Sunday, September 8, 2013

Building an Art Studio

I am very excited - my husband is going to build me an art studio!  Presently, I am using the dining room table with a tabletop easel, keeping my pastels stacked in boxes on a chair.  When I am using my pastels, they end up spread all over!  This is, obviously, not ideal.  Suffice it to say, that we often end up eating dinner at the kitchen counter instead of at the dining room table.  Then there is the ever present problem of pastel dust.  I do my best to keep things tidy, but I worry about it getting into the carpet, into food, etc.  I would show you a picture of my current set up, but I am not that brave!

We have just begun the planning stage.  We have a spot picked out behind the house - a beautiful spot in the middle of a young grove of oak trees.  We have established that we are going to make it 12x16 feet, and have stomped around in the brush making sure that it would fit.  Ah, the excitement of the planning before the real work begins - my favorite!

I have gotten onto floorplanner, and spent some time trying to figure out how I will have things arranged in the new studio.  Did I mention that my treadmill is going in there too?  Floorplanner is a great website, where you make an account (for free) and they have all kinds of neat tools, not just to make a floor plan, but to fill it up with stuff (yes, they actually have a graphic for the treadmill). It is all to scale, and a very useful tool for getting organized.  You can not only see how your furniture will work in the room, but it is really handy for making sure that you don't make silly mistakes.  Like planning on putting your pastel table right where the door needs room to open.  Not that I am saying I did that....

I am working on how to most efficiently set up my pastels and my easel.  I would love to hear any advice from those of you who have gone through this process before.  I much prefer learning from other people's experiences, instead of learning the hard way by making mistakes!  I am currently thinking of having the standing easel towards the middle of the room but facing the front windows.  The light will be filtered, but fairly consistent, as it will be coming through the oaks most of the day.  (See the photo below)  I am hoping that there will be enough ambient light, at least on fairly bright days, but I am sure that I will have to have some additional lighting for those dark, rainy, Pacific Northwest days!  Then I was planning on a long table off to the side to hold pastels and to work sitting at when I am painting smaller pieces.  Or maybe a table for pastels, and a second table, arranged so as to make an L shape, for sitting and painting?  There will of course have to be some storage.  That treadmill is really going to be feeling crowded!

We are hoping to start clearing the site this weekend - wish me luck!  (Really, please do - we suspect that there is a nest of bald faced hornets in there somewhere!)