View Full Version : Storage

05-14-2003, 01:31 AM
OK all you experts.............Let's see how everyone stores their supplies. Do you have a special or unique way to keep your brushes, paints and etc? I'm still a novice and I would like to know the best way to keep my watercolor brushes and tube paints. Right now I have the paints in a plastic container and my brushes in a glass.

lyn lynch
05-14-2003, 02:33 AM
Sounds good to me, Sher. I use an old treadle sewing machine box for my palette paints; a wooden box for some other than my palette paints, and a basket for yet another other than my palette paints. My acrylics are thrown into a plastic storage bin, covered and in the garage. My brushes are flat in a canvas brush wrap; more in a flower pot; more in 2 tin boxes; more in a willow reed brush carrier, and the ones I use all the time in a little tin bucket, which once held Easter eggs for a child, and 2 are lying on my desk. Paper is in a cabinet in my studio. Full sheets are in the garage.

05-14-2003, 02:37 AM
Thanks Fookie, I guess that my "a little here a little there" is just part of being an artist then? I thought I must be the biggest slob around!

05-14-2003, 02:53 AM

Auntie and you sound neat compared to what my house looks like since I started painting. My "room" also serves as our guest room so I don't keep many of my supplies in there. There is no space in this house for a studio (sigh) so invariably my supplies are all over the livingroom and diningroom. I have a roll-up bamboo holder for my brushes, but my faves are kept in a vase. Most of my paints are kept in my palette (which I do clean regularly) and new and extra tubes of paint are kept in a large, plastic baggy. My paper supplies and other supplies are everywhere. Mmmm, must get organized one of these days.:(


05-14-2003, 03:00 AM
If you clean your palette often then you are more orderly and tidy than me! You have a room? I sit in the kitchen/dinning area with eight cats running through my paint. you both are making me feel better though...thanks

05-14-2003, 09:18 AM
Everything is a mess.:D

Supplies started out in one room, spread to the closet, bookshelves, desk, floor and are now headed into the dining room. Art supplies are like germs...even migrated to my car and are taking over. And, I rarely throw anything away. Can't find anything.:p

I keep my tube paints which are very few in number in a plastic box. I have 4 palettes, 2 in the car and 2 in the house. I keep my brushes in a brush holder...problem is I really need 2 sets...one to keep in the car for when I go teach and 1 to keep in the house.:p Love it!:clap: :clap: :clap:

05-14-2003, 10:00 AM
Oh dear... I'm a neat freak... My watercolour supplies are kept in a large tackle box. The top of the box has two removable containers intended for lures... the paint tubes fit perfectly... There is a removable sliding tray inside the box that holds my brushes, pencils, erasers, friskit, etc. The bottom of the box holds my sketches and the few books that I have... My acrylic paint supplies are kept in a big toolbox with similar features.

Since I paint in my office or dining room, I must clean up after myself nearly every day... I keep my paper in the office cupboards and my pallette just kind of moves around with me... My new full sheets are now stored behind my desk against a wall to keep them nice and straight and free of dust...

When painting, I have a gorgeous glass jar that looks like a basket that I use as my brusholder... I try to minimize how much paint I put into my pallette so I can clean it frequently...

:( I'm so anal...

05-14-2003, 10:08 AM
Interesting thread! I have my own room now, having confiscated my hubby's research room downstairs. The only problem = no light coming in. But I'm pretty organized with my paints all in my plastic carrier (to take back and forth to classes) that I think is supposed to be a sewing box. The brushes I have in a cloth carrier to take back and forth, but also have a stand-up round plastic thingy to hold them when not in use. Of course, I'm not telling you about the paper I have everywhere - and the boxes of pics I intend to get around to someday!
Can't remember but someone said they have 8 cats walking through your paintings? Have you seen the cat paintings? You might want to dab their little paws and see if you have any budding VanGoghs on your hands! (I do clean my palette regularly and don't like to put all the tube paint out in the wells at one time. Seems wasteful - I know it isn't, but my mind tells me it is.

05-14-2003, 10:24 AM
I keep my 6 or 7 palettes in a wooden box. Also I keep W & N, Daniel Smith and cheap paint tubes each in a separate plastic container and those go into the wooden box also. I keep my brushes in several locations. On top of the freezer sets the ones I use most.

