Monday, May 18, 2015

Outdoor Art Studio



Collaborating with your significant other on a project, in our case, is very 'therapeutic'; a nice way of saying we learn a lot (or are reminded repeatedly) about each other in the process!
Thanks to a very talented husband, who can help transform the insides of my head into a piece of work....we present the 'Outdoor Art Studio'.

Mulling over Meri Cherry's brilliant outdoor art space http://www.mericherry.com/2015/04/06/10-incredible-inspired-art-studios-kids/ I was pretty determined to make an inexpensive 'atelier'. Another inspiration is this amazing science lab for kids, built in an old pharmacy  http://tinkerlab.com/tinkering-spaces-action-potential-lab/ I love when existing spaces have new life breathed into them!

When we moved into our home, the wooden deck/pergola pictured below was part of the backyard.
We've learned that our neighbours moved this deck from their yard to ours, when they landscaped their own.

April 2014

Wall One

We opened the space by removing the trellis blanketing the pergola, which adds light and makes the space more open.
Wall One already existed, but since we decided on a vertical pattern of wood, hubby removed the horizontal walls for the transformation. I love the sleek modern look (and circular windows!) from 'Indoors/Outdoors' children's tree house http://indoorsoutdoors.tumblr.com/post/67316547244 .
In addition, we re-purposed old farm fence to complete the back and remaining side walls.

 Circular Window

For the opening, I wanted to create an Easel Entryway, similar to 'Meri Cherry's Acrylic Painting Stands' http://www.mericherry.com/2013/07/18/diy-acrylic-painting-stand/ We had enough 4x4's posts to use as upright beams and hubby concocted a wonderful 'slide in' system for the sheets of plexiglas.
These act as windows, but can be painted on directly (or with a sheet of paper attached) as contemporary pieces.

  Easel Entryway

'Meri Cherry' (a big source of inspiration this renovation!) mentioned using old thrift store canvas for process art http://www.mericherry.com/2015/05/04/repainting-thrift-store-canvases-kid-art/ Though finding cheap canvas was not promising, I dug up some old rolls of loose canvas I had purchased in Shanghai.
Then turned to hubby to work his magic. Customized canvas proved an even better solution than store- bought, since we could work sizes into the space around the circular window.

 Wet Chalk on Canvas

O brought her wet chalk to the canvas as soon as she eyed it in the studio!

Fire Pit

All the while hubby was working, I took to the task of sinking our fire pit below ground level and puzzling pieces for a  deck with stones that had been half buried as pathways around the yard.
O was busy balance-beaming and Baby C pretending to eat snacks provided, but shoveling mud in her mouth whenever no one was looking!
Many hammock rides, sprinkler-runs and popsicle breaks made a productive afternoon possible.

Innocence


Wild Child
Each easel corner has a Pail & Pulley for retrieving art supplies. As well, a big, old branch I found is in the chalkboard corner, sunk into a hole in the deck. I bore holes in both forks and laced it with sisal to be used as a weaving branch or abacus http://tinkerlab.com/finding-nature/ or http://buggyandbuddy.com/weaving-family-classroom-weaving-loom-kids/ 
I drilled coat hooks across the chalkboard wall to hang aprons and our kids chairs from IKEA. A Vertical Garden http://www.thegardenglove.com/go-vertical-diy-gardens-for-small-spaces/ is in the works just outside the circular window wall, for some green to break up the space.

Fortunately, we re-purposed most things, except plexiglas (a whopping $30) and screws ($19).
Total cost of the project, not including hard-working husbands labour fee's = $49.

The Outdoor Art Studio is not limited to painting as it allows us a load of messy freedom for water-play http://tinkerlab.com/diy-water-wall/, paper-making http://tinkerlab.com/how-to-make-paper/, clothes-dying, screen-printing, clay/pottery, wood-working as well as creating our own art supplies from nature http://www.amazon.ca/The-Organic-Artist-Pigments-Prints/dp/1592539262

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