Ready to work: A brief studio tour

A panorama view of botanical artist Wren Allen's studio, with paper storage, flex-arm lamps and a drawing table.

Where the magic happens: My studio.

Sometimes I think there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to organizing a creative workspace:

  • People who like a clean, empty desk at the end of the day;
  • People who let stuff pile up while they’re working on a project and clean up before starting the next one.

I’m in the latter group. 😉

One of the first things I did after finishing up the drawing module portfolio was to clean off my drawing table and work surfaces, re-organize my pencils, throw out dead specimens, and generally build an atmosphere of calm before the next storm of creative chaos hits.

A drawing table with slant board, flowers and a drawing pad in Wren Allen's studio.

Ready to get back to work. A new drawing board to help prevent neck crunching plus some inspiring subjects to draw!

Enjoy it now, it won’t last long! 🙂

Christmas inspiration

Close up view of poinsettia bracts, Ice Punch variety

“Ice Punch” is the name of this poinsettia variety. I decorated for Christmas using 3 big poinsettia plants this year–no tree!

Don’t you just love poinsettias? I decided to decorate using just some big poinsettia plants this year instead of stressing about whether to get a potted tree or a fake one. These new varieties, “Ice Punch” and “Red Glitter” add a little change of pace to the normal scarlet velvet of the classic plant.

Red and white bracts of "Red Glitter" poinsettia.

This harlequin poinsettia is called “Red Glitter.” The general class of multi-colored poinsettias is known as “jingle bell” poinsettias by nurserymen and marketers.

Hope you have a wonderful week celebrating Christmas and all the winter holidays!

Resources: Here is a link to the legend of the poinsettia. You can find out about the botanical history of the plant here.


Still in search of the perfect studio set-up

A couple of weeks ago, I enlisted the Wrenaissance Man’s assistance and moved my drawing table yet again. I simply couldn’t stand having my hand cast shadows across my work. This time the table runs parallel to the window wall and one edge slightly overlaps the edge of the Wrenaissance Man’s L-shaped work top.

Sawhorse drawing table, director's chair and studio set-up

I can’t stop movin’ you. My drawing table now faces the window. But will it stay there?

Now light flows in across the front of the desk, eliminating hand shadows. Corrie is quite pleased about the cushion on a foot stool next to the window for her outdoor observation pleasure, lol!

Unfortunately, this does backlight any still life or live specimen set-ups. There’s one other flaw: the egg-poaching bright light that comes through that window in the afternoon. The light here really is more powerful and glaring than other climates.

A drawing table facing a brightly lit window is not ergonomic for the eyes.

Arrgh, my eyes! Trying to work facing this glare is a recipe for eyestrain!

Next step is measuring the windows and finding a light-diffusing blind or roller shade that would fit in the shallow profile between the screen and the front edge of the wood frame.

Right now we are using some Ultrasuede panels that were left behind by the previous owner. These completely block the light, making a comfortable environment for color photography work on the computer. Unfortunately, I want full, but diffuse natural light.

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