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  • Jenny Davis

Art Studios (Part 1)

I've been working on getting my studio set up just the way I like it. It's pretty much done, but it became a bit cluttered, so I need to do a little more organization. Then I want to post a little studio tour. I've always found artists' studios interesting. I think the studio tells you a lot about the artist.

Over my career, I've painted in 8 studios (not counting art classrooms). Two were my mom's home studios, in two different houses. In the first, we painted at an old dining table in front of three big windows. Our golden retriever would nap on my feet when I painted. Later, we moved, and my mom had a much bigger dedicated studio with an antique drafting table with wrought iron legs, whose former owner knew someone who knew Andy Griffith.

I also worked in my mom's studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (TFAC). Reminiscing about the Torpedo Factory and what I learned there from my little family of artists and from interacting with the public could be a whole other post, so I'll stick to my studio backstory... Here's our studio in 2012.

Fast forward through 4 apartments. I painted at my dining table in the first of those, and my view was of I-66. I didn't have much room for storage or organization. My next apartment was in a high rise, with floor to ceiling windows that I still miss. I painted on a little Ikea dining table wedged against the floor to ceiling windows, with a view of the Capitol Building. I'm still nostalgic about that. I had terrible neighbors, but that view couldn't be beat.

I went through two more apartment studios - one apartment was a 2 bedroom, so I had a dedicated studio there. In the other apartment, I was back in a dining area again, but it was pretty open and in a corner with windows on the adjacent walls, so it had lots of light. My commute was either a 5 minute drive or a 20 minute walk in those days, so I had a ton of time to paint. I experimented with small mixed media works and was really productive. This was my studio in my last apartment (this is also where I worked when I experimented with livestreaming, hence the variety of gooseneck mounts and lights).

I've had my current studio since 2019, but I started updating it this spring (painting and decluttering). I painted over the boring Builder Beige (TM) with gray. I'm a sucker for a nice neutral gray. I built my own painting table. It's nothing fancy - a piece of butcher block countertop that I sealed and 4 metal countertop height legs. It's the perfect size, although it's also way too heavy for me to lift without help, so getting it into the studio was a challenge (but that's what husbands and their friends are for). I used to have a lot of art on the walls, but I found I liked the minimalist look better. This picture is after the fresh paint dried and I mounted the pegboard where I organize my supplies... I'll save better pics for a more in-depth studio tour later.

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