Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory.

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light brown varnished wooden floor.

So, we outfitted it with all the necessities that make a conservatory the space it's meant to be. Garden chairs for lounging in, a small table for your drink and various plants. It looked good. Then I decided I could incorporate the art studio I'd always wanted. We'd acquired the appropriate furnishings, including table, chest of drawers and shelving, and, me being an inveterate collector of antique curios, eclectic souvenirs and oddities of a theatrical nature, I decorated the space with much of that, plus the wild west artefacts I'd acquired over the years.

So it became a fun space to create in, maybe except for perhaps fighting with a hanging plastic luminous Halloween skeleton to get to my table. At least, fun was the idea, and our son, who is himself a fan of the kind of surroundings I'd created, thought it fab!

The old Art Space!
But depression (I was on antidepressants which really helped most of the time) got in the way of my enjoyment of the space. I never felt truly happy there and I felt disappointed about that. I'd read about artists working in their studios and loving it and being inspired by their space, and I was tremendously jealous of them. Plus the fact that they'd work there all day long. I couldn't do that - it would drive me crazy! I need variety of space and variety of activities. Hence my inability to become a professional, full time artist. As a result of this, I suppose, I was always too shy/embarrassed to call my space an art studio and Husband always took me to task over that.

Unfortunately, because of thirty years of depression and my lack of domestic leanings, the house had become neglected, and my studio space even more so. Plus there was the problem of where to store all my creativity materials. All manner of 'stuff' was shoved wherever I could shove it.

Then, five years ago over the Christmas period, I had a medication crisis on Prozac and I became suicidal. The short version of this story is that, through sheer luck and wonderful neighbours, we were introduced to the brilliant mental health team who literally cured me with a new prescription of antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Over a period of three years and onwards, and making a major decision that would finally eradicate the depression, I became better than I'd ever been. A strange, novel, amazing feeling. Particularly waking up feeling good, and that becoming a consistent occurrence!

So we've been able to get to grips with areas of life that badly needed sorting, and do the things that we'd been unable to do because of my depression and Husband's work. One of those things was to redecorate the entire house. First the utility room (now looking fabulous!). Next, we knocked our bathroom and toilet into one. It's gorgeous now. Then - something we'd promised ourselves eventually - a brand new conservatory. Old one demolished, new one built.

That happened last summer, and the result is fantabulous! The slowly rotting brown wood frame is kaput - gone. The corrugated transparent sloping roof, covered in pretty green moss so that no light could get in, has gone. All replaced by a beautifully light, bright, expansive space. I'd painted those red brick exterior walls bright white. The floor is now covered in warm, light brown textured tiles. The conservatory frame is white plastic, so no fear of it rotting and having to creosote it annually to prevent that. The roof is apex shaped against the house wall, giving us this amazing glass extension. We have new furniture to suit it. It's gorgeous. We were able to do all this because we'd been unable to do much before because of my depression and husband's work, and we're very good at saving money! I also came into an inheritance which meant we could afford to do it.

Most of the items that had populated the old conservatory came back in, but some of the older, shabbier pieces were consigned to charity or the local tip for recycling. My old wooden desk, for example, rescued from dad-in-law's old office, had seen better days. We replaced that with a beautiful sizable glass and wrought iron table and accompanying shelving which we'd found in the charity shop, and which now houses my various collections and theatrical oddities. I still have to find places for other bits and pieces that husband would preferably like me to chuck!

But, most important of all is that I'm using the glass table as a creative area, and I'm becoming happier working there. In fact, I'm beginning to enjoy it! I've never felt that way before. I'm working on making it a slightly less chaotic area, but I have my doubts about that. Organised chaos would be a good state to strive for. On the table I have a basket of acrylics and gouache paints, pots for pastels, coloured pencils and pens, charcoal, and more weird and wonderful oddments sitting among them. My art portfolios lie under the table, as do various sized sketchbooks. In the utility room behind me are more baskets containing collage, sculpture and 3D materials.

