studio life

this is my studio. i have paintings throughout the house and in this little building in the garden. we built it ourselves, because we can. we are both artists, architects, handy with power tools - and parents of young children. the story of this studio is also a story of our daily life. it tells a bit about how painting, or anything happens around here. we live in the city, a little more than 1000 feet from the Atlanta subway. among the old houses in our historic neighborhood are many converted factories that are now lofts and shops. city sounds are important to me. especially as i work.

this is what the studio looked like yesterday.
one of the easels

6 years ago we decided to build a studio in our small yard. it's not very big, but we are smart when it comes to efficient space planning and use. even the lawn mower fits in here, in a cabinet.  the weather in the south allows us to work outside.  i like small spaces with tall ceilings. we planned two connected rooms. one for painting, and one for metal/woodwork. i work with water based oils, graphite and acrylics. i keep my kids away from the heavy metal bodied paints. clean up is with water. 
we chose to be historical and match our house. 
it took two years.

at the time of this small building construction, i had a large college building under construction and another one in design. my husband was also traveling to the middle east, and we had a three year old.

here is our son at the college job site during final close out in August of 2007. it is a 50,000 square foot classical building, but do not let the exterior details fool you. it is a science building and is therefore complicated in it's environment and systems. i found this dichotomy intriguing. even in respect to our little studio which is fully wired and technologically smart, despite the cedar shingles, bead board, and historic paint selection.

at the same time, we were expecting a girl. so while we were slowly building the studio, i was wearing a hard hat every two weeks, working with the construction firm Whiting Turner on the college building and had a round belly. two weeks before our daughter was born, the studio was finished. it has skylights. and a couch. it is not white-walled inside, and the grey green color feels like the garden.

for a while, my son put his toys in here. and that was okay. i was busy.
but now it looks like this. and this pile of stuff makes me happy. (wood shop side)
another view of yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool Helen - It's nice to hear from you through your stories. Best, Meg Needle