Monday, 1 August 2011

my studio

The previous owners of our house were two artists. One of them used the space above our garage as a painting studio. I haven't introduced you to this space yet, so here is a peek. There are two rooms - the large one at the back where he painted, and a tidier room at the front, with a window, which was more of an office. It's a lovely space, full of light: surely the perfect place for an artist to hole themselves up for a day of creativity.

However, it's not watertight or insect-tight. There is a recent leak in the asbestos roof that has soaked one of the beams and is causing me a bit of anxiety; the beam has sprung some orangey mould that I think will need addressing with some urgency.

It doesn't make me feel terribly creative, being surrounded by piles of dead flies, oil-painty floors, mouldy beams and staples all over every surface. It drives me mad. I like things tidy(ish) and clean. He left an enormous work bench that was covered in layers of oil paint and other unmentionable gunk that I have spent days planing, scraping and sanding off. There were other bits of furniture too - an old armchair, a couple of tables, a small snooker table - and a whole lot of junk including a picture of William Gladstone, piles of unused picture frames and some crockery. In a nutshell, it's a bomb site. A bomb site with potential, but I have a lot of work to do to make it how I want it to be. These photos were taken after several days of junk clearance and hard work, so you can imagine how awful it was before this, perhaps.

The studio and garage are in a building opposite our house - ours is the garage on the left, with the studio above.

In September I will be taking part in Helfa Gelf Art Trail, which is an open studios event for the whole of North Wales. I intend to be ready to welcome guests to this bomb site by then - not like 'finished' ready, but at least minus the dead flies. I am collecting inspiration for the space over on Pinterest, but right now it feels like a million years before I will be able to call this space my workplace. Give me a year to work on it. I'll keep you updated with its progress.


  1. looks like fun (if your idea of fun is hard work!) and such a lovely big space to work in too - good luck with it all. :)

  2. Oh, it's definitely fun at the moment. I am not looking forward to sweeping up all the dead flies though (the pictures do not do justice to the horror!). It is a great size, but I'm also going to have to find a way of insulating the roof or I will probably die in winter :-)

    Hope things are going well for you!

  3. Make sure you are careful with the asbestos.

    We used to have outhouses and sheds like this as a child. They were always full of dead insects. I quite liked this apart from dead wasps. Chunks of dust and paint that used to fall on my head as I would learn to type on dads typewriter (we were about 10 years behind the rest of the modern world...).

    This blog ( is well worth reading-she's been talking about knitters and writers "pods" recently...

    And linking all of this-do you remember this lecturer? My dad went to uni with him. Sad.

  4. What a great space. Good luck with the clean up.

  5. Oh hello! Thank you! It's going very slowly, but some progress is being made :-)

  6. Sorry, Kat, I forgot to reply to you - yeah, we mustn't disturb the asbestos sheets, but they are OK, it's just the valleys in between that need attention. I will be blocking up the holes with 'eaves fillers' - foam shapes that fit in the corrugations. No insects for me, please!

    Yeah, I remember Mike Majerus. I didn't know he died - that's a real shame. And of mesothelioma. Scary.