My studio now occupies the front two offices which were used by my husband when his business employed quite a few people. When he first added on this section in front of his workshop I insisted that he build with some character that was complimentary to the historic cottage which is next door but still on our property. (this is heritage listed and not safe to use unless we completely rebuild it, it was always in our plans but the more we look into it the more it is stays in the too hard basket, but who knows?) A few years ago he really had to rethink how he worked and decided that after so many years of having staff, he only wanted to work by himself again and he is a lot happier about this. It meant that we had too much of everything. I think we have enough paperclips for me to make up panels for an entire wire fence! Enough filing cabinets (who even uses more than one these days anyway?) to archive a lifetime of documents and none of them are those wonderful full drawer ones which I might have adapted, they are all the ones designed for offices files, just a front, some racks on a slide, most annoying because otherwise these could be filled with supplies for me! I know a garage sale must be on our urgent to do list!
As my art work became an everyday activity of the last year, and I tried to juggle this around our home and the housework, and became more frustrated, my husband suggested these front offices as my dedicated studio space. I did not wait for him to change his mind it all seemed perfect, not only for the space, but also as this meant I could feel like I was going to work,a real job and my art would be taken seriously. (plus the washing machine and ironing would not be arguing with me about what I was spending my time doing.. why does everything now have to have buzzers?)
We have both worked very hard to transform the two rooms for me to move in during August so that my studio could be open for SALA (South Australian Living Artists) We still have more work to do in my textile room, such as mounting a design board on the wall and moving in another large storage shelf. Overall though, I am very comfortable in these two rooms for now. We do have plans for him to downsize his office space to a smaller room which has a door from his workshop. I will then be able to use the large office at the back of the rooms I have now as my wet studio and I cannot wait for this to happen! There is generally a lot of paint, fabric mediums, gesso, dyes, wax and more being used almost every day as well as fabric stretched on frames to be printed or painted, a wet canvas or more around, all messy stuff and I need the space to cope with all the techniques I use. But most of all I want to make the front just a bit more interesting, It has such good light as it faces North (this would be the opposite to those above the Equator when facing South is preferred) There is a compact garden with native trees and a few shrubs and plants which attract many birds and help keep the textile room cooler in Summer. This only needs a bit of a trim and new layer of compost and mulch.
The work I have planned to complete in the next few weeks includes getting the side trellis up to plant the vine cuttings from one of our Old Vines (we have two one with fruit and one is an ornamental but also very old) One will go on the side near the entrance and provide protection from the west and the other will be planted on a side screening wall to the old cottage. I have big pots of plants to go around the verandah and several inviting chairs and some wall pieces I will mount to make the front look more like an art studio! I might scatter a few empty oak wine casks cut in half in the garden to plant a bit of extra colour. The gravel gets raked every few weeks. (I did take this last weekend when it had been windy and before it was raked) I will take more images and upload them after I have done some of these jobs and show you how it looks. I have gathered a few bits and pieces to audition around the verandah and feel really excited about getting most of this done over the weekend.
Thoughts tonight about what I will make with a few old cow bells picked up in Switzerland years ago. We bought them because my husband did not believe our children when they yelled out with huge excitement from the back seat of our car, and with the windows wound down, that all the animals had bells around their necks and they could hear them. We were driving into Switzerland from France and to Australian children this was so strange and they had thought it was just a fairy tale out of Heidi books. (so did their Dad) I think they could be a lot of fun used here they are not making good sue dod themselves inside our home (they used to be fantastic dinner bells to get children to come inside ... our garden is very large ....but now they are grown up and gone)
I think it will look very inviting and I can have a picnic lunch and coffee breaks (or a glass of local chilled wine) and enjoy the beautiful view over the vines. Do some sketching or stitching too..........