Friday, January 20, 2012

Virtual Studio Tours--Robin Olsen

We are beginning a new feature this month. Each month one of us will post pictures of our studios and discuss how they function for us.

I'm getting started with the first virtual tour.

Name: Robin Olsen

1. What sort of artwork do you do? What are you currently working on?

I work primarily in fabric or paint. Currently I have several paintings going and have been handpainting lots of black and white fabric to use it a larger, graffiti-inspired fabric piece.

2. How does your studio need to function? Give a brief description of your working space.

I need an area where I can stand and paint on fairly large canvases. I also need a separate sewing/cutting area for fiber work. I need lots of storage for fabric.

I have a large room in a daylight basement for my studio. I feel lucky to have a designated space like that. I keep my easel and painting materials on one side, and my sewing/cutting tables on the other. I have large cabinets for storing fabric behind closed doors. I have a design wall on one side for doing fabric work, and an inspiration board on another. My studio is functional rather than beautiful.

3. What do you love about your studio?

I love that I do have a space of my own, and no one in my family complains about the mess. I love the cork floors I put in because I do like to stand a lot. And I'm happy having room for two large tables that I can work on, in addition to a sewing table and a junk catching table.

4. What would you like to change about your studio?

I need better lighting and keep thinking I should hire an electrician to re-outfit the room. Since I work in so many different areas, I would like to have good lighting in each one. Right now I move a free-standing photographer's light around.

And ideally I'd have a large wet area with tall tables and a deep sink for dyeing fabrics.

5. What would your dream studio look like?

It's funny that the older I get the less I like visual clutter--although my current studio certainly doesn't reflect that! I think my dream studio would be a large white box with great natural light, and paint-splattered wood floors that I don't have to worry about. Plenty of table space and an area with a comfortable chair and shelves of art books. Very little in it. I'd love to have all my materials, except the ones I'm using, stored in a separate room. Oh yeah, and an ocean view!

Storage cabinets for fabric:

The mess behind the closed doors:

6. Do you have any organizational tips?

Clean up between major projects or when you spend more time looking for stuff than making something. I can spend all kinds of time organizing every last button in the perfect container, but as soon as I start working, it's all over.

Please join us on the third Friday of every month as we virtually tour more Portland Art Collective studios.

To see more of Robin's work, visit her blog.


Paula Graves said...

I love that yout studio in functional. I did mine very arty looking, but it is frustrating to work in. I am changing it to be functional. i am also getting rid of useless things. Thanks for the inspiration

Dandelion and Daisy said...

What a fun idea, everybody loves to visit artist's studios and see where they work. Yours is very practical and it's nice to be out of the main flow of the house. Yeah, I want a view of the ocean too!

Robin Olsen said...

I love seeing the ones in the magazines that are always gorgeous, but the reality is--mine would never stay that way!

Dayna Collins said...

Robin, your studio is beautiful! Thanks for taking us on a tour.

Suzanne Reynolds said...

Your studio looks lovely as it is functional. Your cute pooch adds a big punch of personality!

Suzie said...

I know what you mean about function over good looks. It's like the fresh new canvas, or a great sheet of handmade paper. It's hard for me to start if it looks too pristine. Your place looks very inviting . . . and inspiring as a place to do art.