The second issue in my beloved studio has been temperature. Because my studio was once a screen porch, it exists - despite the Amazing Jon’s addition of casement windows - outside the footprint of our house. In the winter it is cold; in summer it can be sweltering despite the ceiling fan he also installed. The prospect of temperature control dazzles my tiny mind; Jon has always called me a cheap date and this kind of event proves it. I am over the moon.
Lest you fear that volatile organic compounds will now pollute our home, let me put you at ease. All of my oil paints are safe. They have no heavy metals (cadmium red, cobalt blue, lead white, etc.) and the mixing medium is alkyd walnut oil. Brushes are temporarily stored in baby oil and later washed with Murphy’s oil soap. Yes, it is more work than using turps and mineral spirits but far safer. Yes, my studio sometimes smells like a salad.
Now all I have to do is to haul one of my super-gessoed canvas out of the basement. That may take a while. That level has yet to be tackled. The year we bought the house, Jon and I set up camp down there so that we could sand and stain all of the old quarter-cut oak floors and repair the thousand other things old houses are heir to. Laura the bright and exceedingly honest 5-year-old daughter of a friend summed up our basement in one word: “YUCK!” I heartily concur, Laura. No doubt your forty-year-old self would repeat the exact same thing. Oh, well. Glacial progress seems to be our style.