Art Studio at Home

I used to day dream about having an art studio at home. I always put off creating one because I thought I needed a certain space, the perfect design and money to build it. You might be dreaming about a studio of your own — especially if you see blog posts by other creatives that feature their home studios. Well, I am here with a little wake up call! Or, in the words Nike borrowed from Andy Warhol…just do it! Actually I think the words he used were “don’t think about making art, just get it done”. Either version applies here, though!

There are many glamorous images in peoples minds as to what makes a great studio space. We have all seen beautiful spaces transformed into a creative studio space with dazzling white walls, industrial floors, and lots of natural light. In these photos, everything seems to have a place and everything is in it’s place. In fact, there are many HGTV shows that focus on just this topic. I let not having the ideal space at home keep me from creating art for many years before I had that “ah ha moment”.

Accessibility

Really the main ingredient for a studio space, no matter how large or small, is accessibility. For many years I pushed back the tablecloth and worked at my kitchen table. The main reason I did this was because I had easy and quick accessibility with, of course, great lighting! Whether you stand or sit in your space is really not important. Whether its new or old,  clean or cluttered, doesn’t matter. The determining factor for you should be accessibility! If it’s not convenient, you will never take the time to do your project or create when inspiration hits.

Close the Door

You also want to be able to close a door and walk away. Working in this manner whether it be at sewing, writing or painting, will allow you to pick up where you left off. I have toured many friend’s home studios locally and found them to be everything from a small table in the attic by a window in an empty bedroom, or just a clean spot at the end of the kitchen table. We all imagine the perfect setting and think it will produce better work, but honestly it just doesn’t always exist for the talented artists that I know.

If you want to start to create, find a small pocket of space and start! Don’t make excuses or hold your self back — and don’t wait for someone to go off to college either. I’m baring a little bit of my soul here, but here is my space. No judgments. Just use this post to add fuel for your fire!

If your haven’t found your creative corner in your home yet, don’t worry, I have the perfect spot for you to create. Come join us at any of our workshops this February. Use this link to see all of the classes that are available. I’m happy to share my creative space with you!

Get out and get creative!

Block Printing

Some of you many remember block printing from your middle school or high school art class — and not in a fond way. I still hear horror stories from clients that remember trying to carve into hard, brittle linoleum blocks and trying not to stab themselves, all while trying to make something artistic in the process.

Well, my friends, those days are gone! Speedball and companies like Moo Carve have created the “soft block”. This new material is thicker, softer and allows for intricate and detailed carving all while saving your poor fingers from injury. The soft block allows you to carve with ease and focus on your design instead of fearing it.

February is a great time to reignite your love for block printing, by making you Valentine’s cards! The block printing process allows for the printing of multiple copies of the exact image which makes it a great choice for your Valentine’s cards. You can even print the same image and embellish it with markers making slight variations to the same design. You can even get your little ones in on the fun, by having them help with the printing process or by having them embellish the prints. Each card can be different and as special as the person it’s intended for.

If you decide to do tackle block printing at home you will need the following supplies that can be found at art supply stores like Art Things in West Annapolis or online here

  • an ebony pencil (for sketching and making a transfer backing)
  • your carving tool
  • a soft pink or blue speedball linoleum block
  • a soft roller for inking
  • smooth non textured paper
  • water soluble ink in the color of your choice

After drawing the image onto paper, simply rub the ebony pencil on the back of your design, making a carbon or graphite back. It can easily be transferred to the block by drawing over the design again. Carve out your design and then you are ready to apply the ink to the carved design. The process is trail and error until you get the feel for the brayer and ink. Then carefully turn over the inked block and press firmly and/or massage the block to transfer the ink to the cardstock.

If you have a change of heart and would like to take a class on block printing first, please come see me on Saturday, February 10th. Use this link to learn more about the class and to sign up yourself or with your family. Once you learn this skill/art form you will want to personalize every paper surface and tee shirt you own!

Let’s connect and create,