Also I have a plastic 7 drawer cabinet I keep charcoal, pencils, ink etc.

I keep paper in a large wooden cabinet and painted paper in bought and hand made portfolios.

It's almost impossible to be neat and organized while painting. It has taken over my life in so many ways.

05-14-2003, 10:51 AM
Go to Walmart or similar store and purchase cheap fishing box......has all kinds of storage for tubes and brushes fit easily in bottom.....have one I purchased about 25 years ago at yard sale....paid a buck.....good deal............lol

Peggy Gross
05-14-2003, 11:25 AM
I got what is called the "Possum Palette" from cheap joes in Boone NC through the net, it holds lots of little tubs of paints and they all have lids that snap closed and by putting velcro on bottom of each little tub and in circle it fits in they will stay when traveling, it comes with a black pouch to carry it and the pouch has room for a roll up of brushes (from same place) that will stand up on your table when in use and I keep all my brushes in that. You can buy extra little tubs so you can change your palette colors when needed. I think it was around 40.00 and well worth it. I just close it up and take it outside or to class with me.
Whew!! That was more info that I thought


Check it out, it really works good.

Peggy G

Square Dancer
05-14-2003, 11:30 AM
I know that I am lucky to have been able to turn the third bedroom into a "studio." I am able to keep everything I need in that one room. Since I don't enjoy painting anywhere but there, I don't have to worry about having supplies ready to travel. The smartest purchase of supplies that I have made is a "closet keeper" from Dick Blick. It is meant to hang on the inside of a closet door, but since I have bi-fold doors on my closet, I hung it on the wall, just to the left of my chair. It has pockets for tubes of paint, brushes etc. It is worth every penny I paid for it to have everything at my fingertips. For larger things, I purchased inexpensive plastic shelving at WalMart, and placed it in the closet. I also have room to store mat supplies and frames there. I realize how lucky I am to have this space, but it certainly has nothing to do with how well I paint. Some of you apparently are able to produce great work in limited spaces.

05-14-2003, 11:54 AM
There may be some issues with storage of paper. Some people in our class were storing Arches WC paper on their garage or attic. Apparently after some time the paper gets a strong, unpleasant smell to it. It is supposed to be gelatin in the sizing decomposing, epecially in warmth (summer). I do not know in how far the surface quality suffers. Our teacher discouraged us from buying large paper quantities for long-term storage (although this would be cheaper). What is your experience with or recommendations for paper storage?


05-14-2003, 01:21 PM
I'm with the tackle box crowd. Have a clear plastic one about 10x14x1.5, with adjustable dividers. So, i have separate spaces for frisket, spray bottle and a small container of soap; tubes of paint; pencil, sharpener, ruler, and art gum; "junk" brushes, and good brushes. The lid is just deep enough so that i can lay a small plastic square on top of the dividers and still close the lid. My palette is about the same shape, but a bit smaller. I also keep water containers, rags, sponges, and a few paper towels in a plastic pail. Paper, sketchpad, books and reference photos and drawings, with tackle box, palette, and pail on top make a neat stack, and i can grab all i need in a minute if i am suddenly invited on a picnic or get the urge to hit the BIG backyard.

Gee, that all sounds so organized, and totally belies the chaos that reigns when i actually spread all this stuff out and use it!!

05-14-2003, 09:21 PM
Well, I am also one of the fortunate ones in that I have a room where I paint which I share with my husband and the computer. My son built me two wooden tables that I have formed L-shaped. Since I just started WC classes I got a wooden easel that folds up which I store or carry in one of those red-hard paper thingies with handles on it to carry my current painting, the easel, a book for color swatches, etc. I bought a rolling cart and used a plastic bin (cheap) to put on top of it and I put all my supplies in this to carry to class. For my brushes I got for my birthday a standup easel thingie that you can store many brushes, it sits upright when you need it to and then folds and snaps with velcro to store. I put it inside another kind of carrying case that has all my paints in tubes kept in plastic holders.

Of course this is not all my photos, slides etc. right now am going through all my slides so have taken over the dining room table with my light box and huge box of slides and separating and cataloging them in an album separated according to subject and slid into acid-free plastic album pages for slides.

WHEW! That's about it.

