Studio Open House

Things have been hopping at Xchanges, the artists’ co-op I belong to! Once a year, the gallery and studio organization has a members’ exhibition and studio open house. The preparations were particularly intense for me this year, as I’ve been coordinating it — which mostly consists of delegating everything, but even the delegating is a lot of work. At last, everything came together, culminating in the Friday opening and the Saturday Open House. What a party! The gallery was so packed on Friday night that I couldn’t even wriggle in there (good thing I’d already had a look at the show!) so I hung out in my newly-revamped studio.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I have two studios; one at home, and Xchanges, the co-op. I moved into a new space at Xchanges this past summer, but have never really gotten it arranged to my liking, and consequently, it has been under-used. One of the problems was a lack of demarcation between the neighbouring studios (there are three of us in one large room), and although we liked the openness and everyone has been careful to respect the others’ spaces, it was visually confusing. So I decided to build a divider out of some old display pegboards that I had built long ago for fairs. I turned ’em upside down, slapped some boards on them to  stabilize them with a few nails, and bingo!—instant fence! One of my neighbours hung some airy white panels from the ceiling to complete it, and we’re all a lot happier now.

Here’s a few pictures of what I ended up with:

Studio 6 at XchangesFrom the door to Studio 6. This is the entry view of all three studios. The near one belongs to another artist named Karen (yes, it does get confusing sometimes!); on the left is the entrance to Daniela’s studio; and mine is the one with all the lights on the right. Behind that curtain on the right is my big cabinet, which will show up a few pictures down.

Studio 6 at Xchanges 2Looking straight into my studio. I had constraints on how I could configure the room: there were plugs in awkward places as well as a space heater at the end, all of which made siting the furniture awkward. I eventually settled on tables down one side and storage on the other. You can see the “fence” I built on the left; I covered it in canvas because the pegboard was not all that nice to look at.

Studio 6 at Xchanges 3The view from the back end of the room. The tall rustic shelf holds my acrylic paints. I’m very much looking forward to finally having room to set up my easel again!

Studio 6 at Xchanges 4The other side of the room, viewed from the back. That cabinet holds an enormous amount of stuff; I didn’t have anywhere else I could put it due to the locations of plugs and stuff, but it makes a good room divider. I still wasn’t quite set up when i took this picture, so there were boxes and stuff where there is now open space.

Karen's books

My comics, and a colouring book about tidepools that I did some years ago with an educational writer named Gloria Snively. Everyone commented on how popular colouring books are these days.

originals and postcards

I made postcards of the design that I did for our poster. I was going to sell them for a buck, but kept giving them to friends and people who bought stuff. Ah well, ’tis the season for giving!

comics originals

I realized when I got to the studio yesterday that I had forgotten to bring my portfolios with the original comic book art! Eek! So I raced home and got them; good thing I live close by. It’s a great way to show people who might not otherwise look at comics that it actually is real artwork, and that it takes a great deal of work and time to do a book.

Pen and Ink prints

I brought my ever-popular pen and ink prints, too. I’ve been doing these since around 1980, and some of the ones I still have in print go back that far. They still seem to appeal to people just as much as when they were new.

kitty cardsMy kitty cards brought out the cat-lovers, which seemed to be just about everyone who came through the studio. I’ll be doing some new scans of the paintings and offering these on my Redbubble shop very soon.

winter cards

I also brought a selection of wintery cards (even some wintery kitties). I don’t really do specifically Christmas cards (or not yet, anyway — never say never!) but lots of people like these at this time of year. I do already have some of these up in the Redbubble shop.

colouring cards

I finally got the bulletin board up on the wall — then realized it looked pretty silly just sitting there bare! So I hung up some of the inktober elves and a Quadra Cats drawing.

Karen in studio

My studio mate Daniela took this picture of me. I look a bit fried around the edges, but hey — I earned that look!

Kitties in gallery

And last but not least, my kitties from Inktober in the gallery (this is before the proper tags went up).

Now you’ve had a virtual tour of my studio! If you’d like to see some of the other studios, you can continue your tour on the Xchanges Facebook page’s album.

8 responses to “Studio Open House

    • It’s true! How can dividing something make it feel better? One of the mysteries of geometry, or perspective, or something!

      I just had a look at your blog — very interesting, and we are nearly neighbours! (just a small matter of a strait and a border)

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  1. Great to have space and greater to have figured out how to allocate it. I have one room, two desks, one for paper and computer, the other for sea glass jewelry making and a small table for my easel, paints, brushes, solvents, water etc. It is a little cramped. I envy you the space and its rational use. Great to read you. Thanks for the ideas.

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  2. Hi Ernest, thanks for telling me about your space! I love sea glass, I’ll bet your jewelry is wonderful. That does sound like a lot to fill one room with — glad this gave you some ideas for organizing space. I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my space go further, because I am such an awful pack-rat when it comes to art supplies!

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