New Studio Tour

In my new home in Virginia, I had to let go of the classroom studio I had in my Texas home for so many years. The room my husband and I chose is a narrow room with a bay window on the first floor. It was meant to be a home office. While my husband works from home frequently, we prefer him to be up on the second floor away from the noises of everyday living (and out of my way!). The room is much smaller than the joined living room/dining room space I took over in Texas (see here for photos of that space). I had tried a smaller room like this once before in Texas so I thought I’d learn from past mistakes…don’t try to cram too much in there! Well, I didn’t learn as well as I thought I did.

Initially, I planned this room would be for creating art and working on my scrapbooks (a major hobby of mine). Any other crafts, like sewing, would be set up in the basement. Yes, basement! Woo-hoo…those things are really cool! I quickly discovered this room wasn’t quite big enough for both art and scrapbooking. I haven’t moved the scrapbooking supplies downstairs yet but you can see in the photos that it’s pretty tight.

With my daughter and grandson staying with us temporarily (her husband is proudly serving our country overseas), I also had to move ALL the cat stuff into the studio.
So a few issues I’m still working through but the positives are north light, great view from the bay window, built-in bookshelves and it’s still a room just for my artmaking!

Enjoy the messy photos, I’ll consider this my ‘before’ shots and post again when I get it cleaned up and organized.

 

 

 

 

Beginning…again

The year was 2006 and the season was spring. I was teaching art at a local private school and gearing up for my last child to enter kindergarten in the fall. I decided to teach more ‘full time’ and turn my front rooms in my home into a studio/classroom. I started with 3 students: my son and two of his friends. They were all boys and in 2nd grade. We studied Art Parts (Elements of Art and Principles of Design) and created self-portraits with acrylic paint on canvas. It was an awesome beginning!

The teaching and my art sales business grew over the next 3 years. I taught in my home studio/classroom, afterschool programs at a local elementary school, Moms programs, MDO programs and homeschool coops. I guest lectured at local art groups, libraries and even Collin College. I loved what I was doing but always thought of making and selling art as the ‘main’ part of my career.

In the fall of 2009 due to the recession and some personal changes, I felt I needed a break from art. I enrolled in graduate school to study another one of my passions, environmental design. Three years later I emerged with a Masters of City and Regional Planning concentrating in Sustainable Development.

I went to work for a nearby city in their Environmental Education department. Somewhere in the middle of teaching preschool through adults on how to be good stewards of this earth, I realized how badly I missed art…especially teaching art! The light dawned on me while preparing an Art from Nature class I spent my entire weekend ‘off the clock’ prepping and coming up with more and more projects. I was very, very happy and looking forward to what I was getting ready to teach. That was my ‘aha’ moment and the beginning of beginning…again.

So I turned in my notice last summer, dealt with a very serious health issue which resulted in a surgery in the fall. While recovering, I plotted and planned. By spring of this year I had redesigned my website, started painting again and got my artwork hung in a local gallery. This summer I partnered with the gallery and taught summer art camps for ages K-8th grade.

While hauling my many supplies up and back from the gallery, I realized it was time…the front room needed to be a studio and classroom again. So we moved out the exercise equipment and moved in the tables. My excitement has grown over the past month as I’ve moved supplies down, reorganized the bookshelves and planned the lessons. This time around has been different. I still paint (and love it!) but I’m more excited about teaching. This time it isn’t about me and my art, even though that is a deep part of me, but about sharing what I know and love.

Even with different goals, I have had a weird since of déjà vu during this process. That same child that was getting ready for kindergarten is now in high school. My little 2nd grade son will graduate at the end of this school year. Yet, today I’ll welcome in three new students. They are all girls and way past the second grade (8th actually). It will be the first time I’ve taught classes and not had one of my own kids in at least 1 or 2. But I’m so ready to begin…again!