Skip to main content

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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Parts of Parts of Art workshop

In this lively workshop we will focus on designing and producing the components of mixed media art jewelry. By the end of the day, guests will be able to take home several pieces of wearable art of their own design. 

Components include but are not limited to handmade textured paper, acrylic paint skins, canvas remnants, polymer clay beads, paper beads, and various painted and textured surfaces. All materials will be provided to guests. Yummy snacks, drinks and lunch are also provided.

Parts of Parts of Art workshop will take place on Saturday, March 3

What Do You Expect?

Years ago when I was new to the art show circuit,  there was a local arts and crafts show in which I participated.  All set up and waiting for the inevitable crowds of customers to come,  I started conversing with my neighboring artist.

    “You really should do this one show I just did last month,” she said,  “Your work is great and you would probably sell out!”

       Now that I’m a seasoned vet of art shows, there are certain phrases that make me run as fast as I can in the opposite direction.  “You will probably sell out” is one of them. I mean, how do they know that I would probably sell out, and why would I even want to sell out?  That day, however,  the words of that well-meaning woman caught my interest.

       "You have to set up the night before, because people will come out early to shop." she said. "There is not much for people to do in this area, so people really look forward to the show.  I’m not kidding you, women come out to shop, with wheelbarrow…

Autumnal palette (literally)

Know what inspires me in this autumnal season? Copper! 

Here’s a recipe from Bustanoby’s Color Manual, copyright 1939 (no, its not edible):

Copper: Neutral tint of red-orange, typical of this ductile, metallic element. Copper is used in the arts, in electrical manufacture and in alloys.  Color matched from actual copper articles: 
16 parts Zinc White
8 parts Yellow Ochre
1 part Venetian Red

        So there you have it; the recipe for copper paint. And if you’re like me, and feel compelled to pull that dried copper paint off its palette, you might procure pieces such as these. 

       This might be just an ordinary old paint pan with layers of dried creamy caramel and burnt sienna paint to some. To me it is a mouth watering concoction of harmonious blends that make me wanna exile to the studio, fire up the wood stove and make jewelry. 

And yes, this is where it starts....

       When I’m not really feeling the creative juices flowing, when I am in a gray space, desiring some inner spark to ign…