Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The birth of a studio: the whole story

I have been asked by many friends and bloggers to document the birth of my new studio. So here it goes. Like everyone else I have spent years and years in tiny studios and pieces of rooms. Making it work that's what artists do. As my husband used to tease me, "the whole house is your studio." Yes admittedly you would find paintings in all different stages everywhere in the house. The living room always had at least 2. At one point the bathroom even had one. It's so good to view them often. It makes the solutions easier to see.  My paintings have continued to grow in size to the point they don't fit around our small house, therefore it was the time to make the big step. A studio.
First we priced all kinds of ways to build...add on, pop the roof for an attic studio, portable shed, and then finally this idea. Make another building  with re-used materials. I really loved the idea of having my work space separate from the house. I talked with my husband Paul and my Dad (who lives in the California) and Project Hope was born. It involved buying deconstruction materials from Second Chance.  That helped make it financially possible. We would hire a contractor to build the exterior. And then  Daddio would move in for 6 weeks to orchestrate the entire interior. He was amazing and worked tirelessly.  My family and friends were the labor force (I can never repay everyone enough!)

I made the design based on my desires and what I could buy cheaply at Second Chance.
Full north light ans a loft for storage were the only mandatory things.
Paul and Alfredo (he poured the concrete and dug the footings)
cement slab
Getting a permit was the hardest part. After that was done we were on our way.

First we had to get a man to make the footings and pour  the concrete slab.  That done, enter Ricardo, Jesus and Jimmie to build the frame. It was amazing how fast it was built. One week for the concrete. One week for the basic frame. One big surprise happened. When we unwrapped the windows we learned that they were all Pella windows, and far superior to the ones in our home.. wow! They were beautiful.

Now the guys were done. Enter the unpaid work force.

The day the drywall arrived Dad and I learned that they drop it on the corner. Drop they did. Now I am not a big person, so after 4 drywall sheets(4ft x 8ft) I was pooped. My sister arrived and we did two more. Egad! We had 40 more to lift.
Then another deliveryman arrived. A strong delivery man. I convinced him that for $40 and 6 chocolate chip zucchini muffins(fresh from the oven)  he would lift the drywall back to the studio. This man would actually take 2 at a time!
The team (sister, husband, brother-in-law, Dad and me) were there to begin installing the drywall. It was a comedy routine at first. We knew absolutely nothing. Measuring, holding and screwing them up....lots of practice and we got better. The 1st floor walls were easier then it became high. The ceilings are 22 feet. Enter Jesus and Jimmie and a huge scaffolding.

I must admit I had never done any kind of construction so I was in for a big surprise to learn that the major work is inside.The actual inside took about 6 weeks. Still there are things to be done..small things. Main thing is I am working in there. It's bliss. I wake up at 5 and walk across the yard, turn on the light and music and I am transported to an amazing space. I feel blessed. I work with out thinking of anything else.

And the constable closet...15 feet of pure painting storage. Read here.

The biggest thank you to the man behind project hope. Daddio.
And of course to my wonderful husband who is so supportive. Should I mention it was his idea that my studio be the master bedroom. We lived in the small guest bedroom for years. This studio was my idea..but once again he was there to help me make it happen.
The year of 2011 has been quite a trip, so much has happened. I can't wait for 2012!


Pam Holnback said...

Wow! this is so great to see! I am so happy for you. What a Merry Christmas!

Linda S. Wright said...

Congratulations on your new studio! My hubby and I live in a small manufactured home in the country. My art is taking over so I am also getting a studio! Mine will be a portable building, nothing as pretty as yours but I am so excited to have my own space. It should be ready for delivery in another week, I hope. It is a 12' x 24' building that will be insulated, paneled and climate controled with a heat pump. Lots of windows too.

Celeste Bergin said...

wow--talk about doing it "right"! Love these photos that show the progress. You more than deserve this dedicated space to produce your work..congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you posted your thoughts and these photos....so nice to see it all come together. What a fab studio space. Well done with your ideas and all the work! Happy New Year to you, Loriann.....

Marilyn R Miller said...

I am so happy for you so glad to see the WHOLE studio! What a joyous 2011 event!! Congratulations! I love the look of your paintings in progress in beautiful Hope Studio!

My own little studio is now 20 years old, still new, and still a joy!

