Cottage Street Studios, rear view

Studio Ruminations

I rented an art studio at Cottage Street Studios (pictured) for eight years (2004–2012) and loved it. It was always a 10-minute walk from where I lived. But my life changed, and I let go of that beloved space.

A couple of years later, I moved to a new town, bought a rustic house on an acre of land, and set up a studio in my basement. It has served me pretty well over the past eight years. For many reasons (radon, mold, low ceilings, low light), basements are not ideal, but on the positive side, it’s easy to get to, and I can turn up the music and act as goofily as I want without worrying about disturbing anyone. And I don’t pay any more for it than I am already paying for my living space.

Occasionally, though, I do have pangs of longing for another loft-type space, on a high floor, with high ceilings, large, openable, screened windows, awe-inspiring natural light, and a community of fellow artists. But I don’t think I’m willing to make a 20–30 minute drive several days per week for that luxury. I’ve had my eye on the beautiful Ludlow Mills, a former 19th century jute twine mill near where I live. But the redevelopment of that complex is proceeding at a snail’s pace. And the developers seem to be prioritizing residential-type spaces (and of course, a brewery) over art studios. I guess homes and breweries are where the money is. So for now, I keep calm and basement on.

I would have loved to have spent more time at today’s Open Studios event at Cottage Street Studios, visiting all of my old friends who still work in the building. But I was just in town for a quick minute to grab a few art supplies at Guild Art Supply. Also, the recent uptick in Covid cases makes me leery of spending prolonged periods of time inside of enclosed public spaces.

Before I left town, I paused on the little bridge over the waterway that runs underneath and alongside the building, to take this shot and reminisce deeply.