Studio “Space”

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about painting, but not doing any actual painting. Or much of it anyway. Perhaps that’s all part of the process? I hope so. I hope that’s a good enough excuse, otherwise I dunno. I feel like I’ve made enough of those.

I’m making plans for when I get better and rethinking my current setup. My current “studio” situation is really only set up for working on paper. I did that on purpose when I moved last time. But I wound up painting on canvases again anyway. It was for my last show, and the process was good for me. I missed it.

Then, when we moved here, I saw there wouldn’t be much room for oil painting (again) and went back to the idea of only working on paper. I think I did that because I’d just come off of storing all my art at a storage facility, which was overwhelming! An utter nightmare. It still literally gives me nightmares. The thought of making one more painting on a canvas or panel gives me incredible anxiety. It’s not because I don’t want to. It’s because I don’t know where to put it. The storage space is not small and it is stuffed.

It was almost as stressful as the move before that, when I had a garage.

I don’t have a picture of my current storage space. The above is from my last house–not quite half of everything. There was the whole other side of this garage, plus my drums, and I’ve since taken back 15 paintings from galleries, and 25 more are coming before the end of January. That’s almost 275 paintings, plus paintings by others that I don’t have room to hang in my house. What does one do with 300 paintings? Make more? I’ve painted nearly 1000 already. Do you see what I mean?

I did not foresee this when I started making art. I’m not nearly as prolific now as when I was when I was younger, which is a good thing. Not just for the sake of storage. It’s been for sanity. I’ve slowed way down and I take a lot of time on each painting now. I enjoy myself more when I do that. I just didn’t think about how much art I’d accumulate 35 years ago. Who thinks properly when they’re young? I certainly didn’t think I would sell as many as I have, and I did not think that the remainder of what I didn’t yet sell would deter me from painting at all.

Watercolors are fun, but if I don’t set things up for any medium I feel like using at any given time, I may just have to swallow a gallon of Draino or something. I was going to say I would blow my brains out, but that’s not funny.

When I lived in San Pedro, I had a 600 square foot studio with ample loft space for storage and countless work stations to do whatever I pleased. If you can believe it, I paid $400 a month for it.

It was located at Angel’s Gate in the park with a view of the ocean too.

I will always miss the hell out of that place. For the rest of my life I will. I never took it for granted. It was more than hard to leave it.

My studio in Highland Park (Moppet), was about 500 square feet, but it had zero storage.

That was the last “proper” studio I had. I used my garage after that, but it had a lot of storage space in the back, and my brother made these cubby shelves for the front.

I also had my watercolor station in my office. I still had space. Plenty really.

Now my studio is a large office room in my house that holds most of my supplies, my Mayline drafting table, a computer desk, and a few other things, including all my clothes.

I was thinking of scooting my drafting table up a few inches and putting my old medium-sized easel where Gemma’s dog bed was, though, that would be a tight fit, especially if I use my tool cart. I definitely need the tool cart.

Another issue is that I don’t think I can stand at an easel anymore. I can sit, but then I’d want another chair behind my drafting chair, and that won’t fit comfortably. My other thought was to bring in my art cart and use a tabletop easel on top of my drafting table. I just wouldn’t be able to make anything very big. Like nothing over 30 inches or so.

That may or may not be a bummer. I wish I had a huge empty wall where I could tack pieces of raw canvas to and work that way. Maybe I would just put grommets on the corners, call them done, and never stretch them, on purpose. I wish my legs and knees worked and I could do it on the floor like some artists do.

Since I’m not in any hurry, but I am impatient, I’ll figure it out sooner than later and keep you posted. I have to finish this watercolor first. One day.

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