phm studio spaces: studio lab

Artist Name: Sandee Manuel
Shop Name and Url: Studio LAB
City: Oceanside, California

Where in your home/apartment/city is your studio located?

My Studio is 2 blocks from The Oceanside Pier and about a mile from my home, so this lucky girl gets to bike to "work!" The name "Studio LAB" came from the "AVAILABLE" sign on the door. I scratched out the letters leaving "LAB". Nobody got the LAB idea, so I had to tack on "Studio." I share it with fellow artist, Keikichi Honna.

What equipment/tools do you use?

My most treasured tools are my brushes. When I was in school a rep. from Isabey showed us a short documentary about the history of this French company (est.1895). I was so amazed on how generations of women learned this lost art of brush-making by hand. From the lecture I gained respect for my brushes, and it wasn't as painful dropping bank for these babies.
I also use my digital 35mm to take pictures for commissioned portraits, and of course my 5th limb - my Macbook.

Do you have an inspiration board, and can you tell us what is inspiring you now?

Tried the inspiration board thing, but soon after I ran out of wall space, so I went for a more organized approach - folders. I have different folders that I keep sketches or magazine clippings in for new ideas or even a kind of wish list.
I have a folder for:
Art inspirations
Sewing ideas
Jewelry sketches
A children's book I'm collaborating on
My "One Wish Project" (
and another for my personal life, goals, etc. Visualizing and organizational skills are vital for me!

Right now, I'm coming back to my Organic Abstractions - I'd like to think of it as my more formal work. They are quite large in size and I've decided to go even bigger - 6'x6', if I don't go blind painting them first. You have to see them in person to appreciate the obsessive detail.

How do you create best (e.g. do you listen to music while you create and if so what?)

I create best now that I've quit my job and can be in the studio full-time.
I also don't have kids and my partner lives in Cuba, so I have no excuse to be distracted.
My current audio rotation...
NPR is always on
The Chill station or Coffee House on Sirius Radio.
Lhasa de sela
Beth Orton
Los Lobos
Maria Callas
Cuban music when I'm feeling nostalgic.
I also listen to books on tape, so I catch up with my "reading" whilst in the studio.

List (3) of your favorite artists

I love when art can make me laugh:

Tom Friedman
Maurizio Cattelan

fun work to check out:
ruth gwily
Stephanie Dotson

If yours isn't, what would be your perfect studio?

I've had many studio spaces and my last studio was in my living-room when I bought my condo is San Francisco (I couldn't afford my studio and a mortgage).
Since moving to Oceanside I found a great space (in fact it's in the same building as my first studio 12 years ago - talk about full circle).
I'm quite in love with my studio, but a view of Notre Dame wouldn't be bad either. I guess I could add that to my wish list folder :)

Thanks Sandee!

Jan Halvarson


lisa solomon said...

i also love tom friedman :)

Nicki said...

You are Awesome!!! Where can I buy your jewlery??

Kathy S said...

You are a true inspiration!!

Stacy said...

thanks for sharing your inspirations.. i love your studio!

Cricket said...

Hi Angel Girl, I am so inspired by you and utterly proud that you are following your passion. I feel like I am right there with you. Best of luck babe to you sweetie. Maybe I'll pick up a brush and paint something since you inspired me. Love and hugs.

Matthew said...

When you leave, don't forget to shut the yights! When are we going to have snacks?

Sandee Manuel said...

We can have snacks when you bring your yummy wine!