At the town wide yard sale on Saturday I bought a half dozen old art magazines. One was entirely about studios. "For me (Barbara McBride) it is the mood of the room. When I wake up, I like to crank up the music, and my two cats curl up in the studio while I take time to just look out the windows to get in the mood. That affects what I do that day." She converted her sun room into her studio.
Other artists depicted have added on to their homes, built garages to use as a studio, and even built freestanding buildings. W.M. Howard built a 27 by 12 foot solar powered building, "designed to be in harmony with the environment." He says, "I am the kind of painter that needs a lot of removal to think and reflect."
Wendy Mattson needed to be near her young children, yet in a separate space that was NOT the kitchen table. She added a studio and display area for her art onto her existing home. "Like many women who are balancing a career and a family, I always wanted to multitask," she says. While a watercolor dried she would do household tasks and then "lose my focus."
Recently I began moving my studio inside the house. I have taken over the den, a 20 x 15 inch room. There is space for two work tables, my computer table and even my yoga setup. At the moment there is still a lot of leftover furniture from the room's previous identity including a desktop computer no one uses,two file cabinets of Mom's, a recliner that was my Dad's and lots of Dad's books. It doesn't yet feel like "my" space. The best features are that it will be warm and dry in the winter. And it has two windows for natural light from the west and south.
Theoretically, a room and house's architectural qualities are very important to me. Well, I have always wanted: a Frank L. Wright house, a log cabin, a cottage by the sea, a new light filled contemporary, a Victorian, a thatch roofed English cottage. These and more. I like big windows, hardwood floors, fine woodworking details, fireplaces, a sense of space. Mom's house has none of these. In reality, I have lived and worked in nice enough places but not with the light and space I prefer. So, I guess in my present moment physical reality, I can work anywhere. But in my daydream mind, I have pictures of "better" environments.
How important is your workspace to you and to your work, whether you are writers or visual artists, musicians or dancers? Do the aesthetics of the room or space affect you and the work you do? Or can you work anywhere, in a cold water garret or a dark closet?
If you like, post a picture of your workspace on your blog and I will link to it on this post. Click on links below to see other studios.
More Idle Thoughts