the outside, all cute and Victorian-ish. But we are now inside, have walked through the downstairs and up the stairs, where there are two bedrooms, a teeny room that was once a nursery but is now my hubby's office, a bathroom, a closet, and in the middle of it all, THIS oddly shaped room - used as a combo of computer room, my art studio, and filing cabinet sort of space. Above you see Marguerite, a large hand puppet (I'm guessing about 4' tall) that was made (by me) maybe 25 years ago for a community theater production of Carnival. She lives in a plexiglass case in this room, that happens to have a papier-mache fat cat sitting atop it. Don't ask me why there's a stuffed gorilla on the stool next to her. Not a clue. About Marguerite: her head is papier-mache, and along with her I built three other puppets - a walrus, a fox, and a little boy, all for the same production. Being that this was 25 years ago, I'd never heard of hot glue, so everything had to be glued in steps and allowed to dry. The puppets took me a whole summer to build. The other puppets reside with the two puppeteers that used them in the show, and the show's director.
Below you can see a little more of the space and get a hint of my problem. That's quite a large piece on my easel (I turned it around so you can't see the mess of what's on the front. Some other time for that!) The red cart is where I keep my painting supplies, and right now there's a bunch of junk piled on top of it. Hoarders here we come...
In the summertime, I take my little artsy craftsy endeavors to the picnic table in the backyard, when it isn't too hot or too buggy or raining or windy or.... you get the idea.
So where does someone like me, who loves her art big and colorful, and always is taking on some crazy new project, (such as building ridiculous latke trophies) actually do the work? Um, that has become a BIG problem. Until last June, I had an art room at school, with large tables. I often stayed after school late working on my own crazy projects, trying things out, and experimenting. I've had a decent classroom for pretty much 24 of the 27 years I spent in this school district, and before that, I was single and lived in apartments where the spare bedroom was an art studio. Retirement has taken away the resource of my classroom. I no longer have an 18" paper cutter at my fingertips, or those nice large tables in a nice sunny room. Yikes! What do I do? Renting studio space is not currently in my budget. For the first time in my life, I find myself without a dedicated space for creative adventuring. Like I said, YIKES!
I do my sewing at the kitchen table, and that's also where I made the latke trophy, though it was inconvenient when we wanted to cook or eat. Our house is small. I am considering creating a crazy mask to enter in an event in a little over a month, but I just don't know where I can build the mask. I am jealous when I see some of you post photos of cute little basement studios (Mini Matisse, Art Project Girl, among others). My basement is unusable and could be used in a horror movie. It is little more than utility space for water tank, and that sort of stuff. The floor is uneven, and the walls - um - well, it's just plain creepy. I'm seriously scared to go down there. Any renovation to make it usable would easily cost thousands of dollars; not really feasible on the income of two retirees. And there's no water or bathroom down there, and access to the basement is from the back porch, not from inside the house. Stupid, no?
When I paint in this in room I've shown you in these photos (and I do, from time to time) I can't really even appropriately stand back from the artwork and get a good look, or I might trip down three odd little stairs that divide the middle of our upstairs. And for working on crafty or sculptural projects, there is no table at all. The spare bedroom also has no table, and really not much room for one either.