Posted by on Sep 16, 2013

We thought you might enjoy a tour around the studio so you can see where the magic happens. Pretty much the only part of the process that doesn’t (often) occur in the studio is taking reference shots of Maddie. So, without further ado, the tour:

How you enter the studio is almost as important as what you’ll see in the studio itself. Kathleen’s studio is located on the third floor of her house and the door at the bottom of the stairs helps usher you up.

Kathleen Harte Gilsenan's Studio Tour

These signs are actually on the inside of the door, but that works out very well since the door is usually open and you can see them in the second floor hallway.

The stairwell is spacious and open, filled with light from the window at the top. All of the wall space in this two-story stairwell makes a perfect place to display many pieces of framed artwork.

Kathleen's children's book and greeting card illustrations.

Kathleen’s children’s book and greeting card illustrations.

Seeing as Maddie Lab Studio is a family business, it is only appropriate that one wall of the stairwell features artwork done by the whole family. At least one piece of artwork done by each family member is displayed.

I suppose that's what you get when your mother is an artist and your father is an architect.

I suppose that’s what you get when your mother is an artist and your father is an architect.

The third wall of the stairwell features Kathleen’s more recent work for Maddie Lab Studio. The largest frames are ones that she uses when she displays the art in art shows, such as the upcoming one in January 2014 at the Millburn Public Library.

Now those look familiar!

Now those look familiar!

When looking up the stairs into the studio itself, you can begin to tell that Kathleen has an art book addiction. This bookshelf comprises only a small portion of her rather impressive collection of art books.

Everywhere you look in this studio, there is something cool to see. The shelves are all covered with figurines, objects to be used as reference, and other beautiful or interesting things. Oh yeah, and sometimes there are art supplies too.

Everywhere you look in this studio, there is something cool to see. The shelves are all covered with figurines, objects to be used as reference, and other beautiful or interesting things. Oh yeah, and sometimes there are art supplies too.

The back section of the studio is where Kathleen does the majority of her artwork.

Kathleen has some of her original drawings and full color illustrations on the wall. It gives the place a nice, cozy feel!

Kathleen has some of her original drawings and full color illustrations on the wall. It gives the place a nice, cozy feel!

Kathleen’s easel is where she does her drawing and painting. (Along the left side of the photo above.) She has track and task lighting to help brighten up the desk top under the sloped ceiling.The wall/ceiling is also covered in sketches and photographs. The photos are mostly of friends and family, and the sketches are studies, projects that are partially completed, and sometimes even little doodles.

Under the desk, to the right, you can see Maddie's bed. It's large enough for two dogs, as Kathleen hopes to get another puppy in the not-too-distant future.

Under the desk, to the right, you can see Maddie’s bed. It’s large enough for two dogs, as Kathleen hopes to get another puppy in the not-too-distant future.

To the left of her easel, Kathleen likes to keep some books about her favorite illustrators. Who wouldn’t want to work on their art with the likes of N. C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell for company?

Hey there, Shirley Hughes, how's it goin'?

Hey there, Shirley Hughes, how’s it goin’?

As we’ve mentioned before, the color for the Maddie Lab Studio illustrations is added on the computer. You can stop worrying that this would mean Kathleen would have to leave her amazing studio. On another desk, one behind the chimney that cannot be seen from the stairs, is a set-up for the laptop and a few printers.

Under the laptop, you can see the corner of the black Wacom tablet that Kathleen has been using to draw on the computer.

Under the laptop, you can see the corner of the black Wacom tablet that Kathleen has been using to draw on the computer.

To the left of the computer desk is another desk that has a second easel, a light box, and just generally more space for doing things. Beyond that desk is Jim’s desk/corner and a TV. Because, if Jim’s going to be the financial guru of Maddie Lab Studio, we figured that he should at least get a corner of the studio. The TV is for watching movies while painting, etc. It gets pretty difficult to use your laptop for watching movies when you’re also trying to use it to make art.

Here you go Jim. I'll take 90% of the third floor, but I'll give you a desk and a chair. OK, maybe some filing cabinets too.

Here you go Jim. I’ll take 90% of the third floor, but I’ll give you a desk and a chair. OK, maybe some filing cabinets too.

Earlier in our tour, when we got to the top of the stairs, we went to the left around the chimney. Now we’re going to go back to the top of the stairs and to the right. I suppose you could also climb over the white desk in the photo above, but that just seems like so much effort.

Bookcases line the “hallway” going to the right of the chimney and down behind Jim’s desk area. This is where Kathleen keeps the rest of her collection of art books. Though I’m sure there are other art books mixed in with books throughout the rest of the house, so maybe it’s not quite the rest of the collection.

Maybe we could start an art lending library!

Maybe we could start an art lending library!

The newest addition to the studio space is the packaging area. (Yes, that’s really what we’re calling it.) It’s opposite the taller/closer book shelf in the above photo and to the right of Jim’s desk. This packaging center has made life so much easier. Instead of going down to the dining room and packaging the artwork there, all of the work can now be done in the studio. It has helped streamline the whole process so much more.

This little nook in a dormer of the room make a perfect place for a counter height desk and all of the packaging supplies one could need.

This little nook in a dormer of the room make a perfect place for a counter height desk and all of the packaging supplies one could need.

And because I know I would get in trouble if I didn’t share this with you, here is a photo that helps you understand the height of the studio and showcases the exposed beams. These beams are Kathleen’s favorite part about the studio because they let her pretend she’s in a barn.

OK, she's right. Those beams are pretty cool.

OK, she’s right. Those beams are pretty cool.

And to leave you, I’ll let you see the new poster that is adorning the walls of this studio: The Many Faces of Maddie

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