I am very, very excited about this - we've made some renovations in our rec room to give me some home studio space. For those of you who know me, you will know that I've pretty much always painted in my kitchen. In fact, the last time I had a decent space to set up an easel was 17 years ago, before I had my first child.
A LOT of life has happened in those years and we have never really had the space to set up a permanent spot for all my gear. Children's toys and cramped apartments have been a running theme competing with my art space. Currently, we have an all purpose workshop for tools and canvas storage but it is in our basement with no natural light - not ideal for painting.
As a young mother, having my painting stuff centered around the hub of our home made a lot of sense... I could cook meals, assist with homework and spend quality time with my children drawing and painting while working on my art. For many years this has been how my day flowed - my life based out of my kitchen table.
Recently however, this has become a growing source of frustration as I've been painting larger canvases regularly. Also, my children are growing more independent and requiring more space of their own. There has been an escalating turf war for precious kitchen table space... and after carefully planning it out, my husband and I came up with some rearranging that seems to fit our family at this stage of life. No longer do I worry that little fingers will investigate art supplies or wet paintings. Nor do I need to hover while a child bakes or makes supper.
Our rec room has slowly been diminished as a playroom as our kids grow and change, the boxes of toys shrinking by the year. We decided it was time to rip out the carpet, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and separate the space into a tv area and my new little studio nook. We have put up shelves yet, but I"ve moved in my most important supplies and it feels good. Now when my kids are home I can go off to my space and shut the door for a while to work without worrying about being interrupted.
While I still have a long term goal of having offsite studio space, this was a move that couldn't wait any longer. Now I can leave my work without having to clear off my project to set the dinner table. My easel can be set up in the corner, instead of being tucked away at the end of my painting day. I can add touches to a piece as I think of them which makes spontaneity so much easier. I love my new little space!
I recently got together with the team at the New Canadian Friendship Centre which operates in northeast Calgary. They serve Immigrants through a variety of programs ranging from ESL classes, sewing groups to youth and kids programming. They even have an international cooking club!
While I met with NCFC, the overwhelming theme that kept coming up was helping newcomers to Canada not only learn language skills but to become a part of their new community and establish meaningful friendships. They welcome people from all corners of the globe and try their best offer things that focus on building relationships.
This piece speaks to the light we all carry inside of us and how coming together from our different backgrounds can create something new and beautiful. Based on a stained glass Rose Window, the complex pattern is made up of all the individual fragments.