Ok now where was I when I left off with Windy Hill Studio Make-over Part 1??? Oh yeah, working in a tight, cramped space, surrounded by art supplies spilling off of woefully insufficient shelves. I knew that something needed to be done with the studio and from time to time I would clean up and straighten all the stuff sitting on the shelves, but what I really needed were cabinets WITH DOORS!!! to close and hide the clutter.
My storage space; the shelves, did a fabulous job of holding supplies, but nothing to eliminate the cluttered look of piles of paper, dozens of art supplies, books, framing supplies, paperwork and odds and ends. So I knew they had to go......but first I needed to deal with the drafting table. As I had said in the last blog, the table was very large, and heavy and jutted out into the room pretty much taking up most of the space. Everything else was subordinate to the table.
It seems like every New Years I would make a few resolutions and remodeling the studio was on the list every year. But, just like the "lose 10 pounds" resolution, it never got done.
Sometimes I would wonder why I was dragging my feet on this project. Not being able to make a decision is sometimes considered a sign of depression, but I think I was only depressed that my studio was on the way to being labeled a disaster area and the scope of the project was too big for one person working alone.
As I have stated a few times, the table was heavy and it would take at least 2 people, one of them being my husband, to dismantle and move it. Since I am not a good candidate for really heavy lifting, it seemed like I would need to enlist support from the kids. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to make the grand studio transformation, the kids were no longer kids, and no longer living at home. My two able bodied sons, Mike and Ben, are both working in the military, several states away from here. And they never had leave at the same time, except for the weekend of Katie's graduation party. Hmm...would it be possible to combine a huge party, overnight guests, a visit to my mom in a nursing home and an Army vs Marines drafting table dismantling and moving competition? NO
So, the move was postponed. We had Ben home for a few days in November, but with all the holiday preparations coming up, the studio was the last thing on my mind. But, when Ben was home on leave this summer we finally began Phase 1 of the studio make-over. Ben and my husband Rich took the table apart and moved it to the garage where it sits waiting for either a new owner or a trip to the dump. That operation took one hour.
Two days later when Ben had returned back to Fort Bragg I began to empty the studio and pile everything on the bed and on the floor in his room. I also began throwing out a ton of stuff I didn't really need anymore. All of those little things I couldn't part with because maybe someday I would use them in a project with one of my classes....GONE! The studio was slowly becoming an empty space...or blank canvas so to speak.
Meanwhile Ben's room looked like something from an episode of Hoarders. How did I ever get so much stuff into one space? And how much would go back? I had thrown out quite a bit of stuff, but holy cow,there was a lot left.
I threw myself into the next phase, painting the walls, washing the floor and choosing a new storage system. After a trip to Home Depot and Loews we put together a series of 3 hanging cabinets, a counter-top and 3 cabinets below. And for good measure one gigantic storage unit, and yes everything had DOORS to close to hide the clutter.
My husband did all of the assembling of the cabinets, I stained and polyurethaned the counter-top (which is actually a door)and we both hung the cabinets and installed task lighting with a minimum of swearing. As it turns out the gigantic storage unit is almost as heavy as the drafting table...go figure. But it does a much better job of containing the clutter.
My new studio has plenty of room for my easel, a comfy chair next to my bookshelves full of art books and plenty of room on the counter-top for framing, paperwork etc.
All of the work was done in a two week span in whatever spare time we had, working around our work schedules and family obligations. I am so happy that my husband is handy with the tool box and has a good sense of humor...we needed it. I also need to thank my son Ben, for helping to dismantle and move the drafting table and Katie and her friend Nick for helping to carry lots of heavy boxes. Mike, the next time you are home I promise to burden you with a major renovation project too.
I am thrilled with the results. The studio is so much more efficient and a pleasure to paint in. And did I mention that it was a birthday present???
Happy Birthday to me!