Over the last three years, I have had four homes and five studios. Every workspace had something I loved—soaring ceilings, big white walls, a skylight where I could watch birds fly by, a door that led into the forest—and I did my best to make each one my own. But sometimes you find a space that resonates in a different way: a space that somehow, through a kind of glorious alchemy, becomes your space. Over the past few weeks, as I've settled into my new studio—a refinished two-story garage behind our house on a quiet, tree-lined street—it has really become my space.
It is filled with my special things: spiral-shaped seashells from the South Carolina coast; an embroidery from a friend that says “Make a home wherever you are”; a little stuffed pig from Guatemala made from woven rainbow cloth; a plant that was my grandmother's that reminds me of her green thumb. It has books and watercolor paints, jewelry-making supplies and stacks of colored paper. It has drawings I've made over the years and a new painting still in progress. It has a comfy chair for me and a little cushion for my dog Gus, and a big colorful rug where we sometimes take naps together.
I begin every day here, climbing up to the second floor while juggling a glass of water, a mug of tea and my laptop. Gus follows along behind me, taking the last few steps two at a time before finding a sunny spot and falling asleep on the rug. I draw, I write, I paint, I read. I sometimes sit in my chair and stare out the window at the house across the street and the sky beyond. When I am here, I feel safe.
What makes one space different from another? What makes your body and soul breathe a sigh of relief when you enter a room, as though you have come home after a long time traveling? What is it that gives your imagination the freedom to wander, the wings to explore?
Whatever it is, whatever mysterious connection exists between people and the places that become their own, I am grateful. And as I spend more time dreaming and creating here this Winter, I look forward to sharing it all with you.