As an artist, I have had the privilege of painting in a number of workspaces over the years, each one with its own unique character and memories. From my childhood bedroom to an inspiring art studio, I have come a long way in my artistic journey, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the evolution of my artist workspace.
My First Workspace: The Bedroom
My first and most memorable workspace was my childhood bedroom. Whether I was sprawled out on the floor or painting on my bed, my parents never stopped me from creating. Although, I must admit, I did leave my mark with wandering paint stains on my carpet and bed covers! I have a very early memory of drawing a picture of a blossom tree, swan and fish with my crayons. And what was so memorable about this picture is that I remember as I was drawing the fish’s tail and was making my way up to the head I had the idea to draw the fish with its face turned towards the viewer. It was the first time I’d thought up my own way of creating a sense of perspective in a drawing. I kept that drawing for a long time on my bedroom wall. It’s funny what we remember, I must have been 6 or 7 at the time.
The Art Foundation Year: Bucks New University
For my Art Foundation year, I studied at Bucks New University in High Wycombe. The workspace there was a huge concrete room that was a blank canvas waiting for creativity. This space gave me the opportunity to experiment with larger scale works, unconfined by a school table or an easel. It was a source of amusement for me and my arty companions, the aversion one particular tutor had to anything ‘A sized’. He was a short man with a visible purple scalp line where he’d left the brown hair dye on too long. We should not let our artwork be dictated to by standard sizes… A2, A3, ‘A’ anything was frowned upon! I remember spending most of our first few weeks on the floor, the more unconventional the drawing implement, paper size and subject the better. There is merit in this way of thinking and looking back now I can see they wanted to shake us up a little to shed our secondary school habits. But I do chuckle to myself when I look at the standard sizes I’ve chosen as options for my commission work.
The Three Years Fine Art Degree: Margaret Street Art Studio
This Victorian studio holds a special place in my heart as a purpose built artist studio steeped in 125 years of history. It was beautiful, the corridors between the studios had classical statues in the alcoves and mosaic flooring which led to the grand staircases between levels. I remember walking up the stairs and noticing they were curved in the middle, eroded by the generations of art students who’d walked the same path. I felt a comforting sense of belonging when I was there. I’d spend most of my time in the studio space, creating my process-led sculptures and letting my mind wander.
Back Home with Parents: The Skylight Garage Studio
After university, I moved back in with my parents, who did not want a repeat of my paint-stained bedroom from my childhood. They kindly had skylights put into our garage roof, creating a new workspace for me. This is where I returned my main practice back to oil painting. It seemed practical to set aside sculpture and to pick up my paint brushes again. So I set about painting all kinds of subjects, trying to begin to find something which felt unique and interesting.
My Own Studio: Bright Ochre and Blue
Now, I am fortunate to have my own indoor studio in High Wycombe with bright ochre walls and blue wooden furnishings. The studio is complete with a shelf of hanging paints, to avoid the chore of packing and unpacking between painting. And along two walls is a picture rail adorned with my favorite animal paintings who keep an eye on me from across the room. This workspace has become my sanctuary, where I can escape and immerse myself in my palette knife artwork. I’ve tried to make it reflect my style and personality, so it’s frequently messy!
And this is where I am to this day. I'm sure my studio space will move and change but what will stay the same is I will always try to make space for my artwork in my life. Each space has played an important role in shaping my art practice, and I am grateful for every opportunity and support I’ve received along the way. Thank you for taking the time to read and follow along. If you would like to see the paintings I produce in my current art studio, I am trying to be good and post an update every other day on my social media. If you’re wise enough not to have social media, you can see the posts on the homepage of my website.