Thursday, May 27, 2010


Renovation complete, more or less

I know I said I'd return to regular blogging soon. It appears that soon is not yet, however. The summery weather has me painting outside again, and working in the garden (which is almost all in, finally), but not so much sitting in front of the computer. For anyone who is still with me, here is a short post with a few photos. I thought about posting some "before" pictures, but they are far too dreary. Instead, the finished third floor in all its clean splendour. The new dormer window in our formerly dark and dusty attic:

The view is out over the treetops, away down the hill, overlooking the northern edge of Penobscot Bay, or rather, to be precise, the place where the Penobscot River officially becomes the ocean. We see fog coming in, often. Which is good. If it were sunny and clear every day, instead of painting up here I might just spend all my time standing at the window and staring out at the horizon.

My hero Ken the Carpenter built great storage closets under the eaves - this one is for my art supplies. Everything painting-to-be goes in here - canvas, stretcher bars, wooden panels, gesso, extra paint, and my outdoor painting kit. The closets have black forged drop latches on them, and strap hinges:

Walk to the other end of the room and turn and look back and this is what you see - the picture window into the back yard and lots of open space. I know art studios traditionally have north-facing windows, but hey, this is Maine, and I for one am not going to put a skylight or dormer on the north side of this house, for ice to work its way into for several months of the year. The big window faces due east, the dormer south, another window faces west out over the street. That's a lot of light, any time of day. Besides, north light is dark light, if that makes any sense. I want light light.

We (I) painted the chimneys white so they blend in somewhat. Still no light fixtures (note bare bulb hanging from ceiling) and the door at the bottom of the stairwell won't close because the bannister pushed it out of its square slightly. But hey, that's about it, and who's complaining! Not me, this is the best workspace I've ever had. Over the years I've painted in cramped stairwell corners, dark hallways, crowded studios with other artists and all their messy stuff, kitchens. I loved the little studio room I had in the back of the bookshop, but it was only about eight by ten feet. So I painted these teensy paintings. This new room is thirty feet long - I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again - thirty feet long!

Now I need to get busy. The rest of the house is settling down - many books are in motion as we rearrange the book room and guest room - and I'm hoping to sell a lot of both books and paintings this summer, to build up our demolished savings account once again before snow flies and I worry about the winter heating bills. Here's to a good season...

Congratulations on your great work space. Between that and your book room, it sounds as if you're set!
Summer in Maine... a beautiful new studio... I guess we'll hear from you next winter! The new space looks great--well done! Have a fun summer painting, hunting and selling books, and if you can work in a blog post or two, that would be nice for your loyal readers (we're all still out there, I'm sure, and will be).
Hey, ui, thanks... Yes, I do feel like I'm all set, now I just need to return to work! Income-generating work would be good, I've been doing enough of the other kind for some time now.

Yes, Chuck, I'll be around and I will post from time to time! I've been reading the strangest books recently, books I thought I would never be interested in, but I start and find them fascinating. And distracting from said work that needs to be done...
OH Sarah - I so envy you that space and the joy of filling it up to your satisfaction. I think we are all still here. so do check in once in a while.
I will, Kathleen, and thank you for returning yet again! Space and time to do the work of one's choosing - is there anything better? I feel about this space the way I felt about the bookshop, when we fixed it all up and opened for the first time. But this is even sweeter, being as it is a private space, not a public one. But, friends can always visit...
Wow, what a beautiful space!
Maura, I know! Here I am suffering in my artist's garret... life is such a trial...
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