Art Barn is Complete

Breaking my silence to finally be able to say…

My art barn is done.


It took, from concept to design to construction, two years. But it’s at long last complete (minus a backsplash and a chandelier, but hey, those aren’t necessarily requirements for making art).

PicMonkey Collage


There were some sizable setbacks, like the 6.0 Napa earthquake just two weeks after I closed on the property, and learning–after a soil test during pre-construction–that I needed to excavate thousands of tons of dirt and truck in engineered dirt that was more stable for a foundation. Tantamount to all of this was what I placed on myself: very high expectations. I have felt on shaky ground getting to this point, consistently asking myself, did I take on too much?

Upon reflection, all of those mornings over the past two years calculating every construction cost; waking to the skull-rattling sound of hammering and sawing on the hill; watching (and worrying) as construction workers balanced themselves on narrow wooden beams 30’+ above ground; and the rare, startling occurrences like the emergency landing of a hot air balloon have all collectively been the key part of the journey. Building anything is risky, but the exhilaration during the process and at the end is heady stuff!

I am looking forward to hosting small art gatherings here as well as a few offsite workshops during Craft Napa, but as my office is headquartered in the loft, I’m eager to execute other ventures too.

For the moment, though, I am pretty happy that the building part is finally behind me.






51 responses

  1. Congratulations!! Your doggies are adorable. Mine are so senior they can’t be boarded so it will be a while before I can make it over to Napa. Anything overnight is out of the question right now. Don’t know/trust anyone who can stay with blind/deaf 17 year old cattle dog. But, someday, I will get over to see your place and participate in classes, etc. That you had a vision and saw it through is pretty incredible and very inspiring. I live in an old track house and have to budget for even the smallest improvements and necessities so I know all too well about trying to make the money stretch. Have a wonderful day. Patricia in Santa Rosa

  2. Congratulations! It looks stunning. I hope I guet the chance to experience classes or any other creative and crazy ideas you have at the barn some day!

  3. Congratulations! I too, can hardly wait to experience classes in your Art Barn. So very glad you persevered through the whole thing.

  4. So thrilled to hear you pronounce it complete. Your journey has been such an inspiration. Well done, Pokey. Well done.

  5. Congratulations!! Really good things always stand the test of time and endurance!!
    Now onward and upward!!!
    Let the creativity begin with bursting!!
    God bless!
    Sharon Hultgren
    Still quilting the Easy way!

  6. Congratulations Pokey! I know you have worked hard to reach this point. I hope to attend Craft Napa in the future. best regards, Kathryn

  7. Congratulations! How wonderful…my very best wishes for future excitement at The Barn….lots of workshops for all of us and I look forward to joining you and many others playing in The Barn!

  8. Congratulations Pokey! What a wonderful feeling to see it through to the finish line. I built a studio 8 years ago and remember well that excitement and sigh of relief when it was done. I hope to take a workshop there one of these days. I love what you are doing now and I was a big fan of your shows! I never had a TV but would purchase them online. Thank You for continuing your art journey and for sharing it with all of us! You are the best!

    Warm regards,


  9. Congratulations, Pokey! It’s always nice to see a dream come true. Karey Bresenhan

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. Pokey! You are an amazing individual! What you have accomplished will be a wonderful addition to the art world! Bravo, old friend!

  11. Wow, I’m jealous! I get way more excited about a great work space than I do about a house any day. I love that it’s SO SPACIOUS!! OMG up here in Seattle every square inch is fought over. I actually pay for 5 little studio spaces in the ActivSpace facility. Expensive., And my living space is microscopic. … I really like the garage door on your place;. I’ve noticed some of my favorite restaurants up here have in common a well placed garage door that can be opened on nice days, (at least one of them used to be an auto repair garage) and it’s instantly an indoor-outdoor cafe! Love it! If i ever get organized enough and stop spending all my money on guitars and tubas, it would be amazing to manifest a work space like that. (that i can fill with musical instruments, of course!). I’d be happy with a fraction of that!…and i could live in one corner. It’s very inspiring to me to hear a story like yours where the person has a long term large vision that they actually find a way to make it happen. ..and it will be a place where you can do your art and have friends over…and just be a artistic happening that will spin out good stuff to the people all around. Your garage is gorgeous; Stupendous!!! Congratulations on making your artistic vision a reality!!!! It’s very inspiring. Good for you, Pokey! ‘Tuba’ Jim Parfitt in Seattle

  12. Dear Pokey,
    Congratulations on achieving your dream. You continue to be an amazing inspiration to me and to so many other artists. Hugs to you for your example of perseverance and resilience.

  13. It’s a space filled with dreams and possibilities! Perfect and in a beautiful place. I’d love to come for a workshop or retreat. Napa is such a peaceful place. Congratulations on a huge accomplishment.

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