For a couple of months John and I have been living in a construction zone. I’m not really sure who was aware of my studio situation (and it was a situation, believe me). It was a bright but cramped spot, relegated to the back hall alongside the washer and dryer, and a little too close to the kitty litter box for my liking. The few people that got to see it, were either left speechless, disappointed, or even just plain angry. On the plus side, it was by the back door and in the summer, I could paint while under the curious stares of rabbits and birds which made it more tolerable. But enough was enough. So this spring, John and I decided to expand the tiny cottage into something that would better suit our needs.
This now means that I have a normal human-sized studio and a proper office located in the original part of the house (see photos). The addition will be the living and dining space with a covered veranda thrown into the mix. That’s smug me in the construction zone, acting as if I’m responsible for building the structure. In actuality, we hired Build, a Stratford based company that specializes in heritage homes. I’ll get more into their awesomeness when we do the official before/after in a couple of months once it’s completed and somewhat decorated.
So far the process has been fairly painless, which I understand is rare given the fact that we are actually living in the construction zone. But the one aspect that I hadn’t anticipated was how distracted I would be by the reno, creatively speaking that is. Partly it was because my studio moved, and the light moved and for about two weeks I didn’t like painting in the new studio. It felt off, like I was wearing my shirt on backwards. Or maybe it was the lack of kitty litter box. Fortunately, I was able to work out the lighting situation, and now the space is right. However, my headspace is still unsettled. I’m used to being alone all day, and anyone who spends a lot of time alone can go a little mad. This is good though for my creative process. But now, I’m preoccupied with decisions on windows, flooring, fireplace tile, light fixtures, and furniture which surprisingly takes up a lot of time in a day, especially if you don’t know how to time manage and can’t tear yourself away from inspiring images on pinterest.
Due to my preoccupations, I haven’t been updating my blog with the latest info, not that there is much, but there are a few things that I’ve posted on facebook that I’ve neglected to post here, so if you aren’t a facebooker, then here’s the catch up:
Note: There are clickable links below but they appear in regular black text and I have no clue how to fix this.
Miss Moon: Wise Words From A Dog Governess is slated for release in January from Tundra Books (Penguin Random House Canada). The book is very similar to the French version, comprised of the Miss Moon lesson paintings, but we have altered some of the lessons to be more appropriate for children. If you are a Miss Moon fan, it can be pre-ordered on Amazon, or if you want to support a local independent, Fanfare Books in Stratford, Ontario is taking pre-orders and they ship everywhere.
Lucy Crisp And The Vanishing House. Running behind on Chapter Four. Really running behind. I would say that it has suffered the most from my reno distractions. It’s also a longer chapter and heavy on the visuals, and some of the paintings are larger and more time consuming. There will likely be at least fifteen images and to give you an idea on progress, I’ve only completed two and a half. I knew when I started it that it would likely be a three year project, and I’m going to try my best to stick to that goal. All I need is another hard Canadian winter, stuck indoors, barely clinging to sanity, and I will get caught up.
India Knight. I was honoured to supply the British author and columnist with images for her website. She’s a cool lady and she loves dogs and knows how to decorate with pink.
Society6: You can now purchase phone cases with some of my images. As well, I am offering a small selection of canvas prints in my Society6 shop. Yay!