I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tribute to an Artist's Studio

Recently I sent away for the last two issues of STUDIOS. This magazine is filled with stories of artists that have these amazing work spaces that are inspired by their artistic abilities. As I read through one of these magazines I saw someone very familiar to me. Diana Frey was one of the "students" in our workshop at Asilomar a few months ago. I want you to see what Diana has done with a single car garage. This proves my theory that true artists create their own environment. I love this studio because it shows that you don't have to have a lot of money to create a place for working on your art. All you need is a small space and a lot of imagination. With some fresh paint, storage, creative uses of thrift shop aesthetics and salvaged furniture, Diana has created this beautiful space for herself. She calls it her"..muse and inspiration". When I asked her if she would mind my using this article in one of my posts she said "Go for it."..., and I did. Her studio is proof that controlled chaos and creativity co-exist in this world. Just take a look. (Click on photos for a close up view.)

Diana is an accomplished and well-known artist of mixed-media jewelry. She has created some of the most amazingly unique pieces, filled with beauty and whimsy..., and her ability not to be afraid of allowing your "Muse" to inspire you. I know that this wonderful studio is what helps her create these works of art. Like having a well cared for garden seems to produce more vegetables, fruit and flowers..., having a well-organized workspace gives you permission to find and create art.

So..., this is where I stand. This is the dilemma. The kitchen table is my workspace. The bed in the extra room is my fabric and soft collage assortment center. The plastic "organizer", in front of the closet is where all my acrylic paints and scraps of paper live. The MESS under the old sewing machine, in my bedroom, is just that..., a mess, where I can't find anything and constantly find myself looking for something that has mysteriously disappeared.The only reason that the cabinet next to the computer stays half way organized is because of the printer. It must have space around it to work properly.
The rest of the creative elements in my life are in the garage. All the gourd working equipment; the leather dyes, the saws, drills, boxes of gourds and all the embellishments , including gallons of DUST, are spread out over half of our two-car garage that we can only get one car into now.

I keep reading these STUDIO magazines and trying to figure out how I can change my guest room into a well organized, inspirational place of creativity. I re-read Diana's vignette on her studio and look at all the organization and loveliness of it and I want to empty my extra room and create a new venue of artistic inspiration. I have to keep the twin bed in here because , once in a while I do have guests and, with only two bedrooms, I need to maintain some sleeping arrangements. Sis would not like sleeping on the couch in the living room. It's a 10X10 ft. room, with one north facing window that's 4 ft' by 6 ft'. It has a good size closet that is under utilized and it has way too much furniture in it.

If anyone has any ideas, let me know. If you just added a big beautiful room onto your home just for crafts and projects I'm very happy for you but I can't really afford something so grand. That's not one of my options. This is "thrift store Elly Mae" here. There will be a BARN before there is a craft studio built around here. That's life on the farm.
I need all the ideas and help I can get before the clutter takes over and someone finds me in that corner of my bedroom, under the old sewing machine, buried under a huge pile of creativity. Please help....

Please take a look at Diana 's blog @ dianafrey.blogspot.com
You will really enjoy her photos, her jewelry and her stories about the artistic life. You will also find out where she sells her jewelry. "Go for it!"

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  1. I think, from reading your blog, whats going to inspire you is nature. The open air. Try and have as much light as you can. Have it be a place of peace; your treehouse.
    Implements you use close at hand so you don't have to search them out. I like wire baskets to store papers, because I can see through them. A cd player for your favorite music. Quality tools.
    and the hardest thing, chucking out stuff you will never use.
    Best of luck. Now go ahead!

  2. I have an unfair advantage because like Sis, I have enjoyed that guest room on many wonderful visits. So, here's my 2 cents worth of ideas:
    1. Go up. Maybe run shelving around the room up high, but not so high you can't reach things there. 2. Probably have to let go of some of the non-essential furniture so you can get a work surface/table in there. What does a guest room need? Bed and place to set a suitcase? Not much more, actually. 3. The bed frame is beautiful, but it takes up precious space. Remove it and make the bed as simple as possible. 4. Last but not least: that closet is a gold mine of space you could use for your materials storage if everything came out and was stored in the garage, shelves went in and perhaps the doors came off too so you could see everything at a glance. You could really make that closet work for you as a mini studio.
    Good luck! I think you'll get some good suggestions from all your online friends and fans.

  3. hugs and grits.... and jam packed spaces :)

  4. hugs and grits.... and jam packed spaces :)

  5. OK how about some photos of everything? So how big is the closet? Could it be made into a studio? Have you seen photos of closets designed to be offices?
    If your husband is handy maybe he can do it for you. My husband has built all kinds of cool ideas into our closets just with plywood. One of my closets here he re did for $20. We have serious storage issues.

    The other option is making the garage into a studio as your friend did.

    But what I hear loud and clear is you need one.

    Sometimes if we let go of some things we love, we have room to receive more.

    It could be that guest room contains beautiful items that if sold could give you money and space. A small bed is all a guest needs. They come to see you not the room. And the dogs they come to see the dogs.


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