07 November 2008


Hi there!

This blog tells the story of how I designed and built a painting studio on my back lot. It's easy to look through. Go to the right sidebar and refer to the Contents list. You can begin at The Prologue, Number 1. and proceed numerically via the sidebar contents (remember to read each section from the bottom up — blogs present the most recent content first) or browse in whatever section looks interesting. This blog is no longer active, but my painting blog is.

Come see what I now create in my studio at suzannemcdermott.com. You can also visit My Great Day.

Learn about my Online Drawing and Watercolor Courses where you can join me in my studio online!

Thanks for coming by.

23 January 2008

Full Circle

I am leaving you with the two paintings that hang by the side of the front studio door. The top is the second watercolor I made in the studio, a copy of Carel Fabritus The Goldfinch featured on the opening post on My Great Day. The bottom is my painting of the old shed that originally stood on the site of the new studio and is featured in the prologue to this blog.

Have I told you how much I love it here in my studio?  I do!  And how grateful that I was able to realize this project?  I am! 

If you've arrived at this page as a first time visitor, I refer you to the contents in the sidebar where you can read about the designing, building and coming to life of my painting studio in an orderly manner.

This blog now merges into my other blogs with daily postings from this studio:

Landscape into Art, my main painting site

My Great Day where I post influences, art history and music essays, videos, photos and personal what-not

Studies and Sketches, various studies and drawings

and The Grand Tour, weekly Sunday posts of paintings made while I was touring as a singer songwriter.

Many thanks to Laurie McCarriar for her support throughout this building project. Laurie is a photographer in Asheville, NC who makes fabulous prints and notecards of my paintings and with whom I've collaborated on a number of design projects.

Buy or download my Songs and CDs

22 January 2008

Landscape into Art

Finally, I was ready to undertake my major project, Landcape into Art. A year to prepare and, as I write this, three months underway.

21 January 2008

The Garden

The studio was dressed in paint but otherwise looked rather naked. I laid out and dug perennial beds. Along the path I planted lavender, geranium, rosemary and other delights. I was so looking forward to the lavender maturing but not one of the eight plants survived the brutal heat wave and extreme drought last summer.

One by one, I replaced them with marigolds and other things. A friend said that a perennial garden is never finished. This past year, I've learned what thrives (rosemary, geranium, salvia, anise hyssop) and what doesn't.

Here's the end of the first summer in October glory.

20 January 2008

Private Lessons

On occasion, I will give private lessons. In this case, guitar lessons to the daughter of one of my charter class members.

Ten-year old girls should rule the world.

19 January 2008

Book Shelves

I cannot even remember when I made these but one day, I woke up and decided to put everything on hold and build these shelves. At day's end, I was very pleased with myself.

18 January 2008

Meet Tallulah

The short story is that I released the kitten after her recovery then trapped the extremely feral cat we thought was her mother. That cat, who saved the kitten's life and doted on her, turned out to be male and Feline Leukemia Positive. He could not be released back into the "wild", he was not a cat who could be domesticated and the consensus among the veterinarians was to euthanize him. It was one of the worst things I have ever had to do and he is buried out back under his favorite bird hunting spot.

The kitten had to be isolated and tested for Leukemia at three and again at six months. The original plan was that the studio was going to be a cat free zone. Well, I thought, OK, six months. She sat at the front door and watched for her parent cat for weeks.

But here she is as a wild kitten...

... scrawny and flea bitten.

And here she is, a month or so later, helping with art history research.

Fourteen months later, she is as much a part of this studio as I am. She has it made, is content, thriving (Leukemia free) and, I admit it, I am head over heels in love with her.

What can I say? I mean, look at her.

To paraphrase Jean Cocteau, the cat is the soul of the studio made visible.