Up until recently I painted mostly smallish paintings, and them on my lap in the lounge room while watching TV. It had been a while since I worked with oils often too.
Then we got Foxtel discontinued (my reason was ‘we only watch it for Star Trek anyway and you keep on messing up the episodes…we bought Star Trek instead!) and i started wanting to do bigger paintings again. Also I worked out I could have music or shows playing on my laptop so I wasn’t confined to the lounge any more (I’ve got ADD, i need entertainment while I paint!).
I had an easel from many years ago, but it’s a smaller one and it’s skittish. By skittish, I mean it falls over if you put any pressure on it. This is somewhat suboptimal! And the wooden bits the painting rests upon are very shallow, so it wouldn’t fit a nice fat canvas. I’ve not used it for a long time cause, well, it’s crap!
I painted most of the first Queen painting while sitting on the floor, against a table, which is at the point I thought “this is stupid” and went to ebay and bought myself a nice solid studio easel.
Here it is assembled and naked of paint smears:
Of course I needed somewhere to paint. Needed to be somewhere light, where i had room to move and do my thing.
This house was built in 1951 and thus has the post war size regulations. And every room has been used to within an inch of it’s life. You may read into this ‘I own a lot of stuff’, if you wanted to. 😛
I used to use this room to paint in initially (notice the repulsive pink carpet which no longer is here. Also, why i went with duck-egg blue is beyond me, but it seemed a good idea for some reason at some time):
but then Matt took it over as his room, and I moved my stuff into the teeny narrow cramped dark back study. As you can see it was an ill fated purple and very freaking narrow. Not a lot of room to paint or store anything. It’s now a brown and red room with tonnes of storage, however all I really do in there is store stuff, it’s really too narrow and naff to spend any time in.
I hated the purple btw – it’s now a lot more like this only has more stuff in it. And nicer rugs.
So I needed a spot to do stuff in that would be suitable to put the easel in and not have to move it around, to keep my paints out, and to have some light to actually paint by, in a room I’d like to be in.
A while ago we had the back lean-to knocked down and a replacement nicer room put in, this space has been evolving into the workable space it is today. Basically it doubled the amount of living space in the house and it really needed it.
There was always a bit of the corner of it behind the back door that I never really knew what to do with, i had tried chairs, bits of furniture, my skeleton, nothing, in that spot, and nothing really worked. However it’s right near the door, out of the way, and has a lovely view of the back yard.
This is an old pic showing the bit in front of the window here (with the timber in front of it). At this point i’d put the walls in but not the ceiling (never ever ever let me try and put a ceiling up again), also no flooring or skirting! These came later.
Also, I did the woodwork 1 and 2 courses through Holmesglen. In woodwork 2, i made this table, which i had no real use for, which was a pity as it’s a lovely table (tas ash, rosewood and mahogany). I had it in the back teeny study for a bit till I could work out what to do with it.
So i did a big chunk of rearranging and thought about what I’d need and want, and came up with this:
All fits behind the door nicely! Behind the easel is a shelved cupboard thing that used to house crockery but I had to move it when i upgraded my fishtank, and it fits all my art stuff perfectly.
Plus i can lay the stuff i need out on my table and not have to put it away (though I have to cover the palette otherwise the cat stands on it. I mean, the cat stands on it anyway, but covering it means less little painty cat tooter tracks all over things). Notice in the picture above there is a knitted rug on the back of the chair next to the table – that is Escher’s fish in a knitted pattern, Kellie and Laura knitted me an Escher rug!
I need better lighting, i’m going to hang the fish tank 3foot light from the ceiling I think so i get a strip overhead light. I’ve since got another light clamped to the top of the easel, which is working ok too.
I can pin things up around as I work and get a good view of the garden. That’s the trunk of the liquid-amber tree. Also the hen-house, which is now a cat house (they get to it via tube so they can be outdoors without being outdoors cats).
And the rest of the room remains the chill out friend couch zone! Of course it’s changed since I took this photo cause i change it round all the time – different carpets, goodbye fish tank, hello coffee table…. But you get the drift.
There you have it – my studio art space! I’m really happy with it, the only problem is in summer the evaporative cooler doesn’t extend to the back room so it’s a bit too warm if it’s a heatwave. BUT WHO WANTS TO PAINT IN 40 DEGREE HEAT ANYWAY!