Saturday, May 31, 2014

Renovating a Studio

In September of 2012, now nearly two years ago, we decided to buy a quaint little house (that needed some de-80'sification) in a beautiful neighborhood in a small town of North Carolina.  There were two things that sold the house for me.  The first was the incredible, large, wooded yard that featured many 30+ year established plants, including a lovely fig tree, and the second reason was an unfinished space above the garage that could (seemingly) easily be turned into a wonderful studio.  Over the last nearly two years, we have slowly but surely been chipping away at the to-do list to turn this house into our home.  Both my husband and I are very handy and compliment each other's DIY skills quite well.  We have managed to completely update and beautify one of the ugliest and most malfunctioning kitchens that there has ever been, along side working on completing the studio space.  This once storage space turned out to be a much bigger project than we could have ever foreseen.


All of the insulation and partial drywall had to be taken out.  The previous owner had chosen too inefficient an insulation to condition the space, and also curiously, they decided to use deer netting to keep the insulation in place.  This meant that we had to spend countless hours removing staple after staple from each and every stud and joist.  We also started to notice how the acrylic bubble skylights began to leak.  Though they were south facing, we had not planned to replace them, which significantly impacted our budget and in turn impacted our timeline.

We knew the 3/8 inch plywood subflooring would have to be replaced, so we took that opportunity to also correctly insulate under the floor as well.

Below you will see how we had to remove the old leaky skylights which we splurged by replacing them with really nice north-facing ones on the opposite side of the roof.

 To re-do the subflooring correctly, we had to remove the knee-walls, which turns out, where not properly installed in the first place.  Surprise, surprise.  So in re-building the knee-walls, we got our design approved by the city, which was to utilize the space for extra storage, with some open shelving and pre-built cabinets as well as slots to fit my flat files on the south side of the studio.

We also decided to give my easels a bit more head room and raised the ceiling joists.

Now at this point, we realized that we would need to fix the stairs to bring them up to code.  Ironically, I do not have any pictures of this step.  It is likely due to the fact that it was one of the most contentious parts of the project.  I am happy to say our marriage was strong enough to survive the disagreements.

The last bit of fun left to us by the previous owner was some very "iffy" looking, obviously home grown electrical work.  We decided to hire a professional for this aspect of the job, especially since it required installing a special plug for the heat/ AC unit we will be installing.


 I am so happy to say that on Wednesday, all of the rough work passed the city's building inspection.  It was a huge relief and now means we can move forward with insulation and drywall.  Though the list is still long, I think we have turned the corner and are much, much closer to me being able to use this amazing and inspiring space (more comfortably) soon.  Below you will see two panoramic shots that kind of stretched the wall lenghts just a wee bit, but it's fun to see the whole space in one picture.

I will leave you with a painting which was in progress in the midst of this renovation. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Loved & Observed

I Will by Kristy Gordon, Taste by Julie Elizabeth Brady and To Wash the Spot To Burn the Snare by Holly Ann Scoggins

I am honored to have a work included in an exhibition titled "Loved and Observed" at Hersh Fine Art in Glen Cove, NY which was curated by artists Manu Saluja and Diana Corvelle.  This exhibition, which features portraits by 23 artists, runs June 21 - August 12, 2014.  I hope you will join me on Long Island for the Opening Reception June 28th from 6-9pm.

Cary Ann, oil on panel, 18" x 14"

You may read a bit more about this exhibition on Diana Corvelle's website and while there make sure to peruse her beautiful and unique works, by clicking here.  

Hersh Fine Art
14A Glen Street
Glen Cove, NY

Monday, May 12, 2014

Intro to Oils Class

Dark Cherries, oil on panel, 5" x 7" - currently available at Haynes Galleries

Are you interested in learning the basics of oil painting and safe studio practices? Intro to Oils is an introductory course which will cover the basic topics of oil painting while also reviewing drawing fundamentals. We will explore painting materials and techniques, basic color theory and color mixing, as well as the interaction of visual elements and various approaches to painting. Using simple still life set-ups, we will explore concepts of value and tone and color relationships. Join me at Artspace Monday nights starting June 2nd!

Intro to Oils
Mondays, June 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
Tuition: $180 members/$200 non-members

More information and registration at: 
201 East Davie Street, 
Raleigh, NC