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My Mini Studio

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

The hub of my home is my living room, it is my peaceful place, the place I can paint with joy.

Welcome to my mini studio. Most of my works are done in my living room, sitting on my couch with my supplies within reach and my heart and ears open to the hum of the household. Here I am available to chat with my kids, hear a doorbell ring, or stop and stir a pot. Here I can watercolour paint and let life interrupt but not stop the flow of inspiration.

It's all About the Waiting

For me hobbies can become an obsession and begin to take over, and some require dedicated space and time. Gardening often can take over the house with sprouting trays, bread baking can take over the fridge and counters with doughs fermenting and maturing, and when I was heavily into music I had taken over a basement room and would spend hours secluded from the rest of the family, forgetting the important things like dinner prep in my single-minded focus.

Watercolour is different, there is often more downtime than there is creative. It's all about the waiting. Watercolour is painted in layers and each layer has a sweet spot for timing when the paint flows and comes to life. Soft, transparent colours painted on wet white paper move and blend on my page creating the beginning of a scene and maybe create the mood. I let these dry before adding richer tones and textures, defining shapes and edges. Less water is used, but still the painting must dry before continuing. Finally I take out my tiny brushes or my ink pens and add in the details. And even this description is oversimplified, as some steps require repeating, hard edges may get softened, darker tones may need blending with more water, detail may not be needed.

On a productive day I may have four or five paintings in various stages of completion, each waiting for the previous step to dry, and when I am painting from internal inspiration I may wait days for the next inspiration to take hold. And other days I may get one layer done on one painting as my hobby takes the backseat to other needs and joys in life.

Allowing Life into My Painting Space

The key to painting, for me, has been to keep my studio small and easy to access. Paints, paintbrushes, water and supplies fit into the corner of the living room. My work desk is either a wooden board and my lap or a 15X30 slide in end table near my favourite chair. Having my studio in the centre of my home has given me the freedom to pick up a paint brush during quite times in the evening or weekend without secluding myself away. For me, peace means a lack of guilt, knowing that I am ever present and knowing that this obsession isn't isolating but instead is open to opportunities for interuption.

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