making space

So, today school was out, which meant that apart from a short morning meeting I had nothing I had to do. I decided to move the furniture around in my dining room so that I can use it as a temporary studio, as my studio is still undergoing renovations.  One of my goals with this blog was to talk about the joys and conflicts of making art when your life is full of other people and obligations. One of the major issues for me, apart from time is space – I have been using our 3rd floor as a studio, with lights hooked up by extension cord and no heat, my husband decided I needed lights, insulation and heating, all wonderful things, but they are being installed by him, again wonderful, but he’s as busy as me, and that project is absolutely last on his list… so right now stuff is just randomly piled all over my studio so he can work up there, and I am totally frustrated by my lack of working space… and the fact that since he moved everything I can’t find anything. Grrr!! OK ungrateful and whiny I know, but again I say GRRR. Today was like a clearing in the fog in several ways, firstly I decided to stop whining about space and just take some, we are not a big “formal dining” family, we eat at the table on weekends, always on Sundays, but rarely during the week… so taking that space to work in is not a big deal, except I’ll be surrounded by my family in a way I am not upstairs, it is not ideal, but I have work to do, I will have to make it work! Secondly it was literally a break to get my bearings, and clear out the space!  After cleaning and moving all day I have managed to wrestle my big panels into the dining room (with help from my son!) and now I can finally really get to work on them. The other plus is that now they don’t greet the casual visitor as they walk in the front door, as they had been living in the hallway!! Here are some before and after pics… (the before ones are slightly messier!!)

and just for inspiration… check this out, oh how I wish I lived close enough to take this class!

5 thoughts on “making space

  1. ooh, thanks for sharing your workspace shots! also the scale of the big panels is great, I didn’t know you were working that big, it’s exciting! I totally understand the scenario where the shop-vac is sharing space with the dining room table… hooray for reclaiming the underused “living” space and making it into usable working space!!!!

    my housemate teaches guitar lessons, and occasionally holds them in our apartment. the other day two little boys and their babysitter came over, the older of the boys had his lesson, and the younger one (6? 7?) wandered around, and at some points, peeked into the living room to talk to me. I was taking up most of the living room floor with my project, using the screw gun to assemble some plywood components of the new print drying rack I am making. the little kid looks around at all the stuff in our living room (sewing machine, couch, packed-full bookshelves, big work table, two PA systems with giant speakers, assorted guitars, fabric, tiny electric organ, boxes, coats, plants, mic stands, etc), and asks the crucial question: “why is it so messy?”

    I ask him back, “why do you think?” he pauses and replies with certainty, “because you need lots of space.”

    exactly. … I get the sense you are in the same boat!

  2. i am realizing that life and art are somehow always about making space, aren’t they? i look forward to seeing whatever space you work on next!

  3. interesting, i’ve been talking to tod alot about studio space…and if i were to rent instead of live/work in the same space i’m not sure i would like it. for as many complaints i have about space and living stuff i like knowing at any time i can be there and then if its not a good moment, leave. i can wear my baggy pajama looking clothes, eat, sit in front of the computer or listen to the tv while working….i can live my life at the same time.
    not sure i would actually enjoy having to leave and go somewhere. what is the alternative? having a BIGGER place to live….MORE space to fill? maybe we all do fine with what we have after all. good for you to cleaning up, making space and giving some work some attention. yeah i hear you about space though…

  4. I read your post this morning and found it quite amusing. Your determination to move the panels! I can’t think of any of my friends who pay for studio space. We all seem to have these seemingly uphill struggles from time to time in our domestic spheres/spaces. Not enough time or space to continue. Or is it to be continued…

  5. well thanks everyone for your observations, I would like a separate space to work in because then my family might actually get that I am working… and not interrupt me constantly with their endless needs, when I was upstairs it was too much trouble to climb three flights of stairs to find me, so they would just figure things out for themselves, however when I am right there in the dining room, well you get the idea!!

    Paula, I would like to downsize my living space and upsize my working space, Glenn restores classic cars as a hobby so our ideal would be a small house, bedroom/kitchen then a big garage and a big studio, that’s our plan when our kids are all gone, hopefully out of town and off the grid…

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