Nita Leland's Art Studio
© 2000 Nita Leland

"Go on working, freely and furiously, and you will make progress." Paul Gauguin

Welcome to my studio!

My studio is a walk-out basement that used to be the kids' recreation room. I'm surrounded by green space; though we're on a suburban lot, it's private. My husband had a studio sign made for me with my logo on it, which hangs beside the door.
storage shelves Many of my materials are on the shelves here within easy reach. Framing stuff is in the little chest beside the shelves. Above you can see the edge of my fluorescent fixtures and a couple of the track lights on the perimeter of the room. I spend nearly all of my daytime hours in my studio, and sometimes I work at night when I'm on a deadline. With full-spectrum fluorescent lighting my studio is as bright as day all the time.

paper storage At center is a built-in cabinet with shelves for mat board and finished art and below that, a flat file for my watercolor paper. My paper cutter and tool box are on top of the cabinet. To the left of that is my taboret, an old stereo cabinet, that holds my brushes, watercolors, sketchbooks and palettes. Excuse the mess--if I had known you were coming, I would have straightened up a bit.

flatfile Here's a closer look at my paper storage area. (I tidied up for this one.) Since I don't do much framing anymore, I have other things besides mat board stored on the shelves above the flat file. Read the articles on storage tips for other storage ideas.

drafting table Near the window is my 5 ft. drafting table, where I usually work standing, but notice that I have an architect's chair to fall back on (literally) if I need it. The window looks out on my little quarter-acre woods. I've made a bird sanctuary that is all natural, no grooming, inhabited by dozens of birds, squirrels, chipmunks and more. I love it, but I can imagine what the neighbors must think.

computer corner Around the corner, across from my desk, is the "tech center": my computer, two printers, a scanner, a copy machine, and all the other materials and equipment I need to write my books, do my bookkeeping, and printing. As a matter of fact, I wish I had all this business equipment in a different room. I think I'd be more likely to paint.

bookcases This is part of the north wall, which is mostly books. This three-part bookcase is over 7 feet tall and I recently bought a fourth one for the overflow of books. (I'm an unrepentant lexiholic.) It stands to the right of the unit. I buy my studio furniture in kits from WalMart and other discount stores and put them together myself. My filing cabinet stands to the left of the bookcases and a microwave cart, in a corner behind the door. This room is 19 feet long and 15 feet wide.
mail room This six-foot table makes an L with the table that holds my printers and scanner. This is my "mail room." I use the table to prepare packages of books, color wheels and videos for mailing. I'd like to get this whole operation out of the house entirely, but not much chance of that. The copy machine (right corner) is just far enough off the center of the room that I still have enough room to do tai chi and work out when the spirit moves me.
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