05-14-2003, 09:38 PM
Storage? Man o man, do I need storage. Right now, on my computer desktop, there's a bunch of brushes, oil pastels (that I retrieved from my Mom's place over the weekend) char-kole, ink, pens, a jar that contains pens and special markers that I usually have on a shelf above the stairs to the basement with some other supplies, like old oils, old paintings and drawings and other stuff. In the stairwell to the basement I've put some brass hooks to hang canvas bags and backpacks with more art supplies, like colored pencils and much more. On my dining room table, I've got a cutter and a bunch of large watercolor paper as well as some paintings that didn't pan out and hold no hope of ever panning out lol. In the hallway to the bathroom, I have a shelving unit. On top, there are a bunch of containers stashed for future use, a calculator (to add up how much I spend on art supplies) some gator boards and some other misc. items that I go there to check for first when i can't figure out where they are. On top of the refrigerator in the kitchen I have a blue, hard plastic ... thingy ... anyway, it holds little pieces of watercolor paper that I can use to dab with or test things out on. My hairdryer has made its way onto my kitchen counter ... just convenient to grab there because it's next to my livingroom where I do most of my painting. On my television set (which is never turned on mainly because I'm usually tuned into WC!) I have blue painters tape ... it's a great place to stash the tape I've already used because I can grab it again and it keeps it nice and flat. Nice to see that there is still a use for my television after all. Leaning up against my tv I have five little paintings, some are completed, others need more work. Oh, and in the spare bedroom I have a long and wide plastic container with a lid on it ... that's where I stash good paper and paintings etc until I get a chance to frame the. Oh, and there are a couple of spare frames in that bedroom too. Beside my bed, there is a small stack of books, two of them are novels that I will read before the end of the year, if I can tear myself away from painting. The other books are about watercolor, three or four of them. I also have a dresser on the other side of the room here in the livingroom, there is an old acrylic painting I did about 20 years ago there behind the 11x15 that I've started to draw. In front of that some little watercolors. And I almost forgot, in the diningroom closet, on the back wall, I have one of those big plastic art bags with the black handle for art projects hanging with older watercolors I did and some historical maps of Nova Scotia. I guess this means that my house is my storage container. Hmmm... Amazingly, it all stashes and cleans up pretty quick. The think I really need though is a good, long and wide container that can hold full sheets of watercolor paper.

Or maybe I don't need storage per se, maybe I just need to dedicate one room to art, at this time, that would be my livingroom, 'cause that's where you guys are and you are one of my most prized art supplies.


05-15-2003, 02:16 AM
Thanks to all who have given me tips and tricks to help my storage problems.
It makes me feel good to know that if all you terrific people have found a comfortable storage system, there must be hope for me.
I think it's wonderful that many of you have allowed your art to take over your home too.
I will be looking into the tackle boxes and checking on the "Possum Palette".
Rhonda, my eight cats don't even need ME dipping their feet in the paint. I'm usually chasing THEM down to clean their paws!
Thanks to all for the paper storage tips too. I will be trying many of the storage ideas soon.
I love Wet Canvas! Everyone here is so friendly and helpfull!
Thanks again everyone!

05-15-2003, 05:15 AM
I have taken over the spare bedroom as a studio. 6ft x8ft and has a wall bed at one end.

Main storage for paper and old pallettes and watercolour pads (old pantings) is a couple of Ikea kitchen wall cupboards behind my adjustable drafting board (a relic from my days as a surveyor).

A long shelf hold my reference photos, old watercolours (not up to scratch) and an icecream tub containing my tubes of paint. A rolling plastic drawer set holds things I rarely use.

All the rest is strewn willy nilly all over my drawing board, main items are a folding pallette which I keep squeezing paint into, a flower pallette and lid which I use for large washes, and my favourite brushes. 2 water jars and a sports bottle with valve top for clean water a thick pad of blotting paper, and offcuts of watercolour paper for testing colours on.

In addition I have a rucksack/seat which I use for plein air painting with a foam pad for my bum :D a couple of pads, a sketch book, and a collection of w/c pencils which I rarely use. For plein air use I take my normal pallette and water bottle along.
Oh! and I forgot, my new 2 compartment water container which cost less than 1 at Wilkinson's"buy anything" store:

So - not tidy, but all in one place.


