. Our contractor was able to reroute all the pipes and ventilation to soffits along the edges of the room and raise the ceiling to full height. He was also able to install recessed lighting and a ventilation system. Now it is a showstopper, not a dingy afterthought. I tend to paint mostly when my daughter is in school or asleep, but a comfy couch, TV and mini-fridge make the room a perfect hangout for my family when naptime is elusive or a big game is on TV at night. I still have lots of organization and restocking to do, lots of finishing touches but it is already my happy place.
Redoing the studio, made me think about creating space to create. Not just actual physical space, but space in my day, space in my mind, space in my expectations. My mental space has been cluttered by the fire and its aftermath, but also by the stress of my derelict time-management skills paired with the highly unrealistic expectations I have of myself and the general hubbub of working parenthood. I’ve decided to cut myself some slack. I’ve found that I’m more productive in the afternoons than in the morning so I’m allowing myself to dilly dally after dropping Sophie off at school instead of rushing off to paint. I’ve also found that I like having my whole family with me in the house when I paint, even if they are upstairs…just knowing they are here makes me feel content and happy, which is super-conducive to creativity. I’ve been out to lunch with friends, watched a little tv here and there, played Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, enjoyed my weekends, and tried to let go of the notion that I’m wasting time if I’m not in the studio every spare minute. I’ve found that I’m producing roughly the same amount of images, but I’m not depleted at the end of the day. It’s not fool proof yet, and as the next deadline looms, I’m sure I’ll go into frenetic-crazy-lady mode again, but for now, the studio is my happy place again…both physically and otherwise…
In other news, we went to Atlanta for the January market to see the launch of my new Christmas and Halloween lines. It was a whirlwind trip, but we made it to market for one day and as always, I was giddy with the products. Halloween is my favorite holiday so to have even a pinky toe of little e products in the market is super. And the Christmas products were precious! Below are a few snapshots of items you will hopefully see in boutiques and shops this fall!
I’m looking forward to warmer weather and my next show, Art on the West Side in March followed by The Harding Art Show in May. I will also have another launch of products with Creative Co-op in June 2014. Stay tuned for all the news!
Stay warm out there!