A New Art Studio / by Jeannine Cook

It's completed! I am sitting in my new art studio in Spain, marvelling in space, light and all sorts of new possibilities. I now know a little better the excitement of which I have read countless times - when an artist gets his or her new studio.

From being a dark and damp garage built in the late 50s, this studio has metamorphosed into a high-ceilinged space filled with the brilliance of Mediterranean light. White walls, large windows and a large mirror all make that difference. A speckled cream tiled floor completes the airy look. I have spent the last week or so finding simple, functional furniture to install, complemented with comfortable chairs and wide table surfaces.

Beyond, through the windows, I am watching doves sip water at a bowl shaded by gracious elms, while blackbirds are carefully inspecting the wonderfully sculptural fig tree to see how ripe the figs are after the intense heat we had last week. Not ripe enough! No matter, they and the other fig-lovers (semi-wild rowdy parakeets and humans alike) will be watching carefully, day by day. The intense luminous cerise of bougainvilleas punctuate the dappled greens of trees, while the cascade of blue plumbago flowers tumble out of cypress trees to meet the lemony white or shocking pink of oleanders. Today is cool and almost springlike, to the relief of all, save - perhaps - the northern tourists at the beach. Black caps and Sardinian warblers join sparrows in song as they flit amongst the white bougainvillea and jasmine.

The studio is such a delight that it is almost inhibiting. Will I be able to produce art worthy of this space...? Time alone will give me that answer. But at least I can now savour more fully what each artist feels when he or she moves into a new dream studio.