The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Perfect Art Studio...


Well, it so happens that it's my forty-wunth birthday today, lol!

When Paul asked me what I'd like for my birthday a few weeks ago, I said that what I would really like, is for him to strip out my art room and turn it in to a proper art studio. I sort of said it tongue in cheek, to test his response ;0)

I already know how lucky I am just to have a space of my own for me to work in and I have always SO appreciated that. But anyway, as it happens Paul was very happy to redesign it with me!
Wow! It's the perfect birthday present!!

So, without meaning to sound at all unappreciative of the space I already had, there were five main problems I faced...
  • DUST: Coming mainly from the carpet! Dust and oils are NOT a good combination!
  • LIGHT: You wouldn't believe that you could have too much light in a room would you? But you really can! Having already put a daylight strip-light and diffuser in there for dull days, last year Paul also put two skylights in the roof which made a wonderful difference to the light in the room. The unforeseen problem was that when the sun came out, it turned in to a greenhouse and glared so brightly on to my working area that there was at least two hours during a sunny day that I couldn't paint at all!
  • NO WATER SUPPLY: This was probably the biggest draw back of all. The garden is quite long and I used to trek up and down the garden time after time, sometimes to fill up my pots, sometimes just to wash my hands and sometimes just to wet a cloth so I can clean up! Great for burning calories but not so great if you just want to get stuck in to a days painting!
  • NO INSULATION: This means it got really cold in the winter. I had to run the heater constantly when I was in there. In contrast, in the summer it became unbearably hot!
  • WOODEN WALLS AND CEILING: The darkness of the wood absorbed the light and it felt a little oppressive.
So, on a mission to turn my 'Art Room' into an 'Art Studio', Paul is, as we speak transforming it completely for my most perfect birthday present EVER! 

Here's how...
  • The carpet is being replaced with vinyl floor covering, which will massively reduce the dust problem! 
  • The skylights have been frosted so that the sunlight diffuses through them softly.
  •  Paul is running a mains water supply down there with a sink and taps! I am SO excited about this!
  • The room is now insulated to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  •  The wooden walls are being boarded out in white, which will bounce the light around the room.

As if all that wasn't enough, Paul and Charlie are making bespoke furniture for me...
  • A large square table with one side always set up for watercolour and drawing and the other always set up for oils and acrylics.
  •  White blinds for all the doors and windows, which I can open and shut as I need
  •  Work tops all around with an area specifically for drying my paintings under dust screens

Well, I am feeling suitably spoilt! I can honestly say that I am SO grateful for what he is doing for me. He is just the best husband! 

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share the progress with you :0)
      So, here is my art room at the bottom of the garden. And while Paul began work on the room its self - I began working on the view from it - the pond garden!



      This is the inside of my art room before work began...


      Here you can see the glare streaming through those skylights...














      ...Almost stripped and ready to start












       Preparing the skylight for frosting...















      First layer of frosting. What a difference...

      ...The first few wall and ceiling boards go up

       Paul and Charlie making my drying shelves...
















      And while that's been going on, I've been working on the pond...


      My little work of art:0)



      So, today the floor is going down, the walls and ceilings will be trimmed up and the drying shelves will be put in. 

      But Paul has banned me from going in there for the day because he wants me to be surprised later on :0) 

      Hopefully, by the end of next weekend it will be almost complete! 



      I'll take some more pictures as it progresses. Meanwhile, the bear who is so nearly finished is safely tucked away waiting to go back on the easel. 

      And since it's my birthday, I think I will potter off now to do a little sketching :0)

      46 comments:

      1. Very nice studio ... to envy ... there if you breathe art ...

        Best wishes from Buenos Aires...

        http://www.alexiev.com.ar
        Proyectos - Illustrations
        Alexiev Store - venta de originales
        @alexievg en twitter

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        1. Thank you very much for your visit Alexiev :0)

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      2. Absolutely stunning and how EXCITING Sandra! Congratulations on your lovely studio and a BIG congratulations on your birthday! You're still SO young! lol!

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        1. Thank you Maree! Hmm, and yet hurtling towards middle age at an alarming rate! Or am I already there? Eek!!

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      3. Ciao Sandra, how I wish to have such a place to paint! Hugs!

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      4. Well done Paul & Charlie. It sounds as if it's going to be ideal, Sandra. The insulation is key, isn't it? I had the cook/freeze scenario up in the 'hutch'. But in my new location there's no problem in that area ... but ... I do get an hour of white out from too much sun.

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        1. Actually john I have you to thank for the insulation idea. I hadn't thought of it before - perhaps Paul had, but after your last comment I made the request, lol ;0) It has made the world of difference! It is lovely in there now - such an even temperature :0)

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      5. Dear Sandra ... the happiest of HAPPY BIRTHDAYS to you!!! Paul and Charlie are doing a great job, and your surprise looks like it will be the ideal studio. I can hardly wait to see more photos.

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        1. Ahh, thank you Kathryn! It really was the happiest birthday ever! I will post some more photos soon :0)

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      6. Wow Sandra! You are suitably spoilt indeed!! I'm a little envious! ;) lol! Seriously though I'm so happy for you, what a fabulous guy you have! And Charlie too of course. :) Your place looks positively heavenly. Happy Birthday my dear friend and I hope you have a fabulous day of sketching and cupcake or trifle eating! ;)

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        1. Thank you Crystal! And yes, I was spoilt to the point of almost feeling guilty for having so much! It looks a lot more heavenly now than it did a few weeks ago when we had non-stop rain for a couple of months! Then it was just one boggy mess out there! Now the sun is shinning it does make such a huge difference :0)

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      7. Hi Sandra and a happy birthday to you! Wow, what a fabulous birthday present!I know what you mean about having to run up and down the garden, skipping over the dog poo as I go, to empty out the dirty water jars and to get more clean water! I do have power and lighting out there though which is good for all the gadgets, most of all the radio :) I use a large industrial anglepoise lamp, fitted with daylight tubes, for when it starts to get dark.

