Tuesday, June 26, 2007


inside l'atelier

L'atelier, the studio, is going to get a wood floor.

prism from sunshine through the leaded glass window at the peak

For centuries artists have owned or rented studios for their craft. I'm not an artist in their sense, well at least not a visual artist, well I like photography. Ok, what I'm trying to say is that I'm not putting myself in a category with artists over the centuries, but I have a studio!

old jump rope

Sometime after buying our little farm in 2003 we decided to turn the old chicken coop into a studio. You know, I might as well call it a playhouse, because that's probably more accurate. I don't know how much work we'll do in it. Maybe we'll just read.

But I can picture writing in here. And you can see my grandma's easel in the top photo. I want to learn to paint.

We haven't spent much time here yet, mostly because the cement floor and foundation allow lots of bugs in, and it's hard to keep clean. They get stuck in the crevices.

But Don has bought pine planks, and he's going to install a level wood floor! (It slopes 6 inches now. They used to hose it down and the water drained out the back.) Don't worry, Don power washed this building several times and painted fresh paint. See the ceiling? That's my favorite color: robin's egg blue.

Like Mrs. M. and the Renaissance dress she's making from scratch for the high school feast in November, I'm going to show you this process. Don has promised to take pictures for me when I'm at work. This might take a few weeks, so please be patient. Don has other things to do also. He's on summer vacation for goodness' sake!
I'm glad this teacher husband of mine likes to vacation this way. (hehe)
P.S. Today's is my mother's birthday. She would have been 90!


Ginnie said...

Oh, Ruth. This will be such a haven for you both, I'm quite sure. Before you know it, you'll be spending your best times out there, writing, painting, meditating...maybe even dancing. I love that Don is doing this for you. What a labor of love and creativity!

And yes, I've been thinking of Mom yesterday and today. I had lunch with my former assisted-living boss and I told her about my last 5 hours on earth with Mom. It was very touching to remember it again. I think she would have been 91 today, since she was born in 1916.

Ruth said...

Yes, my mind was playing tricks on me, thinking 1917, which was Dad's year. She would be 91.

I wonder where she was those last years, away in a place only she could go and we couldn't follow her. It's strange though, isn't it, how we were able to connect with her then emotionally in ways we couldn't before Alzheimer's.

Rauf said...

You don't need any lights Ruth, You've got very good soft daylight coming in. If possible, If possible you can make only one window a bit larger, depending on the direction of sunlight. prferably far end window. i think the windows are on only one side ?
the support beams are so useful.
For me this is a dream studio Ruth, Perhaps you'd be missing the typewriter sound. wooden floor would be heavenly. The atmosphere would be created once you start working there. It would not be a good idea to move all your books there, i would have liked to have a huge book shelf there on one side.

My mom would have been 90 in 2013.

Ruth said...

Thank you, rauf. Today is Bennett's birthday. I think I was wrong, he would be 59 today, not 60. He'd be 60 the same year as you. I'm getting my birth years wrong this week.

Of course you would study the lighting. You're right there is one wall with several windows. Don installed the leaded one at the peak. The front wall with the door also had two small windows he installed. But the 4th wall has none. We've talked about installing one or two there. But that wall is filled with shelves (that's where the hens roosted), and I don't want to disturb them. Maybe toward the end of that wall.

Don also has an old wood stove he got free on, and hopefully before cold weather we can have it in and build a fire. I imagine an ice skating party in the orchard and coming in to the atelier to warm up with hot cocoa.

You're right that books would not do well. The humidity and temperature changes would not be good for them.

Rauf said...

Thats what i was wondering Ruth, i knew i am older to Bennett. Don is doing a great job, Thank you Don.
i am a bit hopeful that the studio would attract Lesley. I would love some orange curtains. The windows are so beautiful that you may decide against curtains. Handloom curtains are so cheap Ruth. they are a bit coarse, i mean rough and heavily textured attracting dust. You don't have any problem of dust there. Dust is our main concern. We think of dust first.

Anonymous said...

I have my little office, but it is nothing like your l'atelier. :) With the floor you'll probably use it more and have more creative goodness to show for it.

Ruth said...

rauf, I like your idea of hand woven curtains. Most of the time I don't ever put curtains on windows, but in the case of this building, Don and I have talked about how nice it is to see light curtains blowing in the breeze.

Ruth said...

Heather, creativity can be made anywhere, and you take it with you. Your office will see some wonderful new poems.

Jennifer said...

Ruth, I am loving your studio (or should I say playhouse)! What a beautiful space. My mind is buzzing at the moment with ideas for how my studio will look and what I will put in it. I have to keep telling myself that it's not a huge space and not to get carried away! Anyway, the robin's egg blue on your ceiling works really well against the white walls. I am sure you will get many hours of pleasure here.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Jennifer! You sound as enthusiastic about yours as I am about mine. There's just something about a room that's separate from living "quarters" that makes it special automatically. This particular space has soft, peaceful energy, and we both connected with it right away.

Mrs. M. said...

Are you going to winterize it as well? What a shame to only have it for three seasons!

We are in the throws of "indoor season", and I miss our outdoor living space right now! I'm sure you would miss this place in the middle of winter!

Wouldn't a luminary path be fun through all the snow?!!

photowannabe said...

What a great studio. I'm jealous. You will find much inspiration there. I can't wait to see some of your work on your blog.

Ruth said...

Mrs. M., Don has a wood stove from freecycle that he's going to install here. We won't know until we try it in winter to see how toasty it stays. I picture luminaries and gas lamps all around for that skating party I'm planning.

Yes, you are in the heat of summer there in FL. I don't know how you manage it, and rauf in India, but you do what you can.

Ruth said...

PW, thanks, and I will definitely show you more!

Morna said...

Ruth - I am loving exploring this beautiful blog, and I love your atelier, and - OMG - you are a green barn person! No wonder you thanked me for #12 - but what about #11 - is that yours also? I hadn't made these connections before. Maybe now you will think I am stoopid.

Ruth said...

Yes, Morna, those are both mine! You found them at my flickr site, and now we are flickr contacts. :)

I don't think you are stoopid, but now I wonder how you found me at flickr?