It was august of 1996 when I first saw our house. It was nothing very special, just the basic south Snohomish county 40 year old split. But there was more room in it than in any of the places we had ever lived in before. And space puts a glint in my eye! Why? Because space equals studio! I am an artist and if I go too long without a space where I can create, unencumbered by the needs of others with an over-developed sense of orderliness – I get cranky.
Well we moved in and soon we were having another baby and homeschooling. A warning for anyone contemplating homeschooling: homeschooling tends to fill all open space in a house. Just ask almost anyone who homeschools and they will confirm my statement. Anyway, as you, I am sure, are guessing, the studio did not materialize as quickly as I had hoped. Busy with two small kids, my attempts at creating art were usually interrupted by little fingers wanting to “help” and somebody needing “something” – you know what I mean. Well time goes by and kids get older and friends start noticing things – was it odd behavior? – a distant stare? – perhaps a twitch? They wouldn’t say what, exactly, but one friend gently said to me “You love art – how are we going to get you to do what you love?” I remember that moment – it was one of those cool sci-fi moments where you live an entire alternate lifetime over the course of the one or two seconds it takes for a realization to take hold.
It didn’t happen immediately - it took a few days – but it came back. What? The glint in my eye. Eventually I pushed my way into the storage room downstairs, closed the door and began creating again. I also began teaching art and art history at the homeschool resource center and put together the school art show and gala. The lifetime enclosed within that little crystal ball of realization I had had that day started to become my lifetime – I was doing what I love.
After a few years my husband decided it was time to expand my studio from the unfinished storage room in the basement into the garage – he’s a good guy. So, not being – shall we say – handy with a hammer, my husband enlisted the help of his friend, who, after a short time, began doing what many of my friends do when they recognize that glint in my eye – they tilt their head down and to the side a little, looking at me from the corner of their eye with a rather amused grin on their face. “What?” I say, “Why not 2-circuit track lights?” “Why not cove lighting?” “Why not old-fashioned carriage house doors instead of those metal roll-up things that have ugly tracks sticking into my beloved space?” Seriously.
My new studio is wonderful. So, when I had and opportunity to be a part of this year’s Edmonds Art Studio Tour, my husband recognized the glint and said “go for it.”