Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Photo Tour

Ok, I tried to set this up like a tour. I would have done it on video but that is well beyond my capabilities. Maybe my 13 year old son can help me with that another time. Heh.

So here is the door to my new studio:

It was green and is now primed. Sort of. I still have to finish painting the door and the stairwell. I am waiting until the rest of the stuff is up there (still waiting for my work table and still have to carry many boxes up to put into the storage spaces).

Steps (duh):
And this is what you see when you come up the stairs. I can't say that my heart doesn't jump just a little bit when I see all this.
My art books fit perfectly in the bookshelf. The flat file drawers are still empty but only because I haven't yet had time to carry up all of my drawing pads. I covered the tabletop with a painting drop cloth, the white kind with plastic under some sort of absorbent surface-which is perfect for putting out all of my messy paint tubes. The tabletop easels are handy for stacking the work I am currently doing (small paintings for an upcoming show called Horizon Lines-cute, huh?).
Behind the flat file are four bookcases used to store supplies that I need fairly often. Also my stereo (VERY important equipment) is on one shelf as well as my paint brushes. This space is very low to access and I am getting pretty good at walking in and backing out while bent over.
On the same wall on the other side of the door to the storage space is a steel dental cabinet that we bought when we lived in Utah. It weighs about 9000 pounds and on Monday night while I was out for about an hour picking up the kids, Doug and our older son carried it up. I suspect that they specifically waited until I was out so they wouldn't have to hear me tell them how to fit it up the stairs (come to think of it they carried the flat files up while I was out too. Hmmm). Anyway, this cabinet is great for storage - I keep drawing supplies in the drawers and still life objects and other junk in the middle.

This is my second easel, the one that handles the overflow. And behind it is my spin bike. I debated about putting that in my studio, because I really didn't want the space to get cluttered. But I also want to use it. It has been in our bedroom for the last few months and was becoming a pretty convenient clothes hanger. So I put it in front of the windows and if I want more room in that area I can move it back into the knee wall space.
It turns out that behind my number one easel is the perfect spot to photograph my work. I am relieved about this because I was NOT looking forward to lugging all my finished paintings two flights down to photograph them, then dragging them back up to finish the cradles, and store and/or pack them. A little crowded back there but again I can move things off to the edge of the room if I need to.
And on the north wall I decided to hang up the paintings that I have done over the years, the ones I have kept. Well, actually they are the ones that I like that have never sold. I am sure you understand the distinction.
I painted Bette in college 23 years ago and she is always in whatever space I work in. And the thing to the right is a photograph of my Girl Scout troop in 1974 decoupaged to a block of wood. I think that 70's decoupage may have been underrated and I view this piece as good luck too.
At first I had planned to set up my computer and desk in this spot. But then one of my girls commented that if my computer was upstairs they would never see me again. I thought she might be right so I am going to keep my office downstairs, at least for now. I am good with that decision because I can now use this as a dedicated spot for drawing. Yayy!
Turns out that the ledge is going to be very handy for storing the large paintings that I DON'T want to keep, have NOT sold and that don't FIT anywhere else.
And Katherine, behind the stair rail is the reading chair AND ottoman that was also tucked into a corner in my old studio. This was a real challenge to get upstairs. My son and I did it (Doug was out of town and I just couldn't wait for him to get back to do it) and the only way to get it into the stairwell was to remove the door. Turns out I can actually do that if I want to, but don't tell Doug or I'll have to always do it myself. Heh.

The south wall, overlooking our front yard. This was the only place where we could put up my drying/display ledges. I will have to get creative as to where I will set out wet paintings-in my old studio I had six of these rails up. I don't plan to hang anything else on this wall though, I like its graphic quality and again, am trying not to get too cluttered. Yet.
And this is a shot of the corner (directly across from the chair) where all of my wood panels are stored. I happen to have a lot of them right now, and it does look a bit like an art supply store. But I like having enough on hand, it gives me some good motivation wondering what will ever I paint on all of them.
This is a good long shot of the whole space.


Lydia Velarde said...

I stumbled on your blog from another site. YOUR studio is AWESOME!

n warner said...

Excellent set up and tour...your painting of Bette is amazing - glad you have her near. My mother rummaged thru an attic to find letters of hers - true story, so is this a parallel universe...? You could not have scored a better set up with those artfiles...Nina

Melissa said...

Just popping in to congratulate you on your beautiful space. You must be so thrilled. Nice job!

Anonymous said...

Everything but the espresso pot?
That comfy olive chair area would be a living room with a view in NYC.
Why don't you maintain upstairs as a work space and store finished paintings and/or large back stock of panels downstairs?
Oh, and set up one little hotplate for when you start encaustics ;-)

patty a. said...

