Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hi Resolution - A New Year's Studio Meet and Greet

Welcome to this exciting blog hop featuring twelve artist's studios.  For those of you that are new to hopping you will find an alphabetical list of artists and/or forward and backward buttons within each artist's posts to help guide you through the tour.  If you get lost, meet me back here and I'll get you back on track.

Our studio meet and greet showcases artists that may seem familiar.  If you look closely in the boutiques and stores around you, I bet you've seen their art and designs on products, fabric, wall art, calendars and all those retail goodies you desire.  This rare behind the scenes glimpse will give you a peek at artists in the wild, in their native habitat.  Please keep your hands inside the windows and please no flash photography.

You can see one of my paintings behind me, it's from my children's line of art
available from most of the well know children's retailers and a bazillion
places online.  You can also catch a glimpse of some of my many vintage Dr. Seuss

As your host, I'd like to start our tour with my own studio.  I'm a lucky guy, I have a studio on the same property as our home.  It's 100 feet from the house, far enough for me to escape doing dishes yet close enough for me to wander down to in my slippers and disheveled hair.  I've combed my hair and put on a clean shirt for you my visitors.  Welcome!

Here's a glimpse of some of my art that you'll see out there.
All of it is created in-studio by hand painting.  I do use a computer for color corrections
and to create derivatives.  I held off showing you my desk and computer space,
simply from the fact that it's loaded with projects and paperwork.  You've seen
one messy desk you've seen them all!

Two of my childhood favorites loom over my drawing table reminding
me to stay young at heart.

Besides being one of those artists with art and products out in the retail world, I also own a design company called Embellishments Kids, that specializes in interiors and custom stuff for children's environments including those fun over-the-top kids rooms.  I make a lot of custom accessories, props and bizarro stuff.  A terrible side effect of being in the "themey" biz is my habit of collecting things that speak to my inner child, who's barely a teenager.  Yes, still sweet and innocent...

art studio tour, studio ideas, artist studio, by Aaron Christensen
Now I know my ABC's, but as a reminder I have
them as a 3-D collage. 

The previous homeowner used the building to work on cars, which is not my thing.  So, with some elbow grease and finish carpentry I remodeled the space to my liking.  I  drilled and plumbed an old stainless steel bucket turning it into a wash basin for my brushes.  It's mounted on a storage cabinet I made out of repurposed cabinet doors.  A distressed paint job and galvanized tops finish it off.  The oversized chalkboard is actually a "secret" door (don't tell anyone), it leads to a really organized storage room for most of my art supplies and huge collection of books.  Did I mention it's really organized?  Gosh, for some reason I forgot to take a picture for you.  I guess you will have to take my word on it... really organized!

Anyone want to buy a vowel?

My collections of the unusual line the walls.   The guy
up in the left hand corner features a favorite quip.
"Man can not live by words alone, despite sometimes he has to eat them."
The "faux" sliding metal door leads to the wood shop.

Because I build props, furniture and fun stuff I needed a way to contain sawdust and hide the less than decorator wood shop.  So, I faux painted joined hollow core doors into my rusty metal pride and joy rolling door that weighs almost nothing.  I know, how weird to have anything rusty be pride and you get me now?

I have a large work table in the wood shop side for big projects.  In the studio side I either paint on an easel, my art table (where I'm seated above) or tinker on my little industrial rolling cart.  The only thing I haven't decided what to do with is the floor.  Right now it's raw concrete.  It's covered with years of stains, interesting gobs of goo and my own flourishes of spilled creativity.  I like the fact that I don't have to worry about it other than sweeping, but I would kinda like a floor covering.  I'd love suggestions.   

"I'm unimpressed by Aaron and his goings-on!"- Ricco

No studio tour would be complete without introducing you to my studio cat Ricco.  He's actually my son's cat but he drops by to take over my computer chair for his luxurious naps.  While he's great company he's no art aficionado.  I burn my candles at all ends, all hours of the day creating, crafting and doing my thing.  When I ask him for a little positive reinforcement all I get is a half hearted wince and he's back to napping.

