This post is going to be the first in a series of posts where I will be sharing my thoughts in answer to the worksheet questions from the following book: THE SUCCESSFUL ARTIST’S CAREER GUIDE – FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE BUSINESS OF ART
BY MARGARET PEOT
“Chapter One – What Do You Want to Do, and Where Do You Want to Live?” There are many brainstorming questions in this chapter, but today I am only tackling the first one.
Worksheet 1: Imagine Your Dream Life
In your most extravagant dreams, what would you like to do with your life? Imagine the most gorgeous fantastic life you can think of with all the trappings: time to work, a wonderful studio, interesting clients or buyers, a supportive mate, a nice place to live, etc. Don’t shortchange yourself in this exercise by not writing down certain dreams because you “know” they won’t come true. Write it all down. Fill the page with your dreams.”
I am going to back track a little to give you an idea of how long I’ve been a dreamer. I guess I’ve always been a dreamer more than a go-getter. But in the last 10 years I’ve been trying to become more of a go-getter.
When I was 15 I began writing poetry. I tried writing fiction but I could never stick with a story long enough to develop strong characters and exciting plot. I also found I hated writing dialogue. So I stuck with poetry.
As I sat in my pink room with the white French provincial furniture at the desk I bought myself with money I earned babysitting full-time one summer, I dreamed of being a writer, getting poetry and books published, being famous and making lots of money. What 15 year old who loves to write doesn’t dream these same things? The funny thing is I still have that desk! I can’t sit at it very well, though, because I did get a couple of inches taller since I was 15 – I think.
My daughter used it for several years in her room, but she surpassed my height by four inches, so she can’t use it anymore. I tried to sell it awhile back, but I didn’t get any bites on my offer, and I was only asking $50. Sure, it’s old, but it’s in great shape! So now it’s sitting in our living room being used as a catch all for books, etc. But that’s okay. I decided to keep it, because I would like to use it in my daughter’s room someday when she moves out. You see, I plan to use her room for an art/writing studio until I can get one of my own. But for the sake of this exercise, I am going to write about my “dream studio.” It is more extravagant than what a one bedroom studio will ever be! 🙂
My Dream Studio
My art/writing studio is right outside my home’s back door. I walk down the pebbled pathway with pink flower-shaped stepping stones to the green front door of my cottage. When I go in, I light a cinnamon-scented candle to give the front room a nice aroma. There are huge windows in the front room with rose and white flowered curtains. I don’t need blinds on the bay windows, because there are huge shade trees all around my cottage. There are light green bench seats in front of the windows where I can sit and think and let the light stream in all the time. I live by the beach, so I don’t need air conditioning in the summer. There is a little woodstove in the room that heats my place up in the winter. I can hear the waves crashing on the rocks outside and their receding sizzling sound taking them back into the ocean.
In the front room there is a dark green couch and two matching chairs with a round glass top coffee table in the middle. One wall is lined with built-in oak bookshelves housing all my art and writing books, my favorite novels, and other types of books showing my interests in many different things.
Off to the side there is an oak preschool sized table and two chairs with paper, colored pencils and crayons in little colored bins. This is for people’s kids who need something to do while I meet with them to discuss the artwork they would like me to do for them or the book they are getting ready to publish for me. There is also a big box of children’s books and a few toys they can play with quietly.
There are fresh-cut roses and/or carnations of all colors in vases on the coffee table, bookshelves, and the counter that divides the living room from the kitchen and dining nook. A few of my paintings of flowers are hanging in strategic places around the room. There is also a print of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting hanging on the wall above the children’s table. There is a full-sized wall mirror on the wall by the front door with an oak coat tree next to it. Light green stone tile is in front of the door with a small bench for sitting to take off and put on shoes. The carpet is an olive green color with white specks throughout it. It is soft and plush and feels nice on my bare feet.
The walls in the living room are light beige, but a light green in the kitchen/dining nook. The tile counter is a pale green with a dark green swirl design. The cabinets are oak open shelves. There are no doors on any of them, and they display my white fine china dishes. The appliances are beige, and the window over the sink has a light and dark flowered green valet instead of curtains to let the light in.
In the dining nook there is a bay window with a dark green window seat, a small round oak table and two matching chairs beside it. There is a crystal vase of fresh flowers on it with scented candles. This is where I have my morning coffee before I start my day. I sometimes write here on my laptop or jot down drawing or painting ideas in my journal. And sometimes I have tea with friends here when I am not working.
Under the stairs there is a closet where I store my dog’s food, have her food and water bowls, and store a few food supplies for myself. There is a round plush rug for her to sleep on when she is inside with me.
Next to the stairs is a half bath for visitors. African violets are on the counter with flower-shaped soaps in a dish. The walls are light green, and the floor is beige tile. The towel rack is oak, and there are small framed flower paintings I have done hanging on the wall by the door, above the towel rack and above the toilet. There is also rose-scented hand lotion on the counter in a pretty pink ceramic dispenser.
Now let’s go out the back door. I know we haven’t yet made it to my actual studio where I do the bulk of m work, but we will get there soon. It takes time to show you around. Outside in the back is a red brick walkway leading to a pond with huge goldfish in it. There is a red brick wall about two feet high all around it where we can sit and chat and look at the fish. A round fountain is in the middle with water coming out of the flower-shaped holes. There are small white ceramic fairy statues around the yard area that have Lupine flowers growing around their feet. Rose bushes of all colors line the outer skirts of the lush green lawn with a white picket fence all around. Under a huge weeping willow tree is a small table and chairs where I can sit and think when it isn’t raining.
Follow me back inside, up the carpeted stairs and into my upstairs studio. I open the sliding wood door and we step inside. There is beige colored tile with a few scattered non-slip rugs. To the left there is an oak counter about three feet deep and five feet long that is the right height for me to work at standing up. I use this counter for cutting paper, planning out drawings and paintings, and framing them when they are finished.
In the left-hand corner of the room there is a wide, shallow sink where I soak my watercolor paper. Next to it is a white tile counter where I lay out my paper to tape it to my boards to stretch it. There is another small sink on the other side of the counter that I use to wash my brushes, etc. A round window is above this sink where I can see the weeping willow tree. There is tile under the sinks and counters that is easy to clean water up from.
On the wall straight ahead there are huge windows letting all the light in. It can get warm there in the summer, so there are a couple of oak ceiling fans with lights. My drawing table is in front of the windows with track lighting on the ceiling above it for working at night. There are glass jars of various sizes lined up in front of and to the right of my workspace holding all of my pencils and paint brushes. There is a long table to my right with all of my paint tubes and other paint supplies organized in separate bins.
Along the right-hand wall are shelves deep and wide enough to hold pads of paper in many sizes. The top of the shelf space has a set of book ends where I keep reference photo books, a bin with art magazines, and a bulletin board on the wall above it for tacking up notes, etc. My built-in light table is next to the shelves where I can sit or stand and do tracing work.
There is an open closet in a nook by the entrance door where I keep the apron I wear when I am stretching paper or mixing large quantities of paint for big projects. There are also a few changes of clothes in there as well. The shelf in the closet is where I keep my camera and batteries. I do not photograph anything to paint in the studio so there is no need for photography equipment. On the wall next to the closet is my small desk with my computer where I do all of my photo and writing editing and run my business. I do most of my writing on my laptop.
A few of my framed paintings decorate the walls along with paintings of other artists I admire as well. Also, there is a small stereo on a little round table to the left of my drawing table where I can play my music.
So I think we have made the rounds. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I know I wish I could just go there right now for real! Maybe I can someday. After all, some dreams do come true! 🙂