Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicken Coop

What's your studio like?

A place in the basement? A spare room in the house? The kitchen table? A shed out on the lawn? How about a converted chicken coop?

I met Kevin Mizner at my last workshop and that's exactly what he has. A chicken coop studio! I couldn't imagine it. How must it smell in an old chicken coop? Lots of silly phrases followed that I can't really post here, but suffice it to say, we went from giggles to hysterics over our creative comments. One led to another as we built upon the previous absurdity. All I can tell you is when a painting goes south, he simply says he laid an egg. You'll have to imagine the rest...

His town is conveniently located between my house and where Nora Kasten was staying. Yesterday we all met there for a studio visit and painting session. The chicken coop made a great studio! It smelled of fresh cut pine from all the new boards he lined the ceiling and walls with. Kevin showed me pictures of how it looked a year ago when he first bought the property. The low water-stained ceiling nearly grazed the top of his head. When he removed it, a wonderful open cathedral space was revealed. He kept a small section of ceiling, creating a storage loft above and a cozy easy-chair living space beneath. His dog Champ lays quietly on the scattered rugs. I don't have to tell you about studio pets. You already know about their loyal companionship.

Kevin gave us a tour through his beautiful historic farmhouse. His paintings hung in every room. One of my favorites was these boats. I loved the light he captured on this typical coastal scene. Mizner paints scenes of Maine, most of which are familiar nearby subjects.

There was ample room for us all. You can see my latest painting on the easel. Its still a work in progress, but is nearing completion. It was a very productive day.

Nora chose to sit, observe and talk with us. I love having conversations of art with various artists. Everyone has their own ideas and sharing our views is so stimulating. The energy floating around this chicken coop studio was wonderful. Nora don't be mad I posted your picture. You're beautiful, baby! Our time together has been so special. Safe travels as you go on your way...

Kevin thanks so much for letting us crash your chicken coop. ( I must stop or some of those silly phrases will just pop out!)


  1. Susan,

    I always love to see the behind-the-scenes view of an artist in his/her studio. Thank you for sharing this!

    Take care,

  2. ha! I am trying to convince my hubby to let me use the chicken coop. I will have to show him this.

  3. How unique! Looks like a great space! I love seeing other artists studios. :) Thanks for sharing.

  4. Susan- Our time together has been just what the doctor ordered. It was a joy to see your painting come together yesterday and it is so nice I hope you sign it soon. It really is a winner.

    You did a great writing on Kevin's studio and home. I'm directing those reading my blog to get the best info from you.

    Knowing our paths will cross again, I send you Love and Blessings,

  5. Love this! I can feel the hominess and wonderful creative spirit in this place. For years I painted on kitchen tables, in old attics, down the basement, where ever I could squeeze a spot. Then a couple of years ago I inherited some money and so built my dream studio, 494 sq. ft. with a loft and separate from the house. NO PHONE! Small bathroom with composting toilet and water for the sink and shower; tiny kitchenette for cooking up my pots of steamed silk, and room to leave stuff out if I want to! I also give workshops here now and can take up to 8 people. Is this heaven or what?
    And you're right, Nora is beautiful!

  6. Thanks for the behind the scenes peek into Kevin's studio Susan. I love his boat painting! It looks like such a calm day on the water.

  7. Karen your studio does sound like heaven!

  8. Ma chère Susan... J'aurais aimé être une petite fourmi dans ce poulailler, mais agréable atelier!
    Je suis certaine que vous avez passé une excellente journée créative... et aussi amicale. Bisoussssss

  9. Love your studio! As an artist, I know what it means to me to have one.

    The Studio...
    "The Studio, a room to which the artist consigns himself for life, is naturally important, not only as a workplace, but as a source of inspiration. And it usually manages, one way or another, to turn up in his product" Grace Clueck

    Warmest Regards, Darcy
    "Art is a Pigment Of Your Imagination"

  10. Parabéns Suzan
    Obrigado por nos mandar imagens tão lindas
    Nós que pintamos do natural
    gostaríamos de ver todas essas paisagens
    Um abraço
    Antonio Machado

  11. You seem to be continuing to have a marvellous time together. How wonderful it must be to have so many artists around you. If it were not for the support I get from folks like you I would be all alone in my corner of the world. Working today thanks to you.


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