Meanwhile the building is progressing in our 'free time' while we're also continuing with Painting, Sculpture and Custom Lighting work.
We made our overall plan and we would tackle it in stages – studio side would be first...
Yes, for us the Art side came first - more important than those 'basic living accommodations' - gotta have your priorities ;)
When completed, it would be one very long building with Art business on one side and home on the other. We created the design to take advantage of the building site for passive solar and solar heated water, too - with large south facing windows.
Our design plan centered around those breathtaking views of Yellowstone National Park.
The gallery window ended up framing electric peak beautifully... my Be Your Own Architect book was working!
We began building on 07-07-2007, and not long after we started hearing stories of economic problems in the Art World. Projects were drying up for many artists and crafts people. Our creative friends were looking for 'day jobs' to pay the bills.
It seemed to be hitting hard all across the board in the Art World. Although, it hadn’t touch us - yet. Since we had commissions lined up for quite a while, we had a bit of 'insulation' there. But we could see the writing on the wall.
Now, we owned 2 houses. The one across the country in the Adirondacks was up for sale. Time was ticking on that one - it needed to sell SOON. This wasn’t feeling like good timing.
Artists are often the 'canary in the coal mine' for the economy. We had been self-employed artists since the mid-90's and had never seen anything like this before. Uh oh.
We couldn't build fast enough, as the economy continued to slip in the Art World and beyond.
Around 2008, with the housing market crash, we started feeling the effects of the tumbling economy, since a good portion of our work came from the new construction market. And the new construction market was changing dramatically and quickly.
We brainstormed for ideas to diversify – obviously it had to be something outside the Art world. We hadn't done anything in that realm for a very long time!
Never occurred to us before, but now we started noticing the rental market in Gardiner.
Hmmm... Could that be an option? Maybe - if we could get out of our house we were living in ASAP. Then, we could rent that space.
Well, the new house and studio weren’t done yet (sounding familiar??). It was the best plan we came up with...