“My Mother always wanted to paint,” Tina said. “But there was never any space for her, never any time – between the family and the shop and taking care of my Dad, a whole lifetime slipped away. Before she knew it she was in her eighties, and then she was gone. After we buried her, we were cleaning out her house and in her bedroom closet I found all these boxes of paint and brushes and stacks of canvases – things she’d planned to use and never did.” Tina took a deep breath. “So I signed up for a painting class. To keep her dream alive.”
Tina’s Boston home is on the small side, a situation complicated by the fact she has two children and her husband runs a business out of the home. “So if I was going to paint, I needed a place to be uninterrupted. That’s what gave me the idea of having the basement finished and turning that space into a studio.
Renovating the basement to serve as an art studio or other creative work space is an increasingly popular option in Boston. Painters, quilters, artists and crafters all need open space to do their favorite things; basements are chronically underutilized spaces in many homes. “Our basement had the usual things – the furnace and whatnot – and a few boxes of old papers. Once the basement finishing company put the walls up and the floor in it looked like an entirely new space,” Tina explained. “So bright and airy – I couldn’t wait to get in there and set up my easel.” Her first few paintings don’t exactly look like something you’d find in a gallery, “But I’ve had a lot of fun,” Tina said, “and I think that’s what Mom would have wanted.”