Sunday, January 9, 2022

State of the Studio

 I'm doing a little re-organization in the studio; maybe that is organization. Not re-organization. So I've pulled out all my paints and organized them by color into plastic tubs. I'm putting up some pegboard, which is really painful to do with my arthritic right hand (right handed with a drill driver), but it will be worth it. The goal is to have easy access to my paints and tools (shelves, etc, on the peg board), and to be able to put them away and clear the decks for new projects at any given time. I need to be able to shift gears more easily. 

I generally keep my tools in similar plastic tubs, but each tub contains all the tools I need for Project X, or Technique Y. When seeking a bone folder or a painting knife or a squeegee I have to paw through multiple tubs in endless search. 

How do you organize your paints and tools and surfaces? Love to know. Please comment - I have to moderate comments because of bot/spam comments, but I check every day for those 'awaiting moderation'. Thanks!

Studio Portrait

A View from the Loft (my office and yoga space)

The Fluid Acrylics and a few High Flow


Trying to Color Code the Tubs - this one is reds that are not Tomato Red or Orange. I have another box for just the Cadmium reds, Pyrrole reds, and oranges. This one is for the outliers such as pinks, magenta, and my beloved Quinacridone Gold.
Installation of pegboard in process
The Tubes of Heavy Body

Nelson, my studio assistant (he's technically a subcontractor, as he chooses his own hours and brings his own tools - which are very sharp; he also assists other projects, so he is not on the payroll.)

17 comments:

  1. I haven't been able to see your space, so this is great. I'd still love to photograph your studio "on a dark day like today" for my lighting portfolio. Love your art!

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    1. Do let me know when you are in the area. For readers, Donna Leban designed the lighting for me for in this studio. We still have not met in person.

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  2. I love the idea of separating color families into their own bins---brilliant! Now I just need more SPACE (I have a 12 foot table, but there's still never enough room).

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  3. Good morning! Thank you for sharing your workspace. I live in a very small apartment (3 1/2) in Quebec City. My workspace is in my living room ... I have a small desk on which I work small projects, I put small chests in which are my pencils, a large desk to store my papers, my tablets and my pieces of paper for collage and a bookcase with doors and baskets to store my tools and paint. I have a folding table that I set up in the middle for my big projects and an easel. Sorry for my English, I have to use a translator. I wish you a very happy new year 2022, good projects and good health! P.S. your assistant is really cute! Sincerely, Sylvie

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    1. Merci bien, Sylvie! I love the idea of bookcases with doors, and baskets inside. Happy New Year! Bonne Année!

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  4. Hi Jane - I worked with a professional organizer for my studio. Best tip - have a "tools"drawer for things like bone folders . Rulers up on the wall and as I work in watercolour as well, two separate banks of drawers for each type of brushes, mediums, palettes etc. Her advice - sort and purge, use appropriate size containers for each colour group of paint and this is the hard one for me, put stuff away (PSA) - cheers - wish I had your yoga and office space too

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    1. I'm thinking of a professional organizer because I really suck at KEEPING things organized for my work style. Plus, with teaching, I'm always getting out stuff for workshops that isn't necessarily what I use in my painting practice. Sounds like you have a good system.

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  5. Love your stripes, Jane, and your website. And your cat too!

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  6. My paints are similarly organised, in icecream tubs. It is interesting that you mention arthritis in your right hand. I feel your pain. I also have arthritis and find that my hand 'seizes up' when I've been painting for too long.

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    1. Mine gets tired with painting too, but the drill driver really was a challenge.

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  7. Perfect time for this post! Preparing to move (downsizing in the process) and organizing while packing. Had kept colors separate by primaries and secondaries; turquoises and neutrals; blacks and grays.
    Will be easier further dividing into subgroups! Thanks!

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    1. Don't organize too finely, or it's too hard to put everything in its place. I guess that is the way I see the challenge: organize so that it is EASY to put stuff away. When my paints are out (all the time), I need all my colors. But I want to be able to clear off the space and find stuff easily, so I'm trying this colors-in-a-bucket system. We'll see how that works.

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  8. My husband bought me a Husky metal 12 drawer unit on wheels. The wood top is 62 x 36 which can support my mat cutter as well as just a great surface to work on. All drawers are labeled. It stores the majority of my paints, brushes, inks, tools, spray paints, etc. It is all at my finger tips. The major way I stored supplies before my Husky were odd wooden cabinets, walls of stacked plastic drawer units, book shelves, tool boxes,etc. Being an art teacher for 36 years I have accumulated too many Gooood things. I try hard to stay away from being a pack rat.... but as soon as I thin out the supplies I will inevitably need it. Thankfully my studio is large and able to hold previously mentioned as well as a large professional drafting table, a recliner, sink, sewing table, printing station, 2 five wide flat drawer units to hold full sheets of watercolor paper as well as other types of paper and storage for frames, finished work and work in progress.
    Look into the Husky unit. I found it only at Home Depot. It is the one where the top can fold down on the non drawer side. This allows you to sit in a tall chair with your legs under the top....just like a desk.

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  9. Helpful, as I'm creating a new studio space out of my old after a house fire Oct. 2020. Just back in the house 14 mo. later! But in a much improved studio space at least. Reading the comments, I think it would be hard to have paints tucked away in drawers, as the colors always inspire my next move. Off-topic question about the cat: do you often find hairs on your paintings as you work or after? Our beloved cat would love to come down into the studio (and I'd love to have her), but I used to find carpet fibers in my light colored paintings and am afraid of cat hairs, now, too. How do you manage them? Pick them out with tweezers? Thanks!

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  10. No advice about studio organization, but have to say how much I love your striped apron as you pose before your striped paintings!

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  11. I'm doing some of that as well and can totally empathize with having to hunt for things when I go to use them -- I honestly wonder at times where on earth things have gone b/c some of the ones I have looked for recently are still MIA. My workspace is a small-ish room and there are many more supplies than there is reasonable room for as I do mostly mixed media so in addition to paints I have inks, fabric, wire, yarn, wood pieces, many different papers, sari silk, lots of beads, and on and on . . . it's a constant to find better ways of putting things in some kind of accessible 'order' -- the thing I discovered recently was to get things out of fabric cubes and into clear plastic things so I can see what's in them.

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I have had some spam comments lately, advertising of stupid stuff. So I am moderating comments until I can figure out a better way to prevent spam. THANKS!