I moved into this studio above our garage about 6 years ago. Before we fixed it up, it was an unfinished space with bats flying around. Rob had been working on me for years to consider making the area into a studio. I loved my work space downstairs, which was a room conveniently located just off our living room. When the boys were young, I could work and keep an eye on them at the same time, but now they didn’t want or need me to keep an eye on them. At first I thought the 24′ x 24′ room would be too large a space for me to feel comfortable working in, but now I’m glad for the extra room. I like cozy spaces and my actual working area is quite small, but I need room for storing my materials and for displaying all of the things that I like to have around for inspiration.
Picking colors for the walls and trim was important. I wanted the feel of being inside a cantaloupe, with green trim, like the inside layer of rind right next to the orange fruit. I tried out different shades of paint , buying quarts and painting sheets of foam core board to hold up around the room, in different light. I ended up with a light peachy shade for the walls and a light green for the window trim. The painters looked at me funny when I showed them my choice, but later they said, “You know, this came out pretty good”. I also painted an old chest of drawers to match with brighter shades of orange and green. The paint had names like pumpkin seed, summer town and prairie splendor. I wonder whose job it is to come up with paint names!
Rob calls my studio “Kit Peak” from the years when I cranked out a steady stream of Blossom Fairy kits. I gave up the kits a couple of years ago in order to finish illustrating my new book, which is a hefty 72 pages. Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes is now in production and will be released next fall. It takes a whole year after the artwork is delivered for a book to get to the bookstores. The pieces are photographed, the type layout is designed and corrected, copy is edited and corrected, printing proofs made and corrected, printing and binding done and then the books are sent via a container ship back from Hong Kong. I just saw the newest layouts of the book and Houghton Mifflin is doing such a good production job that I can hardly contain my excitement!