Monday, May 19, 2014

Terry Grant: The Story of a Studio.

I will be the first to tell you that a studio is more a state of mind than an actual place for most artists.

Wherever an artist is able to work—that is their studio. There is a lot of wonderful art being done on kitchen tables, in garages and spare bedrooms, attics and basements, all over the world. When I had small children, and a small house, my studio was a closet in our family room. I opened the door, rolled my chair up to a table-height shelf and while family life carried on behind me, I immersed myself in making art, huddled away in my tiny closet space. From there I graduated to a portion of the laundry room, then as my children left home, I took over an abandoned bedroom. That seemed like pure luxury. And it was. I finally had most of my supplies and tools altogether in one crowded, creative space.

In 2008 we moved from Portland to Washington County and we began to make plans to build a real studio! My son-in-law Carlos, is from Ecuador where he worked as an architect. I enlisted his help in designing a small studio for me to make my fabric art in. We visited other artists studios, studied books and online resources and soon had a plan for the building. It would even include a greenhouse on one side for my husband.

It took nearly two years to complete the plans, secure the necessary inspections and permits and learn all the things we needed to know about building something like this, but by summer, 2011 we had a contractor and were underway.

By that fall I was all moved in and happily working.

It is not a big space, but it holds all my materials, sewing machines, fabrics and threads, and my clever son-in-law worked in a bonus in the form of a second story loft where I can store finished work and less often used supplies. It is big enough for a reading area and a futon sofa provides a bed for visitors. It is more than a work space. It is my retreat and my happy place.

Carlos, my favorite architect and son-in-law!

Has this studio made my artwork better? Probably not, but it has made my working life so much easier and provided me with what we all want—a space of my own.

I hope you will come and visit me when I open my studio for the Washington County Open Studios Tour in October! I love to share my work and my studio. Visit all the studios, from large to small to kitchen tables and re-purposed barns and garages. You will find art and joy happening in our community in these dedicated spaces. You will be amazed. A studio is a magical place!

-Terry Grant

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