Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop ~ Kari McKnight-Holbrook

Home is where the Art Fairies live...

Hello dear ones!  Kari here.  After being on the road so much this year, I am having serious studio separation anxiety.  The theme this month of homes and hideaways really hit a note.  This is how I feel about my home- its a magical place.  And my home studio runs from the peaked window at the top all the way over to the end of the house on the left.

I do have woods and creeks and a large pond and a barn, and even an ancient native american burial mound.  I have fields and apple trees and wild blackberry patches.  And no matter what anyone says, I think I have fairies and unicorns that play with the deer, fox, skunks, and raccoons.  We've even had a bear or two.  And my parents live right down the path, my brother and his family live right across the creek.  My grandparents lived across the creek too, until Grandpa passed away 4 years ago. Aunt, Uncle and cousins right beside them.  So this is my comfort zone, my nest- my hideaway.

I think I can only leave and travel so very much because I've always had this to come back home to.  I think it's so important to make your home, or your studio a place you want to come home to!  It calms your muse and lets her concentrate on important work like making art.  I thought I might share what accomplishes this for me.

To give me more storage, Dad and Mike built a half wall that gives me cabinets and counter space and hides shelving on the other side.  The cabinets were pulled from my office at work when they were remodeling.
I could have had fancy studio furniture and features, when I was putting it in new, however, I chose to fill it with things that make me cozy and comfortable.  Things I grew up with, things I was used to using at the office I had grown up working in.  I used furniture my parents bought when they were first married in order to house papers, maps and patterns.  I feel connected to the past with these pieces- grounded.

My most treasured possession is under that blue oilcloth.  It is the drafting table my Dad built for himself while he was in school to become and architect.  I have many many memories of him at that table!
The sloped ceilings were a bit of a challenge.  It was difficult to hang things, and made storage underneath a bit shallow.  Then we hit upon curtain rods!  Voila!  Ribbon storage galore, even for a shorty like myself!

I surround myself with the things I love, and make nice little tabletop displays.  It gives me a calm "resting" area, even if the room is messy and cluttered.  For example, my ironstone collection.

I feel even more "at home" and cozy because I have little bits of love tacked up all over the studio.  Art from nieces and nephews, art from friends near and far.

And my books.  Oh how I love my books!  Fatbooks, sketchbooks, blank books!  I can lose myself in books!   

I spend tons of time here when I am home.  However, I DON'T do most of my sketching here- weird huh?  I spend the majority of my time here making my sketches come to life.  Usually I sketch when I am away, or its the middle of the night, or on a plane.  I sketch and give myself notes of what I want to do once I get back here!!  Or I do the messy painting stuff here, and sketch with a pen and marker on the painted prepared backgrounds when I am out and about.

For example- I sketched this out (generally only for me- as a reminder) when I was on a plane coming home from Texas one time.  3 weeks later, the fairies were born.


And these sprung up out of my visit to a 'doll hospital.'

Here the journal helped me fully flesh out an idea for a future project and class, even while I was in the surgery waiting room for my husbands spinal surgery.  Both calming and productive for me.  Once I was able to get back into the studio, I was miles ahead of the game, able to work quickly in my nest, because I had thought it out in my sketchbook first!

Besides all my sketchbooks, I have tons of inspiration boards all around my studio, and over on my blog, I'll show you some up close.  There is also a giveaway for my "Backgrounds to Bindings" video over there- so pop on over:)                                                                               


  1. I always love seeing studios and you have a fantastic space.

  2. Love your work...but I LOVE your hideaway. Are you sure someone works here?'s so neat!

  3. you have such a wonderful space to create and you are such a an inspiration,

  4. I love this peak into your studio Kari and all your wonderful storage and display ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I want your studio. It is a wonderful place.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful storybook home. (your studio is awesome too) May the fairies and unicorns never leave!