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        1. Well, that is the only thing I don't miss about Codi - stepping on the odd poo that I had missed at poo picking time! Yuck!! Now it's dodging the chicken poops instead! Like you, I couldn't be without my radio though - Most important gadget for sure!! :0)

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      8. Maravilhoso essas fotos do seu studio.
        Parabéns pelo aniversário.
        beijos e ótima semana!

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        1. ¡Muchas gracias, Smareis! Es usted muy amable: 0)

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      9. Happy birthday, Sandra! And congratulations, you lucky girl, what a wonderful art studio!!

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        1. Thank you Judy. yes I do feel very lucky. Spolt really! But I truly appreciate it :0)

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      10. BLimey Guvvna! I never said HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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        1. Thank you John, 'me old China!' Well you can 'av a butchers' at me next lotta pics when it's almost finished! ;0)

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      11. Hello Sandra,
        birthday and congratulations on the beautiful studio!

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      12. Je vous souhaite un heureux anniversaire...
        Je suis certaine que votre joie fut grande avec ce bel atelier... Un lieu rien qu'à vous!
        Je vous fais de gros bisous

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        1. ¡Muchas gracias! Sí, me siento muy afortunado y no puedo esperar para empezar a pintar allí: 0)

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      13. Happy birthday Sandra :)

        That frosting made a huge difference! You must be very pleased with it :)
        I have blackout blinds in mine, because yes, you can have too much light :lol: The really nice thing is they come in all shades and even in patterns now :)
        I'm so looking forward to seeing how yours looks when its finished. Don't keep us waiting too long, hey?

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        1. Thank you Pat! That frosting is brilliant! It comes in a can from B&Q and you just spray it on. It diffuses the light which should mean I can continue to paint at high noon without the strong glare of the sun and without being cooked! Will post some more pics soon :0)

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      14. Happy Birthday Sandra. That's going to be one heck of a great Art room when it's finished. Hat's off to Paul and Charlie for doing such a great job. ;-)

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        1. Thank you John. Yes, they really are a couple of champs! :0)

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      15. Happy B-day! and congrats on the new studio. It's looking fantastic!
        Happy Painting.

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        1. Thank you Nora! Almost done :0)

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      16. Happy Birthday, Sandra!!!! Wonderful pictures of your soon-to-be studio. SO exciting! I look forward to some more photos!!!

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        1. Thank you Hilda! I can't wait until its finished! :0)

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      17. Spoiled indeed! Happy Birthday!!! Wonderful studio and pond.

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      18. Happy birthday hugs and best wishes and get those blokes working even harder so we can see the finished product... I can' wait... it is going to be soooo amazing... Sinus made me a studio but it is in the house and I want a studio in a little cottage...with a pond... I would hide out there all the time... your work is going to be even more amazing when they are done... happy happy birthday again...xx

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        1. Thank you Tracey! You do make me chuckle :0)
          I hope I can be more productive when it's done! I can hardly wait until its complete - Hopefully over the weekend :0)

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      19. belated happy birthday! and what a fabulous present! husbands that can do handy work are the best! your garden is amazing and your art studio is such a good size. i love mine but it could fit in a corner of your and I may need another on soon just to store finished canvasses! the running water is the best idea, mind you its only about 10 steps from my studio to the kitchen door so i may not really need it as much as you would!
        hope you had a fantastic day-we are both children of '71!

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        1. Thank you Nicola! But you look so young!! So, when is your birthday?
          I loved your posts about your new studio. It was inspiring and gave me lots of ideas - so hubby can blame you, lol!
          No water has been such a pain. That'll make the biggest difference And hopefully it'll be connected next week :0))

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      20. Crickey Sandra, I'd give my right Van Gogh for that!

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      21. Happy Birthday to you! What a wonderful present! I'm getting really jealous, not only because of the studio, but also because of the pond! I've tried to persuade my mum to have one in their garden for the last 10 years, but without success. If I'll ever have a garden of my own, there'll definitely be a pond in it! Well, actually my landlady's garden has a pond, but it's so small you can hardly see it. Running water is essential, I think. Makes things so much easier. I hate to always having to use the kitchen or bathroom sink. Looking forward to see how your studio will look like when it's finished!

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        1. Thanks so much! Maybe you could dig a pond without your Mum looking, lol! I like the trickling sound it makes - So relaxing.
          Running water will make such a difference! It will be so nice just to be able to wash my hands where I am rather than having to run up and down the garden. I do get messy! :0)

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      22. sandra ...enjoy your new space .... bet you can't wait to move back in now ... looks like your husband and son are doing a brilliant job ....what a wonderful 40 th !

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        1. Thanks Jane! They really have made an entirely new room! It's amazing and I can't wait to share it with you all :0)

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      23. Lots of hard work going on here. Good luck.
        Have a look at my blog header picture it's my studio
        Lynn
        One I Made Earlier Todsy

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        1. Thank you Lynn! And thanks so much for dropping by! I am on my way to you right mow :))

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      Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)

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