Monday, April 7, 2008

Too Many Art Supplies; Not Enough Space!

Most artists would agree that it's impossible to have too many art supplies. We just can't resist all those luscious colors and tend to accumulate them until they seem to reproduce themselves, and then we run out of space to store them.

That's the situation I found myself in last week when I wanted to paint. The new acrylic sets that I bought for a mural project that I decided not to do after all were still sitting waiting to find a home in the studio. They were in the way. So, instead of painting I ended up going through drawers, clearing out junk, moving supplies to the supply closet or setting aside duplicates to take to our getaway place in the woods. As usual, that set off a chain reaction of moving on to more studio projects, like clearing off the top of the taboret next to my easel so that there would be room for the laptop to be used for viewing reference photos. To accomplish that I needed to move a plastic cabinet that was storing pastels. In its former life it had been a tooth cabinet for dentures in my husband's dental office, and the drawers were just the right size for storing pastels. The problem was that it was just too tall to fit anywhere else, so in the end, I decided that it, too, would go to the Atlanta house.

Moving that cabinet made a huge difference in my easel workspace. As you can see above, the laptop fits perfectly in that spot, the small fan now sits on a flat surface in front of the window, and my brushes are now within easy reach. Before I had to get up out of the chair and walk around behind the easel to get to them. (I sit to paint because back problems prevent me from standing for very long at a time)

As I was moving around doing all this, "stuff" was crunching on the floor under my feet because Molly Kitty had knocked a plant off the shelf in front of the window. So out came the vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the remnants of the mess. While it was out, I figured that it might as well be put to use to clean the rest of the studio which was very dusty. Out came the cleaning rags and the Pledge, and now I have not only a neat but a clean studio to work in.

Above you can see my easel set up for painting. On the easel is my next painting project, "Apple Blossom Time", a plein air painting that I started two Springs ago but never finished. Also on the easel is a print of the reference photo, and on the taboret is the laptop which is displaying that same photo. Also visible are cabinets which hold pastels; lots and lots of pastels! I don't use them much anymore, but I do like to look at the lovely colors.

One of these days when the studio is a little more tidy, I might give you a tour of my whole workspace, such as it is. It's small so every available space has been put to use, and it is now quite functional and pleasant. In the meantime, that apple tree painting awaits! I can almost hear the bees as they buzz around pollinating the flowers.


Judy Wood said...

Wow, Karen, that looks like a miracle of calm and efficiency. I'm so jealous!! Well done.

Linda Shantz said...

What a nice studio, Karen! I'm green!!!! You'd cringe if you saw mine! :-)

Karen Thumm said...

Thanks Linda and Judy!

That is not the normal state of my studio, believe me! And I didn't show the rest on purpose. It's a lot messier. When I'm working on a piece of artwork, nornally there is stuff strewn all over. When I'm done, I clean up and put away, but the studio tends to be the junk room that collects a lot of papers to be filed.

I hate filing.