A Tour of my Happy Haven

This happy place is my art studio. It's where I hang out. It's where I "do my thing." It's where I use the "gift" that I was given. I thank God every day that I can share my talent with others and hope that it gives others pleasure to the eyes.

Let's start by saying that this was actually a third-floor attic, turned into two rooms and a bathroom, shortly after we got married 30+ years ago. My husband and I finished off the two rooms with carpeting, oak ceilings, an overhead fan, four closets, and a half-bath. I remember the process well as we stained the ceiling planks ourselves (never do this!), and I was very pregnant. The dream was a pool table in the larger room, and a guest bedroom in the smaller. The guest bedroom has been used as just that: twin beds for guests. The large room has had many functions: I was a Creative Memories consultant for a number of years and this room had two 6-foot tables for my scrapbooking classes. It was an office for this business and held a computer desk, at which my two-yr-old learn how to use a "mouse" (better at it than I was) and she enjoyed her "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" floppy disk (not actually floppy) software.


Flash forward 25 years. I started watercolor painting, in earnest. The long tables got shifted to the garage. A table easel sits upon a smaller table and a new table supports my matting materials. One closet houses all my art supplies. The most enjoyable part is that the natural light that comes in from the windows AND from the four skylights makes for the ability to paint almost any time of day. My view from the 3rd-floor is our driveway and our surrounding neighbors. One summer day, I looked out and saw the swoop of a large bird. To my surprise, I discovered that two hawks had built a deep nest into a tree not much more than forty feet from my window, and of course almost level with my view. Several days later I notice two fuzzy heads, then a third. Babies! what a delight.

Rather than continue, let me walk you around my studio. Enjoy this short (03:04) video.

Pay attention to various tools that I have in my studio. I will be noting these as recommendations for purchase if you so desire. Also, watch for a small, Renaissance artist, Albrecht Dürer, who keeps me company in my studio. He spends a lot of time painting his self-portrait. @Playmobil

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One of the things you learn as an artist, and in many occupations, is that your tasks can be so much easier with the right tools. They cover the range of video making, mats and framing tools, and my suggestions for materials used in my artwork

Tools for creating great videos:

My video editing software is Windows Video Editor 2021

You might have seen my reference to the "Behemoth" TV that dates from the early 1990s. Yep. My husband built this little cubby for TV viewing from either room, with the clever louver doors to hide the TV when not in use. If I were to replace it (and I probably won't) this would be my choice (opinion remains my own).

Great tools for cutting mats and framing:

Logan Compact 32 inch Mat Cutter is a pleasure to use. Easy setup and precise mats.

In no uncertain terms, I asked for a drill for my 70th birthday. I wanted to be able to attach D-rings to my frames by myself. Must be light-weight, small, and NOT pink. I was going to be "p*st" if this didn't happen. My husband obliged me and this one is perfect. With a few lessons from him, I am comfortable with its use and am proud to say thank you.

This Point Driver is perfect for mounting the back sheet of frames. Works like a staple gun and the points can be flexible for smaller frames or ridged for larger, heavier frames.

Materials for my artwork:

My favorites. Winsor & Newton has rich, transparent colors and works very well as a glaze. Sakura does not have the same reputation but I find that the colors available in these kits are vibrant and saturated. Considered a "student" level I find that they are just fine for beginners to seasoned artists. And the pens? My absolute favorites. Great nibs that don't break with use. This set has nine pens from 0.005 to 0.08.

My watercolor paper of choice is Strathmore 400 series. Moderately priced, it always gives me a nice surface to work on, if it bends with water usage I damp wet the back and put an equally sized weight on it and it's back to being flat. You can order pads in various sizes and cut them to your needs.

Now, my last point. My husband and I have decided to "downsize." We should have done it a while back but it's a hard decision. After 32 years, the three-level house and a yard with lots of trees have become a super chore, and more so than the last time he attacked leaves and sticks. We are on the early side of this process because of Covid-19, but when we do go out and about it's usually to scope out for-sale signs. Right time, right place.

I will have a new "studio." It will be perfect too.

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