Monday, February 1, 2010

Studio Space

Where do you do your art projects? If you are an artist where do you have your studio? When I was an art student my studio space varied. It could be the kitchen table, or a corner of the room that had the best light. Once I had a loft in New York City on Lispenard Street. Later I had a loft in the flower market section of New York that was my studio space for my business. Around that time I also had work space near the beach in the country, a back porch and storage shed and the dining table again.

This studio space is in the country side of France.

Don 't you love the ironstone tureen ending up as a vessel for paint brushes?

The work bench above reminds me of Steve Gianetti.

from Velvet and Linen HERE

The collection of old glass bottles are perfect for arranging a study of a still life for a painting.

Plenty of room, and plenty of light.

Time to wash up for lunch...

After lunch maybe a little nap on the porch.

Maybe read a little, or write in your journal, or sketch.

Then back to work in the studio.

Here are a couple of artists: Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.
I did not know Patti, but I casually knew Robert after he came out. He was a dear friend to a dear friend of mine.

I got to hang a out with them from time to time. My friend was a chef, and Robert was making photos and we were all bumming around. I was on my way out of my rock and roll life, but still hung out with my friends who were artists, and musicians, and actors, and poets, and dancers, and designers, and film makers (read waiters, chefs, cooks, hairdressers, stylists, and bartenders).

My friend was nearing his 40th birthday, and mine was surely on the horizon too. Robert wanted to make a 40th birthday portrait of the two of us. I had posed as an artists model for many years, and Robert wanted my friend and I to pose nude together. My friend did not want to do it. He was quite ill then, his body and face ravished by AIDS. Robert was also ill, and his signature black leather jacket looked so huge on his already slight frame, now shrinking from the illness.

I really didn't think anything of Robert wanting to take a photo of us. To me he was another boy making art, just like the rest of us. Even though they were sick, and I had already lost many friends, I never saw any of them as sick and dying. I always thought they'd beat the odds and be around forever.

They were always going to the the doctor. People who went to doctors got better. They didn't act sick. They worked, and played, and hung out and lived life. Sometimes they'd do a little stint in the hospital, but out they'd come ready to resume where they left off. It was always a shock when they didn't come out of the hospital that one last time. They're both gone now. Robert and my friend Bruce.

Patti Smith has written a pretty good book about her time in New York then (called "Just Kids"), and her life with Robert. It's on my list. I want to see what was going on in our parallel universes back in the day.

PS The dining room in 99% done. Awaiting fabric for the dining chairs. Do you want to see the reveal now, or wait for the chairs to be done?


vicki archer said...

What times they must have been Valorie....Show us the dining room... please, xv.

La Maison Fou said...

Love the artist's abode, so humble, pure and simple.
Just the place to create an honest piece of work!

I need to get back into the studio to 'CREATE" for is a hard thing to do, when working to make clients dreams come true too.


Jan said...


Greet Lefèvre said...

Good heavens Valorie! I would love to have a studio as this French one! Fabulous place to work!!

Trouvais said...

Love your stories, Valori. Show us your dining room now! It's fun to see evolution in design. My "studio" is the original one car garage space in our 1939 house. A crack running down the middle of the old concrete floor. Somehow "deshabiler" spaces (undressed, naked) encourage more creativity. Trish

Velvet and Linen said...

Man I lead a boring life! Thank you for adding a little spice to it! I would love to live in an artist's loft. The two story space with the arched doorway and the grey beams is my dream. I've been saving that image for quite a while as inspiration for our eventual reno.

Thanks for thinking of Steve. He does love his gear molds!

Love ya!


Anonymous said...

Triple sigh for the studios. Who doesn't want one of their own? I always spread out somewhere and have to clean it back up 'cause it's in the way of life. Time to clear out a corner and stake my claim. The no-changes-claim. Stake it and make it stick.

My heart skips a beat for your lost friends, but marvels at your rich creative history.

Dining room reveal? Let's wait for the chair fabric! Then you can do a reverse strip tease of the room in one post, from bare to beaujolais (I know that doesn't mean anything, but I like the way it sounds).

annie said... the simple organization and detail of it all...the light...
Oh, to live such a life...
show the dining room NOW!

Gwen Driscoll said...

Show us now please! Can't wait to see it. So sad to lose those we we love. You have many guardian angels you know! Much love.


sketch42 said...


pve design said...

I always love what you share. Not only do you show enthusiasm, you show compassion and such love for creative people, spaces and surroundings.
Show us the chairs, Madame!

Jules said...

my studio was, at one time an operating theatre (when our house was wearing it's guise as the local hospital) incredible light. But now the top dog in our pack has taken it over as his work room. Oh well....!!!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

What an incredible story Val. My heart goes out to Robert & Bruce. What a tragedy.I can understand what you wrote when you your young enough to think that no matter how sick someone is, they won't 'really' die. They will get better won't they? Patti's book sounds worth reading. What a life though you've led. You've lived more in your pinkie than I in my lifetime. Have you seriously considered writing a book? We were watching a bio on Freddie Mercury the other night. A reminder ofyet another individual who we lost prematurely and all his amazing talent.
Great post xx deb

MFAMB said...

great story as usual. you are a treasure trove of cool. i say no to the fornasetti decoupage. and no to the reveal before it's done. as much as i would love to see 99%, OH WHO AM I KIDDING..HELL YES SHOW IT TO US!!! does a heroin addict love a needle party???

Rattlebridge Farm said...

This was fascinating, and timely. I've always had a studio until we moved to the farm. If I'm "zoning" and someone asks me to wash underwear, I lose my place (even if I don't wash the underwear). Creativity is a strong force, yet it can be incredibly fragile in spots. I use my iPod as a buffer, but a locked door would be even better. I'm working on a basement/dungeon workroom (and a place for my dishes). Until then, it's Coldplay, Interpol, and Elvis.


Sharon In Chicago said...

I had the good fortune of being in Cincinnati and got to see the Mapplethorpe exhibition that caused the brouhaha in the early 90s (or was it late 80s?) What powerful images -- changed my view of photography as art forever. And to think you were "that close" to be captured (albiet as a moment in time) by Mapplethorpe. Thank you for sharing your memories of him & your dear friend Bruce.

La Petite Gallery said...

Hey Valorie,

I know you must be buryed in the project but come up for AIR.. lol
I love that inlaid cabnet..
some project.