The Art Studio

The day you move into a new home is exciting. Unending opportunities abound. The blank canvas is empty, waiting for you to fill it with furniture, decor, and memories.

In our case, we had some minor renovations to complete on that sunny, prairie-sky day in 2009. 

First on the list: Creating an art studio space for my wife. Thanks to support from my father, we moved a 10-foot section of wall in our basement to accommodate a space that takes up roughly a quarter of the entire footprint of our lower level.

On that day, that enlarged room was also waiting to be filled. However, I don’t think it could have expected what was to come in the ensuing 10+ years.

Many of my wife’s greatest and not-so-greatest pieces have been created there. Many attempts of trial, error, and try again have gone on. Massive six-foot frames have been masterfully filled, small prints created, and the foundation of mixed media minis created (before moving to our kitchen for completion).

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But, most of all, I don’t think my wife’s studio could have ever imagined it would also become “that room.” Every house has “that room” — the one where the door remains closed. It’s completely cordoned off from family, from guests, from society. At all times. No matter what.

Logic should dictate that this disaster of a room would belong to our 10-year-old son. While his room might rival the art studio, it can be tidied after much gnashing of teeth and nagging from parents.

Not so for my artist wife’s studio. By far, even after it’s tidied after nagging from a perturbed husband (about once per decade), the art studio remains the messiest room in the house.

It sits quietly off to the side of our basement family room. Unassuming guests don’t think to open the door and those that peek at the door are quickly distracted with chatter of “business, business, business, numbers” and ushered toward the seating area in our family room.

Rainbows have nothing on this floor. There’s enough paint splotches on it to transform it into an odd, smooth-bumpy texture.

The previously mint-green painted concrete floor is now covered in 10 years worth of splotches of every paint color imaginable. Rainbows have nothing on this floor. There’s enough paint splotches on it to transform it into an odd, smooth-bumpy texture. 

Best wear socks. And then watch your step closely because the paint splotches are covered with art-related shrapnel littered under half-emptied boxes brought home from various art shows over the years.

One corner of the large room is filled with custom-made, canvas-covered frames waiting to be filled while older paintings sit quietly tucked away behind them.

The wall we moved is now filled with floor-to-ceiling shelves holding her precious collection of Golden Paint products straight from the upstate New York factory.

The frame of the wall we moved on the day we moved it. Look how paint-free that floor is. ?

There is so much packed in there, it’s bursting at the seams.

“It’s almost unusable,” my wife said recently.

Amid the copious art supplies and art-related items, including a Bob Ross bobblehead, you can find many non-sequiturs.

I went on a bit of a treasure hunt recently and found:

  • Hershey Kisses from her Christmas stocking last year;
  • Camera tripod;
  • Empty corkboards stacked unhung;
  • Harry Potter Lego sets still in their boxes;
  • Two unopened PEZ packages containing dispensers (Rex from Toy Story and Animal from The Muppets);
  • Fire extinguisher (probably for the best).

So while the door on the art studio will remain firmly shut, her creativity will continue to fill the room and burst from within and be on display to the world. On sale, too. 😉

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