Tuesday, July 11, 2006
St Marks Wildlife Refuge
oil on canvas
Are you prepared for your next masterpiece?
Your studio facilitates your art in a major way. Keeping it clean and organized allows you to focus on your work entirely. Here are some things you can do to keep yourself ready for painting.
Keep your brushes clean and stored properly so the ends don't fray. http://www.studioproducts.com makes a wonderful brush soap. You can also use a mild soap like ivory or Murphy's oil soap. Get into the habit of cleaning your brushes regularly.
Keep reference materials organized. I use three ring binders for all of my publicity materials and reference photos. I also keep a binder for my calendar and any papers that are current for each month. It sits on my desk in the studio so I can use it easily.
Keep paint and canvases ordered well in advance to running out. I always take advantage of paint brand sales from catalogue companies. I use a fairly limited palette so I use the same hues regularly. I order them whenever they are on sale even if I don't need them because eventually I will use them. The same with my canvas or boards.
Keep your palette clean in between painting sessions. I use marble tiles for palettes. They are the best I've ever used. They are a warm tan color and the paint mixes beautifully on them. It is wiped off easily with turps. After a few years they can be replaced easily. They are inexpensive too.
Keep all of your supplies on shelving units, organized by product so that they are easy to get to. Try to have different stations for activities so that they stay organized. In my studio, I have a small room dedicated to supplies and my framing equipment. When visitors come, I can slide the door closed. I have another small room for storage of easels and boxes etc. I can close that room to when visitors come. The main studio space can be cleaned and made presentable in about 15 minutes. Always be prepared to receive visitors in a clean and tidy studio. They will be much more impressed by your professionalism. If you do not have extra rooms off the main studio, you can partition off areas with a curtain.
Working in a clean organized space is less stressful and distracting. Plan to do a bit of cleaning at least once a week. Once a year I take a few days to do repainting, and moving around furniture to give it a fresh look.