New Outdoor Art Studio

Did I ever tell you that our backyard used to be a dirt patch? It would have been perfectly lovely for a team of dogs, but it’s driven me nuts since we first moved in.

 I’ve tried all sorts of hacks to make it more appealing. I’m a DIY-hacky kind of girl, after all!. First, we made a cute brick path and filled the entire yard in with wood chips. Ugh. It was pretty, but not recommended with small, barefoot children…I hate learning things the hard way! Months passed. This was followed by a half-failed attempt at seeding my own lawn. Again, learning the hard way. Another month passed before I got the sense to ask our gardener about installing sod.

And it took him one day to make it beautiful. That’s it. One day.

As soon as the grass was laid and watered my 3 year old and I wanted to run around on it. Feeling the grass under our toes was divine.

We’ve been enjoying the garden in all sorts of ways — playing in the sand box, picnics, gardening, building bridges, and of course…making art. I taped some large paper directly to the side of the house for an instant easel. The grooves from the siding gave N the additional challenge of working with a bumpy constraint, but she figured out how to work with it. When we’re indoors she rarely draws with crayons (markers are her tool of choice), but in a new place with new challenges, the crayons became more appealing.

Related to this, I recently spotted this clever way to dry outdoor paintings. Suspend rope between poles and/or trees and add some clothespins to keep the work secure. It’s not original. I’ve seen this before and I expect you have too, but I’ve never thought about setting up a clothes line for art in my own yard. Time to get to it before the weather turns and keeps us indoors.

Is there a part of your home that feels like it’s kept you and your family from reaching your full potential?

What could you do to make it work?

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Like your outdoor-drawing-place… I hang the paintings of my daughters always outside (if the weather is okay)- they dry fast and the wind can’t blow them away. I wish my kitchen would be bigger and I could put a bigger table there- since this is our only place for creative projects.

    • rachelle says

      rahel, i wish for a larger kitchen too! we can’t fit a table in ours and use our dining room table for just about everything.

  2. says

    Our backyard is a work in progress, it was such a mess when we first moved in and bit by bit we are trying new things (it is rather large so it has to be bit by bit for us to afford it!). Love your art space, we have missed taking our art things outdoors over winter and look forward to lots of outdoor art during spring and summer :)

    • rachelle says

      I feel the same way about our yard (except that it’s far from huge!), Christie. I’ll soon be envious of your warm sunshiny outdoor adventures. I’m bracing myself!

    • rachelle says

      Ha! I’m in the same boat, Jill. A scrappy yard AND a tiny bathroom. You strike me as a nice Mommy, and I can only imagine your superstar potential if you were to have your own bathroom!

  3. says

    i love that you taped the pages directly to the wall! that’s how i prefer to work, personally, but as a renter, i always feel like i don’t have a spot to do so here. or maybe i do… i’ll have to rethink this! when we repurposed our shed into a….um…”playhouse” (not cool enough to be called a playhouse, so i usually say playshed – http://paintcutpaste.com/shed-turned-playhouse/) we strung two retractable clotheslines up in our playshed where we dry our art. (i’ve never dried clothes out there on it actually – just art. shame.) thanks for sharing your space — it looks amazing! and well, in this case, your grass is greener on your side of the fence. you’ve seen our weed-covered (but greenish) yard.

    • rachelle says

      Ha! We never could have drawn against the stucco walls of our old place and I didn’t think too much of putting painter’s tape on the walls. (although there was a firm conversation about how we were going to try to keep crayons on the paper and off the walls). I love your play shed. It’s much larger than your traditional play house…it’s like an extra room in the house!

  4. says

    Our spare room (sometimes office, sometimes play room, always storage-y) tends towards entropy. No matter how I try to clean/organize/give stuff away, the room is always a big clutter magnet. Sometimes I fantasize about simply dynamiting it off the house. I think it’s the only way. :)

  5. says

    So excited, we’re converting our rat-infested garage (I know, ick!) and turning it into an art studio for me and the kids! The best part: it wasn’t even my idea, it was Hubby’s, because he wants to get all of our art and craft supplies and projects out of the house. Yipee!

    Thanks for sharing your outdoor art studio. Your daughter looks happy out there and I’m sure will be having lots of fun with all your great projects :-)

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