OBO studios Sparks Creativity in Downtown Cornwall

By Bob Peters
November 17, 2012

OBO Studios - CornwallCornwall Ontario - Tracy-Lynn Chisholm and Emily MacLeod are two friends who just happen to be incredibly talented artists. They both paint, and while each is accomplished in her own right, their styles could not be farther apart.  Emily is more of a realist, while Tracy-Lynn is known for her whimsical approach to painting.

The two women have something else in common: an entrepreneurial spirit that has resulted in the formation of OBO studios in Downtown Cornwall.

OBO studios is the working studio where both artists create their work on a day to day basis. It is also home to regular workshops where Emily and Tracy-Lynn mentor and gather with other artists and where anyone can come and explore their creative selves.

“It all started because we fell in love with the time we spent working together, not on joint projects but just in each other’s company,” says Emily. “We are each other’s muse, sounding board and problem solver.”

The only problem was that neither woman had a space large enough to be comfortable working in. Then, as with so many things in art, serendipity struck.

Tracy-Lynn was getting her glasses fixed at Axxis Opticals and happened to wander upstairs where she discovered a large, unused space on the second floor. The space was quite open and had high ceilings. She quickly called Emily and a lease was signed shortly afterwards.

“Our new space offers privacy when we need it and access when we want it to be available to others,” says Emily.  “We can be messy, but we can also fix it up pretty.”

That was in May 2012. The two women had been dreaming about a studio together for years. They settled on a name for their new studios - OBO studios (Our Beautiful Obsession) to reflect that long-simmering passion.

You can see the new studio on Sunday November 18 when OBO studios hosts its first “one-of-a-kind” holiday gift show. Emily and Tracy-Lynn have invited other Cornwall area artisans to display their wares at the studio. The show runs from Noon to 4:00 pm at 44 Pitt Street.

Don’t look for OBO studios to become home to regular public events – at least not yet. The Holiday gift show is just the second event held at the studio, and the two women are taking things one step at a time.

“OBO studios is not a typical business, maybe not really a business at all,” says Emily. “It is our joint workspace where sometimes we like to have other people come in and create with us. We are growing slowly and figuring out how much and how big we want to do things.”

It is important distinction that the studio workspace is much different than their individual efforts to create and sell their art.  Their paintings are popular and much sought after, and each has an online presence.

OBO studios is truly centred on the act of creating the art. Both women are collaborative by nature, and it’s not surprising that they often share their workspace with other local artists. They are mentoring artists to help them achieve their individual creative goals in their own medium.

You can follow OBO studios on Facebook at

You can also reach Emily and Tracy-Lynn on their respective websites:

Category: Arts and Entertainment