Tracy, you studio is wonderful! It will be interesting to see any changes after you live in the space for awhile. You have inspired me to think about making my studio space prettier to work in. I haven't done a thing with it since I moved in my house 5 years ago and it is ugly! The most horrible striped wallpaper and paneled wainscotting. Two wall are covered up with my design walls - I am a quilt artist - so that helps hide some of the wallpaper. I will be anxious to hear how your new space affects your work in a positive manner and maybe I will channel that energy to fix up my studio!

Melody said...

It all looks so amazing. Can't wait to see it in person. I'm so happy for you.

Kim Morin Weineck said...

What a wonderful tour!

I love the small pieces on easels. Bravo!

(You know this ups the ante, right? More productivity will surely follow.)


Natalya Khorover Aikens said...

wow... i am very happy for you!

Making A Mark said...

Wow Tracy!!!! Brilliant, brilliant tour - and (following on from the previous comment) what an inspiration for others to make the effort.

I now want to feature your studio on my blog next Sunday. It's that first photo of what you see when you get to the top of the stairs which is really wonderful.

All that hard work has really paid off - and I'm sure you are now due to get your pay off in other ways as well! ;)

PS So glad to see at least one nice comfy chair up there. :)

PPS Love the painting of Bette - and those horizons look as thought they're going to be pretty nifty too.

Diane Hoeptner said...

Wowee!! Dreamy studio, Tracy. I was just TODAY wondering how to set up a good drying/display area for new paintings and those little ledges you have are wonderful. You will do brilliant work in this studio!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks Arty and so glad you visited! I am going to check your blog out too.

Nina, thanks and that is interesting about Bette Davis letter in the attic. Oy and the files, the best ever!

Hi Melissa, thanks, and glad to know you're still out there!

Hylla, Not a lot of options for storage downstairs I am afraid. My old studio will soon be a real living room and Doug wants more work space in the office. I do have a plan to use a portion of our new garage as a prep/storage room, but that project is a few years off. I don't mind having them upstairs though, not much else I can do with those spaces under the beams but store things anyway.

Oh and I do have outlets under my work areas just in case I set up that hotplate:)

Patty, well already I am feeling very comfortable working up there, and I have to say that I am pretty pleased with the paintings that I have done in the new studio. It was a good idea to gradually move in, while working as well. I like a nice comfy studio, that is what helps my work I think and then I enjoy it all too. I hope you get to spruce up your space, I love hearing about a good remodel project.

meldoy, I was thinking that last night, that there will be outside confirmation that I do in fact have a new studio. Melody will mention it on her blog for sure and then everyone will knows it's for real:)

Thanks Natalya!

Thanks Katherine and you are so nice to mention me so much! And I think there might be good karma here, I just got some good offers in the last week, one of which I am pretty excited about. More on that when it's official...

And thanks about Bette, I am still proud of that portrait, and am also sure that I could not paint like that again!

Diane, Pottery Barn and they have been some of the most useful items that I have ever bought. If you get any make sure to get the ones with a little rim so the paintings don't slide off. Mine don't have that and I had to put rubber stops across the front edge.

Deborah Paris said...

I just got back from the show in Telluride and once I caught my breath (literally)one of the first things to do was check out the studio photos- great space, Tracy- beautiful and functional- perfect!

Robyn Sinclair said...

What a wonderful tour of your studio. I think I would spend most of the day just admiring that beautiful old polished floor.

I see one of my favourite paintings there too. It's the landscape with the beautiful lavender accent.

Casey Klahn said...

(Said with an echo), "Helllooo up there!"

Gorgeous describes this studio, Tracy. My favorite thing is the chair behind the rail.

Lisa B. said...

An exceptional artist's loft. What a great place to live!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks Deborah, been following you in Telluride (is this the same event that Terry Muira did?) your work looks great!

Thanks Robyn, I LOVE the floors too!

Thanks Casey, the chair is cozy. My daughter likes to sit there (I tend to fall asleep if I sit there) and read to me which is really nice.

Thanks, Lisa, in fact I was just telling Doug the other day that I sure wish there was a bathroom and kitchen up there:) I could finally be alone....

Angela Wales Rockett said...


So jealous. I'm going to keep this post bookmarked so I can have a visual of what my perfect studio would look like. :)

Stacy said...

Tracy, what a beautiful studio!! I dream of a studio like this, but for now I have claimed one wall of our master bedroom. I keep telling my husband that if I get any more stuff he is going to have to sleep somewhere else. :D

I love looking at artist studios so I made sure to click on the link as soon as I read about yours in Katherine's blog. Now I have to explore more and see what you are creating in this beautiful space!

P.S. I'm going to ask my daughters if they want to read to me while I work. What a great way to be productive and spend time together.

Gary Nylander said...

What a fantastic studio !, looks like a great place to release your creative energy :)

Anonymous said...

I love your studio, Tracy! You have some beautiful work displayed up there as well!

gary rith said...

my goodness, it is so wonderful!


nice studio space.