Happy.  That’s the first adjective Carol Mode used during my visit to describe her beloved studio space.  When she walks through the door from the living area of her home, a palpable energy and sense of well-being infuses her.  Joy, ideas, questions, self-critique are welcomed by-products.  An airy, neat space with a high ceiling and painted white, it seems to make the abstract designs and vivid colors flow freely from within, through her brushes and onto the canvas.  Originally, the room had two windows at normal height and inexpensive wood paneling, all of which was distracting.  Out they went and in their place, solid walls.  One wall serves to hold Carol’s extensive collection of art books and music CD’s (she has 2000 songs loaded on her ipod) within custom-made cabinets.  Across the top she then installed a row of square windows, giving her the natural light she desired without the visual distractions of driveway and street views.  A sink, storage racks for canvases, a couple of tables, gallery lighting later, and she arrived at the intersection of pleasing and efficient.  Sometimes late at night, she’ll wander back in with PJ’s on, sit in her upholstered tub chair, put on a little music, maybe pull down a favorite book of art, study her own work, and reflect on just how good life is.

From the artist:  “I look through my books right here in the studio, not in the other parts of the house.  They inspire me, open me up to new ideas.”

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