The Attic. Big deal, right?
Well, yes, it is. The first time I went inside Henry, and made my way up into the attic it was crammed with the accumulation of a lifetime.
I knew that would be my studio. The dilapidated chimney took center stage, the roof allowed for generous headroom in the middle, and sloped off to the sides in a cozy way. And the tiny glimpses I saw of the floor – unfinished chestnut? – made me swoon.
I’ve wanted a studio space for longer than I can remember. For the past five years – since I’ve been living my life on my own terms – I’ve been making due with working on my kitchen counter. That was fine for awhile, because at least I was working on things, right? But sometimes the inconvenience of setting up / cleaning up was a problem, sometimes moving my latest work-in-progress just to make dinner didn’t really seem worth it.
My list of studio requirements is pretty specific, though maybe not what others would prioritize. It needs to be dog friendly. It needs to be a dedicated space, with several delineated areas. It can’t be too precious, I need to be able to spill some paint and glue and not feel bad about it. (Hey, shit happens, this is a workspace.) It needs a variety of work surfaces, and generous storage space for all sorts of supplies and materials. And it would be awesome to have a big comfy chair tucked away somewhere for reading or computer work. OK, probably for napping.
Above all, it has to be inspiring. I am ALWAYS drawn to old beat-up old things, and for a couple of years now, I have been obsessed with weathered barn boards. I think that should be a big part of the finished surfaces in the future studio space. Whites and greys that show random wear and weathering would lend a beautiful light and softness, and be very forgiving to accidental paint spatter.
See those shelves made out of cinder blocks and giant 8′ boards? About a month after I moved into Henry, I ventured up into the attic to see about taking down the plastic sheeting. It didn’t take long before that whole shelf thing fell on my big toe. Eventually I stopped cursing and crying, so I picked myself up off the floor, and limped back downstairs. That was three months ago. The nail is still all black, but it didn’t come off. (Mom, it’s fine. Really.)
Now the holidays have come and gone, and winter has a firm grip on New England. Time to go back up there and get back to work! The plastic sheeting all needs to be removed. Each time I disturb it, roofing debris slides down to the far corners where the roof meets the floor. So you can imagine, there is a LOT of cleaning to do before I can even begin to rework the surfaces.
Totally worth it. I just have to convince the dogs…