Studio Work Table

I'm looking to build a studio work table. I want something that's waist-height and provides plenty of storage bellow for canvases and materials. However, I'd also be open to something that resembles a big long farm table. And of course, it must be on casters for mobility around the studio. There seem to be a million ways to accomplish this task, but I thought I'd start with inspiration photos that look functional and generally attractive.

Paint Caddy

Last year I bought a vintage metal typewriter table from a friend in my neighborhood. It's a great little piece with folding sides and wheels on the bottom. It migrated around the house, first as a little desk in our guest bedroom, then as a side table in the living room before landing in my art studio as a portable caddy for my brushes and art materials.

I also use a long red tray, originally intended as a container for wet drywall, as a container for spray bottles, paint jars and other artsy goodies. This little table of art supplies has become one of my favorite things in my studio, which is why I'm sharing with you today.

Houzz Tour | Richard Murray

Last week, I published a home tour on Houzz which might be my absolute favorite home ever. For artists, book lovers or nature enthusiasts, this home takes the cake. This astonishing live / work home and art studio is the brain child of animal portraitist, Richard Murray.

An excerpt from the article:

Eagle Valley is a small but verdant pocket of land tucked along the south end of the Wallowa Mountains in eastern Oregon. The area is home to generations of cattle ranchers, orchardists, fisherman and farmers. Richard Murray resides at the base of the valley. However, unlike his neighbors, he does not use his land to produce organic beef, lamb or pit fruit. His product is art.

See the full article and all of the photos HERE.

A huge "thank you" to Richard Murray for graciously hosting me.
See the full article and all of the photos HERE.

Shifting Perspectives | Home Art Studio

I'm continuing the house tour today with a look at my home art studio. Yesterday I featured my living room and on Tuesday, I featured my dining space. This room used to be my sons' bedroom. They shared this space and I had my studio in our converted garage. Now that the converted garage has been updated to make room for our house mates, I needed to move my studio. This room is perfect. It's the largest bedroom in the house and is the only room that has wood floors for easy clean up.

This fall, I had a queen sized bed in this room. I was trying to make this a dual purpose space to include guests. But after spending a month with the bed, I realized that it had to go! It was completely in my way.

My goal was to have three areas: one for painting, one for reading and writing and one for sewing. I also wanted enough floor space that I could stretch out, throw a yoga mat on the floor or layout a large canvas on the floor. I'm really happy with the results. And while it's not nearly as big as my old studio, it's just as functional. Here is the new space sans bed:

Studio Tour | Misty Spencer

I'm not usually an envious person. Sure, there are things I see out in the world and think, "Wouldn't it be nice". But usually I can simply admire and move on. Then last week, I met designer and entrepreneur, Misty Spencer, at her home in Fort Worth, Texas for a photo shoot. (See my full Houzz tour HERE.) And oh my, oh my, the envy kicked in big time. Spencer's home studio is a dream. 

Misty, who recently launched Objects Living out of her home, believes that good looks can come at any price. She says, “You don’t have to have money to create a beautiful design. Design isn’t about brand names; it’s about having things around you that make you happy.”

One need look no farther than Spencer's own studio to see that she speaks the truth. Black walls, layered rugs, vintage pieces, books galore, pink accents, bling-y bits of gold - it's a gorgeous mix. The best part about working from home? Spencer's adorable four-year-old daughter, Stella, can get be mama's design assistant! Take a look... 

Make sure you head over to to see the full tour of 
Misty's amazing Fort Worth Craftsman Bungalow. 

Find Misty elsewhere...

My Other Work Space

Today, my home art studio is being featured at Comet Party, the lovely blog of fantasy writer and vegan advocate, Camille DeAngelis. Thank you Camille for asking me to write about my beloved studio for your "Where We Make" series - it was such fun! Click HERE to see my guest post.

I've been busy this week in my studio and its a mess. Seriously, the space is a complete scramble-flub of papers, paints and projects. Before I can move forward, I'll need to clean up my studio a bit.

When I can't face the chaos of my studio, I retreat to the front window in my dining room. Here I can get some sun light, have a fresh cup of coffee and brainstorm with my darling husband about... well... about everything. Here are some photos of my "other" workspace.

A clean table...

Coffee, a writing implement and access to my books...

My beautiful man and creative partner...

And a view of my messy studio today from the doorway... dare I go in?

My studio office and I have a clean up date this weekend.
In the meantime, head over to Comet Party and say "hi"! 

