In March 2014 we decided to convert our 20 x 14 foot workshop into a fully functional studio, a place that we could work full time all year round. The workshop is situated in a lovely position in the little wooded area of our garden. Its away from the lane and cottage so it is extremely quiet, so it's perfect for a productive days work as an artist. We had some friendly builders renovate the workshop for us, they insulated from floor to ceiling, laid floorboards and tongue and grove on the walls. They installed a new triple layer felt roof and replaced all windows and the front door with double glazed units. We have a heating system so we are cosy 24/7. It's bliss! If you scroll to the bottom of the page you can see see photos of the renovation process.
We have created a wonderful work environment for both of us to work in. Nciholas uses an easel and stands up to work, however I use a drawing desk which you can see below. The photo shows me working on a cat montage drawing which you can see the original photo behind on my iMac.
Nicholas prefers to stand at his easel and I took this photo while he wasnt working so that you can see his work station. He has an imac for emails and arranging photos, and an oak kitchen trolley which houses all of his paints. Its the pefect height to mix paints, hold his brushes and lay his easel when not in use.
We wanted to create a relaxing area to entertain clients when they visited so devoted one corner of our studio as an entertaining space. It also has our vintage plan chest which holds all of our paper and canvases and doubles up as a packing station too.
The is my area for working, you can see my storage units and drawing desk. My desk rises so I can work at different angles and my iMac is positioned next to it for all my business needs. It means I can answer emails as soon as they come through, plus the yearly accounting tasks and also designing and maintain all of our websites too.
We have plenty of lighting in the studio. Both Nicholas and myself have our task lighting above our easels, being super duper dimmable daylight LED units. These are perfect for using all year round, especially on dark winter evenings. We also have three light panels on the ceiling which are flat panel lights giving ambient lighting around the studio and create the effect of skylights.
Living in Wales we have very long, dark winters. So we have lots of warm lighting in the studio to provide a lovely ambience. We work long hours and so this helps lifts our spirits when its cold and rainy outside. We have plenty of solar lighting in the garden to light our pathway down to the studio too, it all looks very pretty.
Here are a few photos that we took during the renovations, which took approximately 9 weeks from start to moving in. The fist photo shows the bare bones workshop shed and the first job was to take up the floor and insulate it. The ply wood in the third photo will be going on the ceiling once it has all been insulated.
You can see in the photo below that the insulation is being put on the walls. The tongue and groove was then added.
The central photo shows Lily admiring the work. You can also see the new double glazed windows and a new additional window for light.
We had a new triple layer felt roof and double glazed door installed which you can see below, along with the new windows. It was all getting very exciting at this point and we could start to imagine how it might look when we had finished.
The undercoat is on the walls and the worktops are being prepared and the kitchen area and a sink was being been installed. We varnished the floor about 4 times..almost too good to walk on!
testimonials.....You and Nick have been a pleasure to work with. Your talent is amazing and you have been so accommodating to us.
I would say that you have excellent customer service but that sounds odd...like I was talking about Sears and that's not what I mean. You have been kind, thoughtful, and caring. Always ready to answer questions and make changes. I really tell everyone that you two are the very best at what you do. It is not easy to deal with people and you do it effortlessly. I also appreciate your phone calls. What a personal touch! Thank you so much, Nicholas and Melanie
If you have enjoyed viewing our studio, why not head over to see the materials we use to create our pet portraits on our Pet Portraits Materials page.