This past week has been almost entirely non-productive from an equine art point of view, because my last graphic design client that I held onto when I retired last year has been keeping me busy with their monthly magazine AND a conference program I produce every September.
It’s a cool, grey, and foggy Sunday morning in Colorado, the Broncos game doesn’t start for another hour, so I thought I’d give you a little tour of where I work.
If you were to visit my house, you’d come in the front door, walk straight ahead, and descend down this stairwell into the lower level, to my studio.
It looks like you’re heading down into a dark basement-y place, but surprise! my large and comfortable studio has 2 large banks of south-facing windows! My desk with computer and associated devices is straight ahead as you come in the room, passing the formica counter on the left where I do much of my sculpting and “messy” work. It is L-shaped and the other side of the L has a double sink. Handy for cleaning up the messes.
To the left of the desk is a drafting table where I paint china horses and do other of the less-messy projects. The airbrush compressor is underneath, and I have an exhaust fan in the window. One of these days I’ll invest in a spray booth, but the fan works great for now. South-facing light in Colorado is actually almost too much light as it comes in here all day. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky I have to draw the blinds! Our house is designed as an effective passive solar building, with all the major living spaces having large windows facing south east. We rarely have to run the heat in the daytime in winter, if the sun is out!
To the right of the desk is the other part of the room. Right now it has a bed behind the screen. Paul works out of the house too, and we set up his office in one of the bedrooms on the 2nd floor so the spare bed was placed down here. I used to have a nice sofa and loveseat and coffee table in that space, great for when clients came to call. I have my old Mac computer over there and use all the rest of the space for storage and all my pack-ratty collectibles and other Karen-stuff. I keep trying to reduce the amount of Karen-stuff but it just builds right back in!
I also have an archive of my sculptures in bone china whiteware in my china cabinet. I keep a copy in bisque and in clear gloss glazed, for posterity. And my precious copies of the Breyer Cleveland Bay model I sculpted, on top!
Here, is Fido The Kiln out in the garage, behind the car, my road bike, and the yard work supplies. The kiln got named Fido because he resides in a dog-pen. Even Kit the actual dog can’t use that pen now! I love having the kiln out there, even though I have to walk my glazed-but-not-fired pieces up the stairs from the studio all the time. I can fire the kiln year-round without getting my studio all hot! Fido now has a pen-buddy, a little ball mill. I just got the ball mill a few days ago (MANY thanks Lesli Kathman for the tip on the resource for ball mills!!!) to grind up my overglaze pigments to hopefully far far far smaller fineness, so that I will be able to achieve a long-sought-after goal of super-fine hand painting details like dappling on the china horses. I haven’t been able to do that to my satisfaction yet, because the chinapaint pigments are too coarse for the fine airbrush work! The ball mill has been churning a test batch for 4 days now. I am holding up new painting on the chinas until I see how the new milled paint comes out this coming week. I am very excited about this.
The last bit of the Where I Work Tour must include a shot of my kitchen. Because sometimes on dark days when the light is poor in my studio, I bring clay sculptures up here and work on the counter in the middle of the kitchen. It has good light from almost all directions most of the time. I can’t guarantee there isn’t clay pushed permanently into that cutting board countertop..!
Thanks for coming on the tour! Any questions, drop me a line.
Next weekend I am making the annual gorgeous drive over the Continental Divide (about an hour west of my house if you were a bird, about 2 and a half hours by car) to Grand Lake, to attend the Peter Stone model horse company’s Rocky Mountain Rendezvous event. Golden aspens trees, elk, moose, and maybe even first snow! Which always starts me mooning over my snowboard…!
Oh, and GO BRONCOS!