Monday, April 11, 2016

My Studio: Before and After

A week ago, I received some disappointing news. I had applied to a local arts and crafts show and wasn't accepted. I had a choice. I could wallow in sadness or I could do something constructive and move forward. I did let myself wallow for about 24 hours and then I decided to embark on a major cleanup of my studio.

I am a perfectionist and really do like when things look organized and pretty. Unfortunately, I don't really enjoy cleaning. I would far rather use my time to paint than clean, so things have a tendency to pile up around me. Last summer, my daughter Emma gave me a pretty white table from Ikea for my birthday. I added it to my studio without really taking the time to make it fit in. It displaced another small table which I left in the centre of everything. I had piles of paper, frames and shipping supplies on the floor. It was far from organized. Things were actually getting a little dangerous.

I've been brave and took some before photos to show you just how much my studio has changed. Some of these photos were taken in the middle of the process, so things looked even worse than at the beginning. I had pulled things into the centre of the room to go through them.

It was such a big job that I really wanted to give up about halfway through. I was physically tired and bored out of my mind. But I didn't and I'm glad I kept going. It took me a full week. Here are some photos of what my painting studio looks like now. 

I printed the Trowel & Paintbrush sign with the hope that I would be accepted to the show but I like the way it looks on the wall of my studio. I also put up a couple of my nature collection prints on the wall. I love the new blue file boxes I got at Ikea. And, of course, I have fresh flowers.

My painting table always has my paint, brushes and bits of my nature collections on it but now everything is neat and organized.

I have pretty fabric bins made by Sonia of Cozy Memories tacked on the side of my table for storage. On my bulletin board beside my table I have the Van Gogh quote: "If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." There are also photos, postcards and business cards from artist friends.

I recently put my Haworth Moor print up on the wall over my bookcase as it's one of my current favourite prints. On the shelves, I have some of my nature finds, art books, magazines and illustrated children's books.

I love the Alex storage unit from Ikea. I allows me to store watercolour paper, supplies and some finished paintings. I've added a Falkhöjden shelf on top. Do you see my painting of Meeko? That's a Milou (Snowy) toy beside it. Hergé based the Milou character on a wire fox terrier but it reminds me of a certain wheaten. I made the slipcover for the daybed years ago but now it's freshly washed. Having a sofa in the studio also provides a convenient place to store full sheets of watercolour paper. You can see them peeking out at the bottom.

The dresser is where I keep my finished paintings. I have a huge number of them! To the right of it are my framed heart stones. I hot-glued some of my rock collection to the matboard of an Ikea frame. The bird nest watercolour is by Jody Edwards. To the left of the dresser is the small wooden table that was previously floating awkwardly in the middle of the room. Now it's tucked neatly against the wall. I'll use it for cutting and scoring my note cards. 

One of the final touches I made to my newly cleaned studio was to frame and put up my beautiful original watercolour of strawberries by my friend Lucile Prache. My husband gave it to me for Christmas and I love it so much. 

It feels completely different now when I climb the stairs to my studio. I feel lighter, like there's a weight off my shoulders. The air feels clearer. There's room to paint and even dance if I feel like it. Do you know what? I just might.

-Kathleen

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

If you'd like to browse through my art shop, it's here.


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