3 Ways to Create Art on a Construction Site

Earlier than expected

My aim to create art around living on a construction site began with an enthusiastic, “Yes, please!” Our builder decided he could start on the long-anticipated repairs and remodel of our older home four months earlier than he’d originally planned. Good available builders are currently as rare as hen’s teeth in New Zealand. 

home demolition

Demolition of Bill’s office floor revealed the extent of borer damage to the rimu flooring throughout the older part of our home.

We shoved our living room furniture to an interim set up in the corner of the dining room away from the woodburner (it was late fall down-under). 

Display shelves and sideboards were unloaded into boxes which were shifted into nearby rooms rendering them unusable. 

All the stuff from Bill’s office, including several desktop computers from the old business, cluttered the remainder of the area.

Plans change

The new consensus was that the kitchen and the lounge would be the last floors replaced because it made sense logistically. This came after our late nights  spent clearing the lounge floor.

An emergency project erupted for our builder. So, we lived in a partially demolished home with no progress for two weeks while he tended to that.

Making lemonade

It was time to make the best of it!

The huge space cleared in front of the warm fire proved to be perfect for sorting and tossing unwanted business leftovers. Testing old computers revealed useful files and recyclable parts. I also discovered treasures, not only in back up and hard drives, but, also in many stacks of CDs. We made multiple trips to town offload sellable items for Orphan’s Aide. 

How to create Art around living in a construction Site-what I've learned so far


Planning skills, which I’d found vital from the earliest years of my art practice, were very useful for planning the restoration of our home. Timelines, alongside easily readable simple project flow charts for our builder, were fashioned.

The peace of mind derived from this simple practice gave me the courage to get back into the studio during the continued upheaval and chaos of getting our home restored and renewed.

2. Prepare

With anticipating the floor and home restoration project months ago,  I moved my art room from the now dining room area to it’s beautiful new digs last summer.

I  worked hard to make it my creative sanctuary arguably during a time I should have been on summer holiday.  

I was pleased that when the building project was delayed for two weeks I could simply take advantage of the break to make art.  No regrets there.

3. embrace opportunities to create Art

It’s good to embrace opportunities in life, such as an earlier-than-planned remodel. Sometimes, it means sidelining studio efforts for a short time.  

In my project planning,  I purposefully set aside time to create art.

I have created art every possible moment. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes. It’s a sanity saver.

Your Turn

What overwhelming situations have arisen that you’ve had to work around to create art?

What things did you learn from that time that help you going forward?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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