What fun to be included in Karen's Valentine's Blog Party! I can't wait to visit you all and your spaces and your blogs. We are an art colony - my dreams are coming true!
I'm Sherry from Rustique Gallery. I live in a sweet little town in Western Massachusetts in an old post and beam hardware store which my brother split into two apartments. I have lots of space, which I fill with way too much stuff-stuff that speaks to me, stuff with sentimental value. Stuff to create with. My brother Dave made the trunk below with vintage linoleum surfaces. the small one was my great grandma's doll clothes trunk, which Mom gave me when I was small.
But back to my space: I've tried and tried to partition off a corner of the living room, but it gets too crowded to work. My table tops get too cluttered and things pile up in all the corners! I end up working in the kitchen or on a tray on the porch. This Blog Party opened up the doors to my mind and I realized that the whole living room is the studio!
So my studio, Rustique Gallery, is a big room - 20x24' with a few big windows. The floor of the old building is crooked, scrappy, painted plywood - no need to worry about making a mess! There is an odd boxed-in pillar in the center that I have installed shelves on. I have lots of shelving and cubbies and I try to keep things relatively organized. Two vintage porcelain-topped dinette tables are my favorite work surfaces. When I get glue, paint and tape all over them, I scrape them down with a window scraper and they are all clean again. A third dinette table holds my new sewing machine, which I purchased after donating two old ones that needed work. A baby changing table makes great storage for oversized books and boxes and creative scrap.
A large desk with my IMac, scanner and printers sits opposite the art area. Here I do my blogging, keep up with friends and manipulate pictures and ephemera for my collages and greeting cards. I also run a small pet-sitting business, so an office is essential to keep it all organized.
Another corner holds my altar - a quiet place for meditation, which helps me focus and keeps me centered and inspired.
A big dream is to have a group of artsy friends over for afternoons of creating, chatting, snacking and exchanging ideas. So I have a big comfy sofa and loveseat in my favorite color, purple!
I've always put together collages in one form or another. Now I am reasserting that art form and have begun to make assemblages with old, used things. I love working with paper--old sheet music ledger pages, sepia photos, old postcards and ephemera, even distressed cardboard. I have recently started adding dimension to my art by using old wooden boxes, pieces of doors and windows, hardware, old tools--you name it!
Finally doing what I love, in what spare time I can, I find that the creative process is not confined to the studio. My eyes are always open for things to use in my collages; textures and oddities to photograph, old junque on the side of the road, a dusty freeby from a friend's barn. When I walk, I look down and find seed pods, bird's nests, butterfly wings and interesting twigs and rusty things. Tree fungi, owl pellets, old books and rotten old leather. These things tell me stories and make my imagination come alive!
In the next few months I plan to do a giveaway, open an on-line shop and set up a booth in a local antique mall (and petsit and take a trip out west and...oh, yes, work 4 days a week!) I look forward to your visits and am anxious to begin cruising through each one of your exciting posts! Thank you Karen Valentine, the Where Women Create team and everyone who has joined the party. Let's have a blast!