Chicken Feet and a Garden Gate Made of Bones

I don’t want to write about the building plans just yet. Still in the planning stages. Still making some design decisions–but things are certainly moving right along! I allowed myself to daydream a little about studio names and paint colors today. I haven’t decided anything. No surprise there but I feel like I am starting to close in on something, narrowing things down–I think. Maybe.

I know it seems silly to want to name the studio anything besides just studio or workshop but it feels important to me. I started looking online to see what other artists called their studios and I didn’t find much but I did lose a lot of time just looking at photos of famous artists work spaces. Maybe it’s enough to just call it The Studio.

It depends on the day of the week but I call this space anything from The Ghost House, the little house, the studio-to-be, the studio, workshop… Nothing sticks. My daughters say it will always be The Ghost House to them. I think in some ways it will be to me too and I plan to hang a photo of my sweet Ghostyhead dog in the house but I feel like it needs a new name that represents this new period for my family and my career. I really, really need to let the ghosts go. I want this place to feel much more alive than it has in a very, very long time.

This little house and the garage behind are finally after a lot of dreaming and hoping and planning be rebuilt and turned into a maker’s space for my family. It will not be a house anymore. It will not be designed for someone to live in. I have a wonderful home I am looking forward to reclaiming once I move all of my art making stuff into my new work spaces. I am just so thrilled about having a space where my work will no longer get pushed aside for the goings on of my family’s daily life or squished into a 10×10 foot cubicle in a community work space. I will be able to organize my shelves and leave my work sitting in the table at night and fill all of the walls with works in progress. I am just over the moon imagining this space I have been dreaming of since we moved out to our Thicket.

I don’t think I am the sort of person that would call my studio an atelier. Studio is what I usually call my workspace. That can also refer to a state of mind for me. When I say I am going to my studio lately, it means I am tuning everything out and working but I may be sitting on my bed or at the kitchen table. Workshop lends itself to the idea of a space that houses craftspeople. That is not an inaccurate name for my family–but it doesn’t feel complete. I need something a little more poetic. Sigh.

I thought it would be easy to think of a new name but I am finding it really hard! I thought about using the name Phoebe in the name since the the Phoebes roost and nest in the house and garage. I think people might just wonder who the heck Phoebe is. I thought about something with crows. I really thought Happy Crow Studio was the name for a while because I was so happy when I first bought the place and my crows are a big part of my story and this place but that name started to feel silly pretty quickly. Of course there is always The Brambly Thicket Studio. I have been using the name Brambly Thicket for a long time. Is it right for the studio? Maybe. I dunno. I guess I just wanted something new. And after going to a residency at a place called Wild Acres, I don’t think I will be using that name –even though I started using that same name many years ago for my home and as you can see, I am still blogging here because I own the domain– but that name doesn’t feel right either. Ugh. I think I am trying too hard. I am just going to let it go. I think –for now anyway–it will simply be The Studio. It will be so much more than a name and it will change and grow as I fill it up with my gleanings and my work.

And then there is the matter of choosing a color for the exterior of The Studio. Eek! There are so many choices!!! I thought at first I would paint it a nice dark iron ore. It felt like a nod to my crow friends and my daughter’s iron working days but a black house in the summer in the sweet sunny South is probably a bad idea. I have been leaning toward a sort of sage green with an iron ore trim for the past few days. I really like the idea of forest camouflage–but today I found a color called Rainwashed that is a pale dusty blue with a hint of green that I kind of love. Even if I don’t paint the entire house that color my porch ceilings will be painted that shade of haint blue. I am sure I will find another color I love for the rest of the house tomorrow–and another the next day. It’s a good thing that white is the preferred color inside the studio. I might never get things painted!

I had a funny dream the other night that the builders were jacking my house up so they could get big chicken feet under it. I laughed about it all day! I think I am getting a little punchy with all of the work and planning. It cracks me up that my brain was able to weave all of this house demo and studio building anxiety into a Baba Yaga dream! It’s just too perfect! Maybe finding that creepy pig’s foot and the rabbit’s tail in the woods behind the cottage sent my brain to this weird place? Could be. It is still cracking me up. I will NOT be putting giant chicken feet under my little cottage studio in the woods or making a garden gate out of bones but it would be okay if it felt a little like it belonged in a fairy tale place that’s a little witchy and weird–because you know I am a little witchy and weird.

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