I rang the bell and waited on the front porch, wondering what that strong sound of rushing water meant. No sprinkler system going, no stream visible. The answer lay in the beautifully landscaped patio and back yard - a man-made waterfall into the pool. A BIG waterfall. Right beside this bucolic setting was the studio, an artist’s dream space of high ceilings, lights galore, and natural wood floors, which Bill Killebrew himself laid. Throw in a balcony loft with plenty of storage and even a sleeping room for those nights when the juice is flowing and so is the paint. Built in 2005 on an angle into the steep hill behind the house (for extra strength and resistance to the forces of water and earth) and attached on both the first floor and loft levels, the studio is part of the main structure, yet on a bit of an island. Prior to completing this premier space, Bill made the typical studio progression from using a spare bedroom to the garage to the basement with it’s 7 foot ceilings. And then this. He recently added the lower level of skylights on the hill side of the room solving a lighting challenge on that wall. There’re a lot of unique qualities to this space. It is certainly the only studio I’ve visited that has lines suspended from the ceiling to dry out the artist’s sails in between racing his Lightning class sailboat. I also can’t recall another roll top desk used as a functional part of the workflow - and this one came with the house when Bill and his wife moved in in the ’90’s. All in all, a wonderful blend of proximity and privacy, inspiration and functionality, light and mood.
From the artist: “This studio fits right in with the way I work. It allows me to ‘live’ with the piece, be around it all the time until I get past the stopping points, figure out what’s bothering me about it, fix it and move on.”