Our attic has become a significant space. The use of said attic has been a subject of much discussion.

Three years ago it was a dark, unusable area containing an assortment of half-rotted furniture, a very old (still half full) Pastis bottle, and some decidedly untrustworthy interior walls; the roof leaked so badly that the rain would tastefully drip down 3 floors of the spiral staircase making the random placement of buckets an essential part of the stairway experience.

Those were the days …

Obviously getting a new roof was an essential, not to mention a huge (aka painful) investment.

So, in December 2014 the deal was done. Workmen arrived, and pretty soon we had no roof at all, which was seriously chilly, but it was also The Turning Point.

roofless in December

Roofless in December

Out went the walls and the rotting furniture, on went the water-tight insulated roof (joy!), in went new windows top, back and sides (more joy!) and now we have an enormous bright warm space beneath the impressive ancient beams.

There have been all sorts of ideas about what to do next, from home cinemas and games room (boy stuff) to self-contained apartment and art studio (the latter being my preference).

Unfortunately, since the recent collapse of the garage (another blog post to follow on that one – if not several) the attic has been refilled with junk (ie storage boxes we don’t know what to do with), bicycles, random furniture, more bicycles, and even other people’s junk …

On one crazy winter weekend I’d had enough, so proceeded to clear a small corner of floorspace which provided a matted area for a) exercise, b) dogs to play or sunbathe, or c) all 3.

Then in June, at a ladies lunchtime social, I bumped into Libby Page.

I was already aware that Libby has an important exhibition planned for the autumn. It’s a showcase for new work and I know how important it is to her to have several original paintings ready – and these original canvasses are not ‘small’.

We chatted a while, and I asked her how the painting was going. ‘Not so well’ was the reply. Studio space was definitely not working in her favour. I mentioned she would be welcome to adopt our mostly junk-filled but nonetheless bright and perfectly roofed attic. So a week or so later Libby came to visit. The space met with Libby’s approval, and after another few days, the Libby Page studio came to town, or to be precise, The Attic.

After a good few hours rebuilding shelves, hammering things into walls, and getting her all important teapot on the table and making the space her own, we (finally) have an artist in the attic. It’s fantastic!

Libby settles in (with teapot!)

Libby settles in (+ teapot!)

It’s not just wonderful to see the space being used, it’s also wonderful to watch the development of her amazing paintings as the weeks go by. Absolutely fascinating.

The Autumn exhibition has a few surprises in store, so I can’t publish any of the photographs here. There is one particular painting I am desperate to see, but like the rest of her fans I will have to wait until 29 October in Azille.

And who knows? When Libby has completed these paintings and packs up her paintbox to move on – I might just adopt the new Studio for myself before the snooker table and home cinema kit arrive …

Preparing canvasses

Preparing canvasses

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