Motor City Cribs

Some couples mark a wall to document their kid's growth. Bloomfield Hills artist Jim Stella suspects his wife (and No. 1 fan, natch) Lisa of marking their basement floor to track his studio's inch-by-inch takeover of the space.

See, Stella and his paintings need lots of room. Though he's also a sculptor and illustrator, Stella's primary focus now is on large abstract canvases. And the guy's not much of a sleeper, so he'll frequently head downstairs at 2 or 3 in the morning to accommodate whatever inspiration.

The couple purchased the home, which was built in 1968, nine years ago and completely remodeled it. Early on, his studio ate up but a small area of the basement — now it pretty much is the basement (well, there's the washer and dryer).

Given Stella's creative energy, it's easy to imagine him filling up many basements in his lifetime — though they'd have to be nearby. "I love my studio because I can go whenever I want to," Stella says. "I don't have to get in my car and forget what I wanted to do by the time I get there."

You can check out more of Jim Stella's work at

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