I haven't been fully forthcoming with the pictures.  My desk and computer area was a tad messy and I only wanted you to think the best of me..ha!  The view out my window is a drizzly Portland grey.  Come spring, I may offer up some pictures of my beautiful yard that surrounds the studio and a less gloomy view out the window.  Heck, if there are any fellow plant geeks out there I'll show you some of my weirdo plants and sub-tropicals I'm coaxing along in our less than tropical northwest climate.

Here's a few of my favorite things.....

Inspired by Dr. Seuss, I created my original Nesting Head Doe.
You can follow her story over on my Embellishments Kids blog post
about being respectful of copyrights and how to be inspired without copying.

If a prisma color pencil sells for 1.75, I have my retirement fund invested
in a rainbow of colors.  Please no comments on my brush hygiene.  Come on, a guy
has to have at least one vice.  Mine is wrecking brushes.

In the world of digitized fonts, I love to browse my collection
of old typesetter catalogs.  There's some wonderfully inspiring oldies but

Well, you're on you way.  One studio tour complete.   If needed you'll find the restrooms behind you and there are snacks at our concession stand.  Let me turn your attention to the following list of art divas, Yep I'm the only non-diva (the facial hair is a problem).  Please hop on over to their studios by clicking either their names or you can progress using the forward or backward buttons you will find below.

Considering you are invisible voyeurs sneaking about our spaces without a trace, you might consider leaving any one of us a comment, following our blogs or checking our sidebars for links to our Facebook or Social Media haunts.  Drop us a line, say hi.  We are happy you are here and would love to make your acquaintance.

Thanks for joining me.  I look forward to hosting another studio hop, this summer and hope you will consider visiting again.

Hop along to the following (hover and click).....

or give this a whirl....hold on!

Or for you can go the other direction....


  1. Fabulous studio, Aaron, and studio cat! Leave the floor as is! Character and no fuss. Thanks so much for putting this studio tour together.

  2. wonderful!
    your space is so reflective of your work (or vice versa!)
    i love what looks like a large metal sliding door - fabulous!

    thanks Aaron!

  3. Very cool studio! How nice that it is only steps from your house.

    I think my favorite thing in your studio may be the clever bucket sink. I love that! Next in line is the faux metal sliding door and the delightful Nesting Head Doe!

    Thanks for the fun look into your studio!

  4. Awesome space Aaron, and you have good stuff (you'll understand now that means a lot coming from me!). I'm with Phyllis, leave the floor shabby-fabulous, and YES I would like to buy a vowel please.

  5. WOW Aaron, your studio is so cool! I love your "TO DO" chalkboard...I need something like that - a great idea! Thanks for putting this blog hop together. It's so much fun seeing everyone's creative spaces. Lots of cats hanging around our studios...MEOW.

  6. Sensational Working Space Aaron! I Agree With Phyllis, The Shabby Floor Is Fabulous! But I'm Crazy About The Faux Sliding Door. My Husband Is A Woodworker And We Had To Totally Separate Our Working Environments To Keep His Dust Out. Great Solution With Your Door..Now Why Didn't We Think Of That? Thanks So Much For The Tour ~ Loved Your Work And All That Went With It!

  7. thanks for sharing your space Aaron!

  8. I love what you've done here Aaron! Nice job in presentation and thanks for sharing your story and hosting other artists too :)

  9. Great idea Aaron! Your studio is amazing. Looking forward to the hop, all my favorite art peeps!

  10. What a great studio Aaron! Thanks for organizing the blog hop!

  11. Thanks everyone for taking the tour and your kind comments. From the feedback I've received, all of the artists have enjoyed being coerced along to get organized, clean and settle down long enough to write on their blogs. Myself included. We'll definitely do this again.

    The studio cat is still not impressed.....


  12. Wow, the door is to die for! And the Seussical deer head... LOVE your studio, Aaron and how evocative of your own personality it is.

  13. Aaron... love your art, love your studio space, and LOVE the bucket sink!! TOO FUN! I'm going to be adding a sink in my studio this summer... I'll have to keep that in mind. Thank you for sharing!

