Haven’t posted here in a while. Thought I’ll share some images of my recently re-organized studio and storage space.
I paint in my basement. The main area is long and carpeted and originally served as an extra family/guest room. The smaller area, near the entrance from our garage, is not carpeted and that’s where I opted to set up my easels, oil taboret and pastel carts. It’s quite small really but it can hold two painting stations when needed.
Over the years, as I framed more paintings and photographs and accumulated many more photo albums, storage took over the family area with shelves and wall units placed along the walls. The ceiling is low and uneven. Moving things around is not simple and so each time a new unit came in it would go wherever floor space and ceiling height allowed. It became a bit “chaotic”.
Re-painting the basement walls was on our “To Do” list for a long while and we finally got around to it last spring, motivated by a coming family visit. With so much “stuff” lying around, much of which needed to stay, clearing the space and painting it all at once was next to impossible. Instead we opted to do it in sections, with me clearing an area and my husband painting the walls. I took advantage of this opportunity to re-organize the space in a more functional and eye pleasing manner, with framed work and supplies stored along one wall, photo albums along the opposite wall and an old kitchen table at the far end, which I can use for framing and teaching. A sofa, an old TV, a small coffee table and a reclining chair complete this storage and sitting area, and a treadmill, placed across from the main easel and display shelves, allows for distant viewing.
All this sorting and “shuffling around” took over much of the spring, putting my studio work on hold, and I shifted my focus to plein air painting for a while. Additional hanging system was installed, adding a much needed display space (I already had a hanging system in the main living areas – a necessity with frequent art exhibitions), and a new cart with drawers and a folding shelf, serving as an oil taboret, replaced the old bin. My old PC is close by for reference and hopefully will become more functional now that I borrowed my son’s old monitor. More storage for painting supplies is located nearby in our unfinished utility area.
The basement now feels spacious and inviting and our guests loved it there. Later in summer I even hosted a workshop for the Pastel Society of New Jersey, of which I currently serve as President. There are few more boxes on the floor and projects to complete, such as sorting through years of art magazines and reorganizing my photography equipment. Overall, I’m now happier to spend time in my studio but admit I still spend more time in my home office. Painting is one side of the equation. The “business side”, my volunteer work and photography make up the rest.
Here are more images.
Enjoy your visit!
A view of the painting area.
My pastel easel is currently set up in the corner with carts holding pastel boxes on each side. I prefer to keep my pastels in their original boxes, and not mix them up in one box organized by hue and value, as many pastel artists do. The flat wall shelves are for work in progress. My oil taboret is on the left and my oil easel is currently folded against a short wall on the right (not shown). Most of my studio furniture is on wheels and can easily be re-arranged.
Originally my oil easel occupied the corner and my pastel easel and carts were placed in the center, near the PC. The light was great but everything needed to be tucked away and brought back again on a regular basis for cleaning, which was very disruptive. Since I often alternate between mediums, rather than work in both at the same time, this setup works better for now.
The new display wall, as seen from the painting area towards the storage and sitting area (The two areas are separated by the stairs on left, behind the short wall). I don’t own a flat file but if I purchase one in the future it will probably be placed at the far end of this wall.
Storage, mostly framed and unframed work, on left; Photo albums (reference) on right, a framing table at the far end and a sitting and viewing area in front. Some boxes and decorations are still on the floor.
A sitting, reading and viewing area, is located across from my painting area, along with my treadmill.
Painting supplies on shelves in the utility area, adjacent to the painting area. Pastel papers are currently stored in flat bins in the main storage area as the shelves there are deeper.