Back Home and Making Art

It's lovely to be home from my summer travels and back in my art studio. I have a few projects that have been quietly awaiting my return. This week, I'll be making friends with a neglected tin of pastels and a fresh new box of acrylics I received for my birthday in July. And below... a little visual inspiration.






Art Studio Reveal

Ten days ago, my husband and I rearranged the configuration of our home so that I could use our converted garage as an art studio and office. The garage is not insulated, which is a challenge in the hot Texas summers and cool winters. The carpet is laid directly onto the sloping cement foundation and the walls are covered in plastic siding. It's a funky space to work with. But this two-car garage has something I need: square footage!

Previously, we were using this space as a TV room and catch-all for my children's toys.  Now, I'm so pleased to have a room where I can work on large scale art pieces, host workshops and classes as well as continue my work with and Harris Publications as a freelance writer and photographer.

Here's what I did with the space:

Just as a reminder, here is what the space looked like ten days ago:

What did I do to change it?  I painted the walls in Black Suede by Behr paints. Then I took all of the furniture in my former office and set it up in the new space.  I did not buy a singe new piece of furniture for the new studio space. Everything you see in the photos was either in my home or stored away in my tool shed.  The total cost of my garage makeover two gallons of paint: $76.24.


I love to play piano. This instrument has been languishing in my dining room for the past three years.  The only time I can really play is when my children are asleep.  But then the piano wakes them up.  Now that the piano is tucked away in the very back of the house, I can play whenever I like without waking anyone!

A very dear friend of mine gave me this Mary a few years ago.  She got it at a street fair in Brooklyn, New York.  Now, she is mounted above the door in the studio.  I'm not a religious person, but I like to think I've got her energy watching over me.  Isn't she lovely?

I am over the moon about this new set-up. I am so grateful to have the space to do something like this for myself.  This goes so beyond anything I ever though I'd have as an artist. I'm teaching a workshop on April 7th and I'm so excited to see how the space handles 8 women for a day of art and writing.  Thank you for all your encouragement, dear readers!  Let me know what you think of the new digs in the comments section below!

xo - Sarah

This Week in the Studio - Spring Clean

Here's the scoop. My home studio - the one I've only been inhabiting since the fall - is already too small for me. What started out as the perfect amount of space has become a store house of canvases, paint buckets and drop cloths with no working room. I'm currently working on two large scale pieces and they have consumed the space.  I can barley see what I'm doing.

So my home is getting yet another overhaul. This Sunday, my husband and I are going to play musical rooms.  We have an uninsulated garage that was converted into a 'rumpus room' by the previous owners.  Right now, it houses my son's Lego collection, a jumble of furniture, a TV and many known and unknown peanut butter sandwiches.  As my husband so astutely observed, "the space lends itself to squalor."

No more!  I am going to convert that big space into my studio. I'll have room for canvases, drop cloths, paint buckets and more! My studio will become my son's nursery and my son's nursery will become a little TV den. And after a big purge, all toys will go into my children's bedrooms where they belong. It's ambitious, I realize, but oh so necessary. So goodbye little studio space... you've served me well. Now, I'm ready for bigger canvases, more breathing room and a place to really open up and get messy.

Stay tuned for the studio reveal sometime next week!
Until then, here is some inspiration:

Also, don't forget to enter the current giveaway from Octavia Bloom!
You could win a 50 dollar gift certificate by entering HERE.

Dreaming of the Sea

I don't know what bit me, but I was a painting fool last week.  
I love life in Dallas, but I think I am missing my native coastal California.
Here's a look at my most recent work.

Then There Were Four   -   36 x 48 acrylic on canvas   -   SOLD

And please don't forget to enter my giveaway!
Click HERE and enter to win an original art print from my shop.

Studio Details

I've so enjoyed having my own studio space this fall.  It was definitely worth giving up our guest room. As with most home studio offices, the room is shifting and changing to meet my creative needs. Furniture is removed, lighting is added as editing is always a process oriented endeavor. I feel like this new space is starting to settle, though, and I'm finding a rhythm. Here are some shots of the space as it exists in this moment. 

My artwork can be purchased HERE

The Art Studio of Cara Livermore

Cara Livermore is an artist who sells her beautiful wares at SewIndieShop on Etsy.  Her studio was featured a while back on the Etsy blog but I wanted to share it here as well. Her studio is located on the third floor of an old home in Rochester, NY. When asked why she needed to create a studio for herself, Cara says, "I finally decided that I needed to live my life the way I always wanted to; I needed to make art full time or I wouldn’t be happy."  Read the full article HERE.

You can also find Cara on Pinterest or at her home site, HERE.