Donna T said...

Thanks for sharing these photos Loriann! It must be a dream come true to see your light filled paintings in this light filled space! I loved seeing the Wolf Kahn inspired art from "your" kids too. I wish you had been my teacher. Happy New Year!!!

Lisa McShane said...

Fantastic! Laurie, what is the overall size? I only ask so that I can be thoroughly envious...

loriann signori said...

Hi Pam, Thanks!You are so right It was a very merry Christmas in my new studio.

Hi Texas Artist! Welcome to my blog. Your new studio sounds awesome and big! You are going to love it. A separate dedicated space is a true dream of any artist.

Hi Celeste and thank you. Hope you had a great birthday!We share a birthday month and what a month December is! Celebrate!

Thanks Maggie! Best wishes in the new year!

Hi Marilyn, sounds like your studio will be celebrating a birthday. Enjoy!

Hi Donna! How are you? Have you moved into your new studio space in NY? Thanks about my studio and for your kind words..I wish you could have been one of my young ones! Happy New Year!

Hi Lisa,
I now have 420 magnificent square feet. I made it as big as the permitting would allow. I know you have had a studio separate from your home for a while...it's great isn't it? Happy New Year!

Lisa McShane said...

Loriann - mine is an old single car garage at 140 square feet. I feel fortunate that it's insulated and has dedicated lighting with great windows/skylights, but...I'm pretty sure 400 would be the best thing ever!

Your space is inspiring, thanks for sharing all the details!

Casey Klahn said...

That is a super studio, Loriann!

I love the van Gogh house-in-Arles color yellow exterior. The interior shots are also very inspiring - it is a beautiful space.

Thanks for the report and here's hoping you have many inspired projects in there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann- I enjoyed reading about the construction of your new studio-wishing you a Happy New Year and lots of painting in your new space.

Jala Pfaff said...

Absolutely marvelous. Sigh.
I fear your family may never see you anymore...!

Takeyce Walter said...

What a great way to end on year and start the next! Congrats, Loriann. I am so happy for you. What a beautiful space, and wonderful team of supports you have! Happy New Year!

loriann signori said...

Hi Lisa, I have seen a pic of your studio on your blog and it looks awesome. Enjoy the new year in it!

loriann signori said...

Hi Casey,
I am in love with my space. And the color was Paul's idea. Next summer we will paint the house that color too. I have some plum details to add later. Happy New Year!

Hi NJ,Thank you and happy new year to you!

Hi Jala, Yes, that is my husband's number one fear. I hope you have a much improved 2012.

Hi Takeyce, Yes, I feel so fortunate! happy new year!

Making A Mark said...

Great post and fantastic studio! You also seem to be pretty lucky with the men in your life!

You're sharing the award for The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year (6th Annual Making A Mark Awards) with Carol Marine

see http://makingamark.blogspot.com/2011/12/home-front-making-mark-awards-2011.html

loriann signori said...

Thanks so much Katherine! You are so right, I am a very fortunate and happy person. The men in my life are amazing! Thanks again!

Nika said...

This is very inspiring and I'm so HAPPY for you!!!! This year started off hard but had such a splendid finale. I love the yellow exterior and everything inside looks like a painter's dream.
Speaking of dreams, your painting (the one I won early this year) was a great little talisman for me, my art life has taken a new and exciting turn in 2011. Thank you for that:)
Congratulations and
Happy 2012!

loriann signori said...

Hi Nika,
It's funny..just last night Paul and I were looking through my iphoto and we saw the pics of baby choosing your name. I was wondering..how is Nika doing? Please write and tell what is up! How has your art taken an exciting turn?
Yes you are quite right. The year started out challenging, but that too is all done and now we are on to better things!
Thanks about my studio. I love it!
happy new year!

Cmichaudart said...

fantastic!! You are like a pig in slop and happy to keep rolling over. thanks for all the photos, I know great things will emerge and we all look forward to following them in 2012!

loriann signori said...

Thanks Cindy!

Sarah S said...

This is so exciting!!! I'm so happy for you, and NOT jealous at all~*~*~* (okay maybe a litte) Wishing you all the best in the coming year and much enjoyment in your new studio. cheers!

loriann signori said...

Hi Sarah! Thank you for your well wishes and happiest of a painting 2012 to you too!