Friday, July 22, 2016

Just can’t wait to get in my studio...

      My dear sister recently reminded me that of us three children, I was the one who was most content to stay inside and color while my siblings craved being outside.  Okay, she was right. I remember being 6 or 7 and spending time in the closet. And by closet I  mean the toy closet, so it was a cool place to hang out. But I wasn’t in there just to play with toys; it was mostly to make art. Once a friend of my mom’s came for a visit and her young daughter was with her, so the girl came into the closet with me and we made jewelry out of newspaper. Go figure, it was fun! 

       Now don’t get me wrong. I spent plenty of time outside. We lived at the end of  long dead-end street. Between our house and our neighbors there was a vacant wooded lot, across the street there were two vacant wooded lots, and behind our home was a huge open field.

      It really was the perfect place to grow up and be outside. My sister and I were bona fide “daughters of the woods”. The outside world, in our own neighborhood, provided a whole realm of exploration and wonder. So it wasn’t that I never went outside; quite the contrary. It’s just that I was also quite content to find a small place inside and make art. 

     I remember going somewhere on a family vacation. To this day I have no idea where we went, because in my little 8 year old imagination, I was totally enamored by the large walk-in closet in our hotel room. I just wanted to hang out in there! By the end of that vacation I  had filled up a whole notebook with drawings and plans for the grand opening of the Acorn Club, and it all started in that beautiful walk-in closet. 

     I wonder now what my parents thought, and if they were just  a little concerned about me and my social development.

     Fast forward a few years. In the late 60’s my parents built a large home a few miles away from the dead end street. It was a great house with all the modern conveniences, but my favorite part was a corner of the basement that my mom curtained off and furnished for me with a sleeping bag, big pillows, stereo and a bookcase. Eventually I hung a poster of Donovan and of course the requisite 1970’s Lava Lamp. It became “my corner”, and it is where I would spend time drawing, writing, and sneaking cigarettes from my dad’s downstairs office. 

      With this by now well established pattern of finding a space of my own, it should come as no surprise that I dearly love my corner of the art studio. The studio is the workspace I share with my husband and two cats, and it is the space dedicated to making our art. 

     This year I have revisited my childhood love for the woods. Now I go out in the woods on our country property to photograph, sketch and do color studies. Then I take all this wonderful material to the studio and express it in paint. I am presently engaged in a series of paintings and mixed media collages with the theme of “Cabin in the Woods”.

    Here is a peek at what I have been working on lately.

I can’t wait to get back in the studio again! 




  1. lovely story and striking looking paintings, Sandy!
    i can relate to being in your own creative space
    from childhood on. we are simply born dreamers and creators.

  2. Loved your story of when you were little and then a teen and now. I never had a space to call my own except a little spot in the back woods on our farm. I went there almost every day to just be by myself.
    I now do art at my studio and at home by my husband on the couch or at the table or anywhere I can spread out and create. Thanks for sharing.