Where an artist creates can profoundly affect his art. When I thought about where to locate my new studio, I considered an addition or a studio/shed. The first would take too long and the second lacked appeal to me. I thought about the things that inspire me, living on Cape Cod, and being out on the water. Plus I love boats....
My last boat was a wooden sailboat that I restored. I thought maybe a old wooden sailboat that I could repurpose as a studio would be very cool, but there just isn't enough space down below. So I began my search after announcing I was going to have a boat as a studio. No one believed me, least of all Teresa.
I even checked Craig's list, where I found a listing for an abandoned cabin cruiser in the water in New London CT.
We were going right by there the next weekend in order to visit the owner of our Border Terrier Kevyn's sire.
The boat was perfect. It is a Stamas 32, which is 2 feet wider than normal for its size, with a big cabin, and best of all, the engines had already been removed saving a few thousand dollars. We arrived at the breeder's house and mentioned we had bought a cabin cruiser on the way there. This was probably not much of a surprise as having three Border Terriers is already proof of insanity.
I arranged to have it trucked to Cape Cod. No small thing, as it is oversize in width and height, and it had to cross three states. The flybridge was removed along with the auxillary generator, and then a couple of weeks later it arrived at our house.
This was not going to be an easy project. It was a mess.There were miles of wiring and control cables to be removed along with 30 years of junk. I gutted the whole interior and scrubbed it out several times. Each day I worked on it, I would simply throw my clothes away at the end of the day because of the oil and bilge water crud.
I finally got down to this, although still not a studio-like space. I moved the bulkhead forward and continued the floor right across where there were three steps down to the galley and forward berths.
I wanted it to look like it was ready to launch, so I spent a lot of time on the outside as well, and I also had a pier constructed next to it for access.
I framed and insulated the interior, wired it, and lined it with white cedar from New Hampshire that I milled with my brother-in-law. I wanted the inside to be modern with tile flooring, LED lighting and mini-split heat and AC system. It all plugs into a shorepower unit on the side of the garage. It is also good to have the oxy-acetylene away from any living space.
My studios have always been the space behind our shop and they had limited windows and visibility. For the first time I not only have 360 degrees of visibility but I am two stories up. It took me some time to adjust to being so visible myself, and to work with all the glass around me and views to distract me.
It now seems very normal for me, and I am not locked away in a back room or basement any more, but a part of the world around me. I am surrounded with Teresa's gardens and I am visited by various wildlife as well as clients and the Fed Ex delivery man.
The real bonus was the flybridge. I had a bimini top made and it is like having another room, sort of a tree house. I don't know where my next studio will be, but this one will always be the coolest.