I want to show you my studio. Yes, I have my own little building. I hope it looks charming in the photo—this building was once a garage for our 1910 farmhouse. A place this old should strike terror into the hearts of carpentry-electrical-plumbing-challenged folks like myself.
This building as been an art studio since the 1970’s. It has a concrete floor and big windows. The wiring, however, has never been the same since Agamemnon had a wood stove fire (that was Christmas day a few years back. Let’s all say no mas). My project this fall is to get the place rewired so that I can run my palette and heat gun at the same time. I mean, is that too much to ask????
The reason for the raging Christmas day fire is that the building is very cold. This will be my first winter and I’m trying to find economical electrical heat. I hear you laughing, but this is rural Oregon i.e., no natural gas, wood stove verboten, and propane? We might as well be burning platinum. Electric heat it is.
In my other manifestation, writer of delightful fictions, all I ever needed was a desk, a computer, some files and a chair. Maybe a lamp. A dictionary. It was all portable. Writing itself can be done anywhere and often needs no electricity or infrastructural support. And the finished product can be stored in tiny little folders on my tiny little hard drive. It is the perfect art form.
So why do a need a whole building?
Visual art is a vast playground of materials and gadgets. It expands and grows and breeds and invites its friends to come over and hang. Pretty soon, shelves, floor space and table tops (don’t let’s talk wall space) are crawling with stuff you absolutely must have. I am becoming a hoarder. Case in point: at a garage sale last summer I saw a box of plaster of paris. Do I need it? No. Did I buy it? Yes. Along with five pounds of wax sheets with little squiggly wires embedded in them, something beekeepers use. Hey, I might need the stuff someday.