Past meets present – setting up a new studio space.

The house we’re currently renting was previously owned by an artist. She lived out her golden years here with her purple fence, purple shed, and purple bedroom. She converted the garage into a laundry room and studio with a nice big “mud room” type sink and outfitted pretty much every one of the 1942 craftsman closets with shelves and storage racks. Her presence is felt all through the property even several years after her passing.

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As we acclimate to the new space here I’m finding little hints of her quirkiness, beyond the passion for purple. I’ve claimed her old bedroom as my studio and although I will admit to personally liking the color purple a great deal, the lavender walls and dusky amethyst curtains weren’t exactly a clean slate for a light and open studio.


The curtains bit the dust right off the bat. With a rather private yard obscured by a large flowering shrub turned tree through one window and a inset porch outside the other I hardly feel window treatments are essential. This allows for a bounty of good light in the room throughout the day with minimal glare and no pesky blind shadows to contend with (a major headache in my previous space).

Despite working on the wedding portrait commission, I was pretty much living out of boxes both in the studio and in the rest of the house until mid-July. While it was fun for the cats at first, even they started to seem a little bothered by it all after a couple of weeks.


As I finally began to unpack boxes I quickly realized that the lack of closet space (despite the shelving options) was pretty limiting – I needed additional shelving to help provide organization for all my supplies. I opted for some cheap no-frills plastic and MDF jobbies as a temporary solution. I can always look for nice wood alternatives later. In the meantime, these quick and easy units fit my needs with minimal fuss.



I’ve recently found that displaying my collections in more artful ways brings me a lot of inspiration and creates opportunities for creative sparks that don’t seem to come as easily when I have to sift through storage containers like I normally do. Doubling up on some of my cube shelves has helped to an extent but I also have been trying to stage areas throughout both my studio and home that fit the bill. I’d wager its my nostalgic feeling of home-sickness for Atlanta that has compelled me to seek out these little pockets more than any other desire though.

My (new) Trilobite fossil, Milo, and sand dollar fossil (both from Morocco), Luna and Hawk Moths gifted to me by students, a 25 year old cross-stitch from my grandmother that passed only a year later, my mom’s paint brush container (now holding my own brushes).
Manikins from my dad when I first started art school, another beautiful brush container from my mother, a weird-ass bird sculpture from my mom’s quirky drummer friend, and a giant Whelk shell my husband pulled from a tidal pool for me (cutting himself on barnacles in the process).

I am not done picking at my studio environment yet – there is still more tweaking to be done before I get things just right. But, already, I feel that the area has been claimed by me as my own. In an effort to honor whatever artistic muses (geniuses) might still be lingering I did preserve a little hint of purple… I’m fairly certain I couldn’t entirely escape it even if I tried a bit harder.


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