Studio Style 

Wendy Hollender 

By Wendy Hollender 

Originally appearing in The Botanical Artist – Volume 17, Issue 4 

 

I have had many studio spaces in my lifetime but none as magical as my current one. Ironically it was not built as a room, but was originally a hallway. Converting the barn from horses to people, I added windows and a staircase leading to the loft. In the stairway I added a row of three adjoining windows looking out over the farm, and in the hallway, I added two skylights . Here, the roof is steeply pitched, leaving a 25-foot long area about 36 inches deep and high that I decided was ideal for a wall of flat files for storing artwork and supplies. 

I remember the first time I walked up that stairway. The bright sunlit walkway with a panoramic view of the gardens and mountains beyond was an ideal space for gazing out and basking in the warm light. I loved the way this space felt, so I carried up my drawing board and just put it in the middle of the hallway! 

I quickly discovered that I enjoy working in the middle of things more than being tucked away in a private quiet area. People walk by. I hear them talking downstairs. It keeps me from feeling isolated while putting in the long hours necessary at the drawing board. If I need silence, I pop on my head set for a book or music. I happily sit in this “studio” and work. 

In this space, I am happy no matter how beautiful it is outdoors. I work with all the comforts of electric pencil sharpeners, dissecting microscope, and a long expanse of counter space to keep all my reference material, laptop and art supplies near by. 

With this experience the last 2 years, my priorities for a good work space are: 

Find or create a space that you like to be in, so that you are happy to stay in it for long periods of time. 

Good natural light is essential, as is the ability to block out excessive sunlight with window shades when needed. 

Aim for lots of flat file, storage and counter space for holding art supplies, reference material, books and artwork easily accesible.

Easy access to art supplies is essential, saving time and frustration. 

Have lots of electrical outlets for laptop, microscope, pencil sharpener, phone - all essential to the modern working artist. 

I think the most important thing for a studio space is to really like being there. That way, when the long hours of work needed to complete a botanical work of art are making you antsy to be somewhere else, that somewhere else might just be hanging out in the studio! 

  • Looking over Wendy’s drawing table and out the new windows
  • A large bank of flat files provides great storage and a platform for all electrical needs