Monday, 31 January 2011

Have Studio, Will Paint

Finally, the studio is finished, and I am getting used to a whole new way of working. 

Years ago in an art magazine I read an article about a successful artist, who had produced all his artwork in a tiny backroom, perched in front of a coffee table. With success came more money, and he built a big studio, only to find that inspiration did not strike, and the space failed to live up to his expectations. This is always a worry, that when we get the thing we want, it doesn't turn out to be what we hoped. 

Well I can say with confidence, having a studio is GREAT. It is warm, peaceful, and I get at least twice as much work done. Even the cat has his own place, (Every artist needs a muse):

 Unfortunately he cannot be persuaded to stay on his blanket, or indeed to wipe the mud off his feet:

Luckily he has so far not managed to get on the big table where I produce artwork. He also likes to sit with the (tasteful) Gnomes that boyfriend kindly placed on the decking out front, which makes for an amusing site:

Having finally gained workspace I first finished four mosaics I started recently:

A flower with black grout (lucky you can't see how my manicure looked after this one)...

 A romantic affair made from some of the smashed victorian crockery an artist friend gave me...

A fish on a wooden base...

and an abstract spiral made from a selection of bits and pieces...

And just to get back into painting, I finally finished this watercolour of Layer Marney Tower, only 6 months after I started it!

In between this I was catching up on paperwork and emails. Then at the start of last week I received a sample of the products I have been illustrating. This one is Norwich castle, I will post some photos of it built (it kept the teen amused for part of Sunday) next time.

Since then I have illustrated the Tower of London, 2 Ravens, Henry the 8th, Elizabeth the 1st, Colonel Blood (chap who nearly got away with nicking the crown jewels) and a Beefeater. For the same print run, but a different project I also illustrated a fairy house, 3 fairies, a treasure chest and 2 pirates.  

I have also provisionally booked a gallery for myself and my super saturday students to have our first exhibition in October. They appear to be excited and terrified in equal measure. It's a lot of work, but should be fun. 

A painting of a local sea view was started last week, but I am not sure when it will be finished, it's the end of the month and the accounts need doing. And apparently Westminster Abbey needs illustrating (Royal Wedding anyone?) Tomorrow I spend part of the day in Colchester, teaching a workshop for clients of the Mind charity.

At some stage, I am determined to take a day off this week!


  1. Your new studio looks fabulous, Michele, but it wouldn't suit me because I'd be afraid to make it messy - like your cat! But you have been extraordinarily productive! My favourite is the 'romantic' mosaic, I think but they're all lovely!
    And as for the 'Cat with Gnomes'....!

    Will be interested to hear whether you do actually have your 'day off'!

  2. WOW Michele! Love your new studio. I'm not surprised at all that you're getting illustration commissions -your work is amazing. I also enjoyed reading your blog - fun to read.

  3. I love your studio, I to waited for years to get my own space and when my sone left home last year had a room that I dedicated to my art and crafts, But alas I always end up in the dining room, i feel isolated and unispired by my new space and it has become a dumping ground. i need to relook and see what the problem is and see if I can sort it. But I can see whty you love yours so full of light and it looks very relaxing

  4. Thanks for joining the party Michele:) I love your studio. I remember seeing a pic of it before, but don't remember the window seat. Love it!!

  5. The window seat would be delightful if I ever got to sit on it, but the cat has nabbed it!

  6. Fab studio, I'd love to have space where I can lay things out and not worry about putting things away because people are coming over or that I really need to clean and these bits are in the way lol.

    Also love that your cat joins you, I could see mine grabbing that sunny window seat too!

  7. Thanks Sarah, yes it is lovely, it has it's own eco system too, my boyfriend walks in and says aargh I can't stand the heat, because I have it so warm, I am a chilly mortal. But I tell him, it is cheaper than heating the whole house if I were working indoors!