05-15-2003, 05:47 AM
Doug, I love that water container!!!!!!!!! We don't have a Wilkinsons, can I be cheeky and ask you to get me one and post it? Will pay postage etc. of course :D

As for storage, I need to get some!!!! Currently my stuff is all over the living room/computer room/studio. At what age can I legally throw my children out of the house??? :evil:

I have a portfolio which contains all my paintings, and the full sheets of new paper, that lives behind the sofa with an assortment of frames (which need glass and backing board) and my large boards for large paintings.

My palette and table easel get moved off chairs and onto the floor regularly. 3 jam jars of water are on the windowsill, along with my brushes, masking fluid, salt grinder and candle. Large easel (for large paintings) is propped in the corner.

Oh dear I'm messy :(


05-15-2003, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by Yorky
my new 2 compartment water container which cost less than 1 at Wilkinson's"buy anything" store:

So - not tidy, but all in one place.


I find this interesting watercontainer in a supermarket in milan -stationery section, between kids painting, at 1,50 euro. as we in Italy don't have too many sophisticated art things (only art stores have artist' material), i think it will be easyly available anywhere :)

about my storage... tools and paints are where i used them last time... i usually paint at night, after dinner, so when 1 or 2 AM strike i'm tired and say "well, go to bed and finish tomorrow... unuseful tidying up;) "...

ciao, rapolina.

05-15-2003, 06:19 AM
Originally posted by madmum
Doug, I love that water container!!!!!!!!! We don't have a Wilkinsons, can I be cheeky and ask you to get me one and post it? Will pay postage etc. of course :D
Oh dear I'm messy :( :D Doug


I'm in Southport on Friday and meeting Geof from the Wirall. I'll look in Wilkinsons for you. My sister Jean bought me mine - she says they are supposed to be childrens paint pots and are 2 for 79p!

Its quite small but ideal for plein air work.


05-16-2003, 02:46 AM
Those Water containers are cool! I'll have to look around where I live to see if I can find anything like them.

Kate Mc
05-16-2003, 03:13 PM

I keep my tubes of paint in a plastic box with compartments. The paints are sorted by color groups. The brushes I use the most are in a rolled canvas brush holder so that I can take them to my group "open studio" on Thursday nights. The rest of the time, I dry them after use and put them back into the holder. The others are in a jar. My main palette is a John Pike, which I store on a shelf when it's wet (on top of a box of audio cassettes) so that it won't drip till it dries. My paper is stored on another shelf. OK, shelves. My books are nearby on yet another shelf. My other supplies are in jars on the top of the shelves (some of the shelves are not very high), and in wooden cigar boxes with metal closures (I love boxes). My traveling paint set is in a little purple (YES!) amenities bag with a zipper that came from one of the airlines when I flew about a bazillion miles with them on business. I have a folding stool for plein aire painting, and three short-handled brushes that fit into the purple thing.

Sounds tidy, doesn't it??

OK, the rest of my paper is in a storage unit in Washington DC, and the rest of my cool supplies are in my sister's attic in Atlanta. WAAH! I MISS THEM!! We're sending them here slowly, but sometimes it seems like I always want something that's somewhere else!

When we lived in Washington, I had a place to leave my WIP out surrounded by all my supplies. Here, my painting table is also a classroom table and also a work table and also occasionally part of a guestroom, so I can't leave it all out. I have to put it away every night. So I have to keep things pretty tidy so that I can find it again after the students or guests have gone.

eeewww, that sounds anal....


05-16-2003, 03:24 PM
I am incredibly fortunate to have had a studio built last year by my hubby.

In that process, I was able to construct the area to my own ideas.

My paper is stored in a cabinet that allows me to see exactly what I have on hand and easily get at it. We built the shelves like "steps"


My painting/pastel area stays open all the time....so the palettes sit on the table....and the pastels are on an old hospital rolling tray table so I can pull them over to the easel:


I am pretty anal too but I am finding, that since I have a "space" now...it's ok to leave it messy


05-17-2003, 03:42 AM
Kate, I can understand how frustrated you must be. It is hard to have your possessions scattered. Especially your art supplies!

Pampe, I am totally jealous! Your studio is fantastic!!!
ok to leave it messy? It didn't look messy to me.
Thanks so much for sharing with everyone where you create your masterpieces!