I've used dozens of studios in my career. I like to work outside my living space for multiple reasons, including
• as a woman, I need to appear more professional
• my home turf is distracting
• I want to be able to leave projects in process/a mess
• I enjoy bringing people into a studio that has a certain "mystique"
• I need storage, lots of storage
I'm thinking about which studios I've loved...
a pre-famine stone hut in Ireland, with a glass ceiling
an attic in a French chateau above a forest
my large office studio at a Turkish university
the Barrio Logan studio I shared with Daphne Hill (even though it leaked, had termites, and the floor sloped). I miss that damn studio now, having moved into a garage space, which is perfectly serviceable, but has no poetry.
Which brings me to our Desert Dairy barn, built in 1930. When we bought the place it was filled with and surrounded by junk and trash, it hosted a large beehive on an inside wall, and it had a roof basically blown to bits. Our construction crews have had to stop repairs for weeks because of high winds. But finally the place is almost ready, and I'm the type of person who doesn't need things to be perfect before beginning to work in a space.
I can already tell, it's special. The natural light and airflow can be adjusted easily by opening and closing shutters on both east and west sides. The floor is solid concrete so can't be damaged. It's so quiet. We have only one working outlet, so no lights there yet, and you have to walk to the oasis for water, but that's ok. We can make BIG work, and stand back from it, and take sky and mountain gazing breaks. I don't know how other artists will react, but I'm definitely inspired.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.