We've got a row of 8 blinds across the back of the new studio space, which are presently white and which cover the floor-to-ceiling glass doors. These can be opened out onto the garden which, once it's recovered from the devastation of building work, will be green and handsome and, we hope, full of birds!
Right now the snow covers only the beginnings of a pond and a half-built wood store, so the blinds are closed as early as four o'clock. We came up with the idea, some time ago, of having each of our artist friends decorate a blind for us, so we'd have a ready-made installation of eight pieces of art to continually feast our eyes on after dark. Since we can only remove one blind at a time (or face being exposed to the entire street 24/7), we're doing them one by one.
The first is by Kelly Merrell. Kelly works mainly in felt pens and fine liners, and doodles rather than draws - her work has an obsessive intensity which belies the fact that she creates it in actually a rather casual, relaxed way; in front of the TV, in bed, on the sofa...but to gaze into it, you might think it's the product of hours spent in a darkened room alone with one's own thoughts and demons, no books, no phone, no daylight, no...
We gave her a brief and she produced a sketch - not Kelly's usual way of working, since her pieces are nearly always the product of a spontaneous imagination and are essentially self-perpetuating - then she got stuck in with black Poscas (in different sizes, leaving plenty of space in which the really intense parts could breathe). Result! It's possible to stare at it for hours and see things you haven't spotted before. You can also see more of Kelly's doodles on her Flickr page.
We've got the next few artists lined up, but we'll leave it till the winter's over before starting the next one. Brrrr. By then, the back wall should be built, so far fewer nosy neighbours will get a look-in... they're missing out on some great art though, poor souls.
Work in progress: