Small spaces

Artyczar

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I used to work in large studio spaces until the last couple moves when I was forced to use a room in my house. I'm not complaining. I get a whole room to myself. In fact, it's the master bedroom, but I still have a lot of other furniture in it: my computer desk and all the computer things (modem, router, printer, lamp, etc.), so there's no drawing space on it. I have my smaller easel now and I have a big drafting table, then all the cabinet furniture for storing the art supplies. There's a big art cart, which is a mechanic's tool cart--try rolling it on carpet. It's not easy. And the drafting chair. That's not including my desk chair.

It's a lot to fit into any size bedroom. I do have a "spray area" in the garage to use fixatives and such, but it's not for painting. It's still a proper garage.

Anyone else working in some confined spaces? Want to share pictures of it? How to you manage? Want to know how I do it? I guess it would depend on the specifics.

Here's one side of it. Can't see everything, but this is the main part.

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With the exception of a period of one year, I've been in a large studio space since I graduated from art school... even when I lived in New York. The space I just left (officially on May 30) has been my studio for at least 15 years. The entire unit must have been around 4500 square feet. This was the view on entering the space:

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We each had a large storage area... not much smaller than the space I am now moving into:

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My own unit was some 700 square feet with 12.5-foot ceilings:

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My paintings measured a standard 80" tall by 45-46" wide:

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I had enough wall space to hang and display nearly 20 of these large paintings while still having plenty of workspace... including enough floor space to easily roll out the paper for new pieces:

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Before stapling these to the wall and taping off a border:

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Just this view of one of the corners alone is probably larger than what I'll now be stuck dealing with :(

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This view of my one studio partner's space after he cleaned it up in preparation for an art walk shows you just how much space we both were used to dealing with.

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Of course, I understand small art can be great. I love Vermeer, Van Eyck, Dürer, Degas, Redon, and Klee... but the fact is that with the exception of the period when I was creating small collages, I have been working big since my second year in art school. I was spoiled there. We had what were the largest individual studio spaces for undergrad students at that time.

Now I'm moving into a bedroom space in my house that must measure about 12 x 15 feet with an 8-foot ceiling. All of my paintings that once hung on the wall are now rolled up and stored in my garage and my basement. I moved a huge stack of heavy chipboard 2x3 feet from the studio to home and I'm toying with the idea of priming these and focusing upon portraits or even still-life or floral paintings (eek!). I also may end up doing some woodblock prints (print was my minor in school) but I will definitely need to purchase some good cutting tools.

I won't show you the new studio-closet until I get the space cleaned up and somewhat organized. It definitely needs a new coat of paint... and probably some Kilz primer. Then I need to think about how to best organize my tools and materials vertically in order to save as much floor space as possible.

On the good side... if such exists... I'll be saving the money spent on the studio rent, utilities, and insurance and I'll also be saving another big chunk of money when I pay off the car next month and I can set this aside for another studio space down the road. I'll also have the advantage of having my studio space at home so that I can set about working whenever I wish.
 
This is what I gave up a long while back when I lived near the LA harbor. It was about 650 square feet with endless ceilings and a catwalk:

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Not only that, it was in a park that looked over the ocean:

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The above left is my studio window.

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This is what I saw outside my window.
 
Oooo lala...I have total studio envy.
But I ALWAYS have total studio envy.

As I've said before, others dream of fame and fortune...I dream of space and light...and I'm still dreaming. In my Boston basement apartment, I built a little platform floor to put over the rental carpeting in the living room corner but I had to share it with lots of toddler toys. This "studio" has better light, but is only a foot wider than a single bed. I know because we used to put the kid in here when "the grandmas" came for a visit.

I'm at the downstairs computer right now so I can resize pictures correctly. Anyway, this shows the width of the "working end."
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This shows the wall where I stood to take the picture above. (New Mexico representing!)
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When we decided to get the house ready to sell, I repainted the walls, bought a new rug, and assembled a new kitchen utility cart. Notice that I put those slats upside down and I thought I'll be damned if I have to take it apart to make it right. The cart, by the way, is NOW splattered with paint and I keep a little jar of wall paint in there so I can periodically touch up the splattered walls. See my Prince Albert in a can???? He's old. Like me.
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I also have Uncle Joe and his mint balls on my "desk." Joe and Albert...my studio boyfriends. And like a "good mom," I have the mug my kid made for me, right next to the mint balls. Awww...it's one of my favorite things. (The mug, not the balls.)
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Great pics. I love your space. You are organized and the paintings are amazing. As always. ❤
 
I can't imagine working in a studio space as neat and clean as Arty's or Olive's. Some year back I had a studio partner who painted big... I mean really big: 9 x 20 feet... gestural abstract paintings. His heroes included Pollock and Kiefer. In spite of this, he never got any paint on his clothes, his hands (he'd wear gloves) or the studio floor or wall. In comparison, my works were and are far tighter and far more "realistic"... and I got paint and other materials everywhere: the wall, the floor, the work benches, my clothes... I would get yellow on my hands and sweatshirt in spite of the fact I wasn't even using yellow that day. :oops:

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Now I don't have a space that I can be so cavalier with. Actually, it's a mess right now. The room has stood empty for some time and was a mess when we moved in. If it wasn't just being used for storage, I would have fixed it up long ago. The walls appear to have been painted that standard off-white that landlords employ... but I also looks like it was discolored as a result of years of someone smoking in the room. There's crap and stains all over the walls and the old wood doors are such a mess I just decided to paint them.

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If this were a bedroom, I'd take them off the hinges, strip off the old varnish, sand them down, and stain and varnish them again. At the very least, I'd paint them along with all the trim and moldings a nice color like burgundy in enamel. But then again... I want as much light as possible, so I am painting everything white.

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Not a lot of floor space or wall space... but I have a better view than the studio I was in for years... and a breeze from outside (although that won't mean much by Tuesday when the temperatures are predicted to hit 95-degrees. It's 65-degrees right now and supposed to be in the 70s tomorrow so I am rushing to paint as much of the space as I can today and tomorrow. I might even copy Arty and get a carpet for the floor... although that might be problematic with pastel dust and fragments of gold leaf everywhere.

I only have time right now while I wait for the second coat of primer to dry before beginning the final coat on this side of the room. Then I'll move the furniture into place and start organizing the painting/drawing supplies in-between painting the other half of the room.
 
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Wait, what? You're going to paint the floors??? Please don't do that.

That little rug under my easel was dirt cheap at twenty bucks or something on Amazon, I think. It might even have been Waifair. It was just the cheapest thing that wasn't butt-ugly. I'm sure you can get something bigger for not very much money and be safe about the floors since you're a renter like me. But I understand how you may want a really big one since you fling paint every which way. I'm one of those that doesn't drip a drop. I mean, once in a blue moon, I suppose with underpainting and acrylics, which I think are so messy.

I'm also painting flat these days, so my drafting table has a layer of rolled-out craft paper taped to it. It has plenty of drips. Not like you, but enough, because I've been working with acrylics lately.

Anyway, good luck in your small room. Again, I'm sorry you have to go small, but you might be surprised how big you could go if you give yourself enough wall space and deal with your other art furniture wisely. If I really wanted to, I could probably still squeeze something pretty big in here, especially on the easel, and I did make some spray space (for fixing) in my garage recently.

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Sno... you're the first one to notice that. I've had any number of artists look at the painting IRL and posted it a number of times on the internet in far clearer images... and no one noticed it. I suspect no one caught it because it appears to be on the proper side... but her legs are crossed. I didn't notice it for some time myself and by then I had moved on to other paintings. I liked the way the foot reinforced the gesture... and then I just thought, "Hey... no one ever noticed that the big guy is missing a leg & foot in this famous painting: 😆

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It would have taken me a minute to see the missing leg but the two right feet sort of jumped out at me. :giggle:
 
That doesn't look good! There isn't an electrical outlet on the other side is there?
 
Wait, what? You're going to paint the floors??? Please don't do that.

That little rug under my easel was dirt cheap at twenty bucks or something on Amazon, I think. It might even have been Waifair. It was just the cheapest thing that wasn't butt-ugly. I'm sure you can get something bigger for not very much money and be safe about the floors since you're a renter like me. But I understand how you may want a really big one since you fling paint every which way. I'm one of those that doesn't drip a drop. I mean, once in a blue moon, I suppose with underpainting and acrylics, which I think are so messy.

I'm also painting flat these days, so my drafting table has a layer of rolled-out craft paper taped to it. It has plenty of drips. Not like you, but enough, because I've been working with acrylics lately.

Anyway, good luck in your small room. Again, I'm sorry you have to go small, but you might be surprised how big you could go if you give yourself enough wall space and deal with your other art furniture wisely. If I really wanted to, I could probably still squeeze something pretty big in here, especially on the easel, and I did make some spray space (for fixing) in my garage recently.

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Arty, be careful with that floor. It looks to be asphalt tiles from the 1950. They might contain asbestos.
 
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