Kim Williams meets the artist who has turned an old coach house into an inspiring studio and home for her delightful pieces of art.

Nestled on a leafy Gullane street lies a gorgeous outbuilding, originally built to house horse-drawn carriages. Lovingly converted, it is now an enchanting studio space and houses work by local artist Stacey Karsgaard. Here she can draw, paint and print-make on her 100-year-old ‘mangle press’.

After graduating from Edinburgh’s Napier University with a degree in Graphic Communications, Stacey worked in advertising and marketing both in the UK and Canada. After having children, Stacey decided to spend time at summer art schools which in turn, led her back to first love, painting and drawing. And Coach House Creatives was born.

Her studio is a delightful space to visit. The airy, light-filled space really encourages the visitor just to mooch and enjoy the stunning pieces of artwork. Resplendently displayed is the family’s Canadian canoe, brought back with them on their return from Toronto. Stacey laughs “It’s not allowed in salt water, so really this is the only place for it!” Also, adding a quirky detail to the studio is the 100-year-old mangle press, found by Stacey in a Berwick antique shop, which she uses to print wood and lino-cut pieces.

It’s these tiny quirky details and her observation of the world around her that inspire Stacey’s creative process. Her daily dog walks on the beach, time spent with her two children and her love of the coastline and natural world – its shapes and formations. “The sea is never far from my thoughts”, Stacey adds “Drawing and painting the coast and wildlife suits my loose, scratchy, messy style! These subjects allow me more artistic license.”

Her work, is far from messy, it is a simply delightful collection of watercolours, pen and ink drawings and prints. It is however, Stacey’s experimental techniques which gives her work a distinctive style. Stacey adds “I’m currently a bit obsessed with using salt crystals and seeing how they change the finished piece.” It’s an experiment which works, the salt crystals add a quirky element to her delightful watercolours.

As well as exhibiting from her studio, Stacey’s work can be found at whynot? in North Berwick and at various artisan fairs around the county. Pieces can be framed or unframed and are all very affordable.

The Coach House, Broadgait, Gullane EH31 2DJ | e: |
also at WHYNOT? • 91 High Street, North Berwick