  14. I was just blown away by your studio, Aaron! I'd never seen your work before (at least not knowingly ;)) and I love it - especially that your art is all hand painted!
    I had to pin your studio to my "studio" pinterest board for my own studio project happening this summer. I'm going for "40's general store" in my decor.

  15. Aaron, this was absolutely delightful! What a great afternoon break to see your very cool studio and read your witty commentary. Your artwork is outstanding and so unique. Loved it!

  16. Aaron, what a great looking studio. Very manly yet inviting! OK, I'm so in love with that sink! And your deer head- what fun! Do your own kids have some of your amazing design work in their rooms or is it like the cobbler's son who has no shoes?
    A HUGE thank you for organizing and hosting our blog hop- you were very patient last night as some of us had some technical difficulties! Oh, and I didn't jump off the ledge ; )

  17. Such an inspiring studio space! I love the faux doors and the bucket sink the best. It's a feast for the eyes just as I would have expected! Thanks for sharing!

  18. great space Aaron! that rolling door is AWESOME! looks like the perfect place for lot-sa creative magic..

  19. Your studio is pure magic, I really enjoyed getting a look inside. Absolutely amazing. I love your blog post, are you referring to us as animals in the zoo LOL you are too funny. Thank you so much for organizing this you are an amazing host and we truly appreciate you. This was a challenge for me, one day I hope to figure out a way to make a fancy studio that reflects my personality. In the meantime I will live vicariously through my wonderful artist friends like you. THANKS!!!!

  20. Great tour Aaron-I am a fellow brush wrecker. I like to scrub with them.
    Your space is fabulous!

  21. Aaron, thanks so much for organizing this! This has been inspiring and insightful! I love seeing how people create! YOur space is fabulous! Love the "secret" door of your "super organized" closet that you "forgot" to take pictures of. You must have a lot of fun in here!

  22. Me too. Brush wrecker. Very common it seems. :) And what an amazing space! How wonderful to be able to work surrounded by the things that make you happy. :)

  23. Found out about your Blog Hop via Joan Beiriger's blog. Very inspiring. Love all the goodies in your own studio. I'm also a kid at heart too. Maybe all artists are.

    I did a post on my blog about your event -

    Best, Darlene

  24. Thanks for the tour! I really enjoy seeing how other artists organize and decorate their creative spaces. I enjoyed the tour very much! You all have wonderful areas to do what you love.

  25. What a wonderful you have windows to look out of? Even drizzle can be inspiring. You didn't show the top of your brushes but the handles look normal...
    I think I need to get a typesetter's book & make an alphabet collage for my graphic designer daughter.
    Thanks for the tour and look forward to the spring photos of your plants.

  26. Thanks for a very enjoyable tour around so many art studios!.. so many artists.... so many cats! and such a HUGE amount of talent, really enjoyed that folks
    Maureen lacey

  27. Love to see all the wonderful spaces. Looks like I'm going to have to add a cat to my studio!

  28. Thanks for sharing your studio space. Love the bucket sink and the shark!

  29. Your studio looks amazing Aaron - thanks for the sneak peek. The first thing I thought of was "Is this your studio or a set from Disney?"

  30. I love it, Aaron! It's definitely a GUY studio!
    And I like your friend too! Every studio needs one of those whiskered pals!

  31. You are so funny. Enjoyed the blog/tour. Especially, the 'really organized' art supply room. This was a great idea. Can't wait for the next one.

  32. I love this hop, it's a fantastic inspiration for creativity and those of us with the not so put together studio space! Thanks for sharing this.

  33. I love inner child is all of maybe 7 at times....sometime maybe

  34. Love love love Aaron!! Especially the door!!! I still want my in person tour though! Hehe. And I want your typesetting book!!!!! Would make looking for fonts soooo much easier!

  35. Very cool studio and I wish I was not allergic to cats so I could have one too! I am a total plant nut and live in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle area. I would love to see what plants you have, the more unusual the better, I love to collect plants. I press flowers and do watercolor painting and I also license my art. I have a gardening blog, a website and an etsy shop if you would like to take a look. At my blog there are links to the other sites. Thanks for sharing your studio, what a great space. Cheryl Welch