During the winter of 2005, we built a studio on the southeast corner of our property. It sits snuggled into a natural slope, and with its red roof and asian style porch screens, it has added a whole new dimension to life at Swale Way. At thirty feet square, the new studio is probably one of the most spacious on the Cape. Its design is the result of years of planning and research, and shares features with various studios I have seen and admired over my lifetime.

The north wall of huge windows and the cathedral ceiling allow me to work in natural light. The windows start at the height of five feet and extend all the way up to the high ceiling. The oak floor lends a light and airy feeling. The interior’s completely open design accommodates work areas for painting in oils, water color and sumi-e, printing, and writing, as well as ample, well-lit gallery space. A chest-height 5” shelf for display runs all the way around the room. One short wall in the room has a countertop with kitchen sink for washing brushes and other equipment, and on the other side of the same wall is a full bathroom with washer and drier for laundering soiled work clothes and rags. The screened-in porch offers flexibility with receptions and exhibits, as well as a pleasant space for rest and reflection.

We designed the building to be environmentally efficient. During the winter season, the warm air blown in from a small gas wall heater is recycled with the help of two ceiling fans. In the summer, windows on the south, east, and west walls take advantage of the prevailing southwest winds to ventilate and cool the room. Six-inch walls insulate the room year round, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. There is an integrated ventilation system, which allows for a complete exchange of air when working with oil paints and solvents.