When I'm sitting there I can look out onto our garden and see how that's coming along. It's a rather wild space, as expected, but we're slowly whipping it into submission. During the winter I use a heater in the conservatory and gaze through the glass up at the sky. As studio space, it is ideal. I have a ton of light and an excellent source of water, and a cleaning area in the utility room or the kitchen, off the conservatory. The kind of creative space that many an artist would kill for!

I'm so lucky. All I've got to do now is actually use it, and enjoy it, and I'm certainly working on that!

About Jo B Creative

Jo B Creative.
Hi, I'm a quirky creative, mental health advocate, traveller, wild west & ghost nut intrigued by science, a renaissance soul with a potty sense of humour.

Five years ago I began a miraculous journey to full recovery from 30 years of depression. The catalyst was a medication crisis.

A brilliant mental health team prescribed a medication, California Rocket Fuel (love it!) & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Now I'm better than I've ever been & I'm rebuilding my eclectic, adventurous creativity & life.  I'm sharing my experiences to give other sufferers of depression hope.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

The Star Wars Saga: Episode II, Attack of the Clones *All Spoilers*

Continuing my series of posts, as one of my local TV stations shows every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens, here is my response to and thoughts on Star Wars, Episode II, Attack of the Clones.

After The Phantom Menace I just wasn't interested in seeing Episode II in the cinema. I don't think I made any effort to see it or even had any anticipation for it's release.

Revive Skateboards, Design a Lifeline Competition - My Pizza Monkeys Entry Submission

About a month ago Revive Skateboards launched their #DesignALifeline competition where entrants had to purchase a specific Lifeline template skateboard deck, draw their design on it, and then post a photo of their finished board to Instagram with the hashtag #designalifeline.

With only 200 template boards being made available, I liked those odds, and bought a deck within an hour of seeing the competition announcement video on the day it was posted. The deck cost me US$40.00 and about that again to have it mailed to Australia. It's the most expensive competition entry I've paid for to date.



The winner gets to have their design released as an official deck as part of Revive's Spring 2020 product release. As well they get three copies of their deck along with a sponsor pack (which typically consists of a number of decks, clothes, wheels etc. from Revive's range). Four runners up will get a sponsor package only.

If you're thinking you might like to enter, unfortunatel…

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured).

At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop, Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self. As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside.

Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme, was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2, because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below.



My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went nowhere on the char…

Momentary pauses in cyberspace...

I got to thinking about blogs and the fact that anyone can leave a comment to my posts. When someone comments, the polite thing to do is to respond with a comment under theirs. This may prompt an additional comment but really that person has no real intention of in depth discussion. They're just passing through.

It's a lot like walking down the street with a complete stranger approaching from the opposite direction. Your intention is to simply pass them by but as you come within talking distance the stranger says 'Hi, nice day isn't it.' Like they needed to share that little highlight of information to brighten your day too.

You can smile and nod in agreement, or go so far as to say 'Yes isn't it' whilst passing by without so much as a break in stride. It's all that is required to be polite.

Sometimes though, you want a bit more from your stranger. Why did they decide to say 'Hi' to you? Unfortunately you can't back track and ask your stran…

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…

The Lego Man - He's got all that!

Who would have thought that owning one of the worlds largest, private Lego collections could take you so far. Tom Lucieer of Angaston, South Australia, not only has met the Queen (of England) but is a frequent guest of her majesty and family when they are in Australia. He's also met Prince Charles, Lady Diana and Camila Parker-Bowles. Not only that, he grew up with TV Vet, Dr Harry, and is a friend of the Irwin family (yes, that's Steve Irwin's family).

Tom will happily tell you all this as part of the guided tour of his collection, which, aside from Lego, includes much railway memorabilia and colourful anecdotes about days gone by, his achievements and more. Frequently he will finish each particular monologue with the phrase, "Have you got that?", just to check that he hasn't confused you because, as he points out, his display and the stories behind it are a lot to take in at once.

In the photo you can see Tom holding a special award, which I think is for bein…