The Evolution of an Art Studio

(a corner of my art studio...)

I had a conversation with a friend today, and it blessed me.  Just since I taught my first mixed media art class in February, she has acquired her very own art supplies, and even a cabinet to put her treasures in, out of reach of her small children.

It got me thinking about the evolution of my own space, and how important it is that a woman  have her own niche in the home...a place that is hers alone, to be able to create what she creates, and walk away from it, and come back to it...because a woman's life never seems to afford her long stretches of uninterrupted time, until her children are all grown.

Wait.  No, not even then.  I speak as One Who Knows.

What I really know is this:  I know what happens when you are truly content, and you make the most of what you have, instead of wishing for things to be different.

So I decided to dig around my archives, to share with you the evolution of one woman's art studio...mine.  I know what it means to have to "make do", and here's the amazing thing... wasn't that long ago.  In fact, it was one year ago this week.  I checked the date on the blog post.

That.  gives.  me.  goosebumps.

To see what God has done in the space of one year.  One year.   How?  I'm not asking you.  I'm asking myself.  How?  One year ago this week, I had no idea what was coming.  Bigger art, bigger dreams, bigger goals, bigger things, and a much, much, much bigger art studio.

Here is how this all began... my dining room.  My dining room.  Out of sheer determination to BOTH create AND be content with what I had available in terms of space, I cleared dishes out of a corner dining room hutch, and plunked my art supplies in it.  Every single art-thing I owned.  And then, on a whim and a prayer,  I made art to raise money so some kids from a single parent family could go on a mission trip.  I wanted so badly to give.  I wanted these kids to get on a plane for the very first time...

...I was stunned when I sold everything I painted.  I put half of it in the offering plate for the mission trip, the other half I put back into art supplies...simply because I felt strongly impressed that I was to keep painting.

So after the mission trip, I kept painting.

And people kept buying.  Then a local retail shop began to carry my art.  Then, on Mother's Day 2012, The Preacher bought me a tiny desk and we literally cleared out a corner of our bedroom, selling the treadmill (a girl has to keep her priorities in order!) and that corner then became my studio.

I was so proud of it.  The Preacher was so glad to eat at the table again.

 my tiny studio, in a corner of my bedroom...

It was exactly here, in this space,  that I found courage to dive into creating my W.E.L.L. Being videos..."Women Equipped To Love and Lead"...videos in which I attempt to bring encouragement to anyone who will listen.

And I kept painting.  And I started my business.  And I opened my online shop.  And started my business Facebook page.  (Like me?  Please?)

Long about August of this past year, the neighbor across the cul-de-sac offered to sell his house to my son-in-law and daughter, who had been living with us, along with our grandson Timothy (who is The Preacher's namesake).  They had been living with us so that Justin could finish his Master's, do his internship, work three jobs, and they could have their baby.  

With all those things checked off the list, and a nice savings built up, they were able to buy the house across the cul-de-sac from us.  That was a day I will never forget.  The Preacher and I wept for joy...and this chapter of all our lives came to a close.  A couple of weeks after they moved next door, my tiny corner studio, once crammed in my bedroom became...

...a whole room.  With two rooms suddenly coming available, I had a studio! 

For the first time in 25+ years, I had a full-fledged art studio.  And guest room.

And my studio wasn't big enough.  It felt cramped.

I know, right?  I went from a dining room corner cabinet, containing all my art supplies (well, with a few more crammed into the dining room buffet) to a whole 10x12 room feeling too small.

In one year.  Here's the weirdness:  90% of all the art supplies that filled that room had just...come to me...over the course of about nine months.   

My family can bear witness to the truth of what I am telling you.  There is no and equipment and supplies have been...coming to me...since one year ago this week.  Non stop.  In the form of gifts, gift cards, loans (some equipment is on "indefinite loan").  It has come to me in the form of  Craigslist deals, hand-me-downs, The Preacher spending his lunch money on me...and me investing a little out of our budget, here and there, to fill in the edges of whatever this crazy-train thing is that God is up to in my life! 

Then, last month, I mentioned to the Preacher that our large guest room (the room Justin and Hannah vacated when they moved out) would sure make an awesome studio...because it has a tiny bath, and I could clean my brushes so much easier if my art studio had its own sink.  I truly wasn't even completely serious.

But it was all I had to say.

My Preacher picked up his phone and cancelled and rescheduled all his appointments that day.  (Nothing was life or one was suicidal...that day.)  By the end of that very day, my studio became this:

TWO closets, tons of space, and my own bathroom. 

...and my first art show coming up in three weeks, in...of all mecca of the south...Atlanta, Georgia!

Friends, where God guides, He provides.  Please do come with me on this crazy-train plan of His.

It is going to be one.  wild.  ride.

Oh.  By the way.  If you come stay with us....sorry.  Your room is smaller than my studio.  And your full bath is just across the hall, instead of in-suite.  But you won't mind, because I'll feed you so dang well.

And you would rather be able to crack your window and hear the pond waterfall, anyhow.
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