My shed is an art studio situated in my back garden. It makes me smile every morning when I wake up, look out of the window, still finding it hard to believe that I actually have a studio to work in after years of making art on the dining table and having to pack it away every meal time. But now my shed studio is not just any old studio - my she shed is an extension of my artwork and has actually become a painting in it's own right.
To begin with the shed was painted in a safe, boring garden shades white which looked tasteful and blended in with the plants. But I didn't want safe and boring - I wanted flamboyant, colourful, decorative and for the shed to emulate the vibrancy of summer meadows and to reflect the way I paint. When I make a painting I start with making colourful marks as a back drop and then adding in recognisable imagery. Many of my paintings are inspired by natural forms and last summer (2018) was so sunny and warm it meant that one day when I ran out of canvas I simply moved on to the shed. It was started on an impulse and has now become my biggest painting to date.
The shed is now a burst of colour with the front elevation painted with a blue/green backdrop covered in multicoloured little symbols and marks that loosely resemble flowers and seed heads. The imagery was applied with a range of mark making tools including foam decorating brushes, traditional artist brushes and acrylic paint pens for the little details.
The side elevation features a huge abstract tree in bright greens and pinks. In the Autumn of 2018 the shed was featured in a Japanese magazine about tiny homes as a result of the editor finding pictures on my Instagram account - artistintheshed
Although the shed is an off the peg build it has been transformed into a huge painting that colours the garden on even the greyest of days.
The studio interior is painted white to make the most of reflected light coming in from five large windows. Most of the time it is bathed in light. There is room for a table, a vintage bookcase that I picked up in a charity shop and painted with Annie Sloan white chalk paint that is filled with art supplies. I was also lucky to find a 1950s free standing kitchen unit in a charity shop which provides additional useful storage. A key feature is a vintage sign saying Courage - it is from a reclamation yard and was an advertising sign for the Courage brewery that used to be based in Bristol. Now it takes on a whole new meaning encouraging me to push forward with my arty ambitions. It has been fun adding vintage and junk finds gradually, giving the shed a homely feel and making it a pleasurable, comfortable place to indulge my creativity.
Sometimes I paint using an easel and sometimes I hang canvas from screws on the shed wall. Smaller work is done sitting at the budget Ikea table on a bentwood chair found in a skip.
My studio often features in my stories on Instagram where I post my art daily as artistintheshed. The shed studio is absolutely a source of enormous positivity in my life as it gives me a beautiful and inspiring place to make my paintings. It make me smile every time I look at it and provides me with space to be creative.
The shed is constructed from a kit called Lantera from Dunster House and it measures 12ft x 8 ft costing about £1,200 to buy about five years ago plus erection costs and roofing. It is not insulated but it is still surprisingly warm in winter. The price of the cabin has increased since I bought my shed but I think the model is good. It complies with building regulations regarding allowed height etc and so far it has stood the test of time extremely well.