By Karen Kluglein
Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist – Volume 17, Issue 1
Walking into my studio always brings me a wonderful and calming feeling. It is bright with white walls, and many windows and skylights. It has carpeting so it does not feel cold. It was my mother’s studio and when she had it built she asked me for suggestions as to what to include. I know she loved it too. It is kind of a sanctuary where you know you can work undisturbed (for the most part)!
I did not always work in such a nice space. Because my paintings are small I never needed much room. When I was in art school I used a tabletop easel in my bedroom. My first rental space had a small room where I had a drafting table and built in shelves. When I built my house I worked in a larger space upstairs that doubled as a guest room. As my daughter got older she moved into that room and I was out of luck. I made do with a smaller space. After my mother passed away my father suggested I work in her studio.
The studio is not very large, only about 19x15’ with white counters around two sides, easels along the third and a pegboard hanging space along the fourth wall. The pegboard works great because you can easily move paintings around without putting holes in the wall. There is a 4x3’ island in the middle with a large EZ mat cutting surface on top and large flat shelves below for paper, mat board and foam board. A variety of rulers and triangles hang from the side of the island. It also has a large drawer where I have tape, Xactos, a hammer, framing gun, and assorted tools. The island is probably my favorite part of the room though I also love having all the counter space. You can never have too much counter space! There are some days that I could use more. Under the white counter is storage space that is divided vertically for frames, glass, etc.
The studio also has bookshelves, a sink, TV and a radio. There is an area for cardboard, bubble wrap and framing supplies. My father, a German cabinet maker who built the studio, was very efficient in his use of space so there is a lot of storage. It is air conditioned and has a dehumidifying system that aids in the storage of vellum.
There is a built-in area with a heavy table-top easel which is where I paint. It has a window in front of it and skylight above it. The skylight above makes me more than a little nervous when it rains but so far so good.
There are some things that I would change. I would like to get a more comfortable drafting chair and I have another drafting table that I used to work on that I actually prefer. I also have two oak flat files (at home) from my previous workspace that I would like to use. Of course there is always room for improvement, but for now it’s just perfect.