How does one create a studio out of basically nothing? One gets honest about what's necessary and what isn't when it comes to getting work done.
Because we recently fled from Florida for the summer, I found myself having to build a new work space from scratch. In our new home, I have created a small studio—not inadequate, not insignificant, just small in size. As we packed light for our drive north, I only brought a few things with me—some paint, some good oil paper, a can of cold wax, a few tools, and well, that's about it.
I shopped for all the rest, carefully choosing only what I needed for small but mighty work. No galleries or exhibits to prepare for here.
Folding tables, a large and a small
Risers for the tables
Drop cloths to protect the brand new carpet
Containers for sorting paint
A glass palette, because I didn't want to skimp here
Storage carts for keeping odds and ends handy
An easel big enough for a potential large painting
The odds and ends—shop towels, rubber gloves, painter's tape, tissue paper, a roll of wax paper, trash bags, etc.
That's all it takes for the work I do, and most of these things are readily available where I'm living. A few things had to be ordered (risers, for example, to raise the tables to a workable height; and a glass palette, which was not at my local arts and crafts store), but I picked up everything else locally, and I was able to outfit the place at a reasonable cost.
Tip—when creating a studio space in your home, it isn't necessary to purchase all the high-end things marketed to artists. Look at craft stores for inexpensive containers for storing paint and metal carts on wheels. Look at big-box home stores for folding tables and drop cloths. Be creative in repurposing things, and don't overdo it. I knew I would not be working on multiple large pieces this summer, so one easel was plenty. And I would not be creating vast amounts of smaller pieces all at once, so a drying rack was not on the essentials list.
A few down-and-dirty photos because a down-and-dirty studio can help you produce beautiful art:
*Note: Because there is no longer an art supply store near me, I order most of my supplies online, like paint and surfaces and good palettes. One of my main sources is Jerry's Artarama website. Reasonable prices and quick delivery.
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