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Old 04-12-2012, 10:43 AM
Abstract1 Abstract1 is offline
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Which space would you use for a studio?

So I am returning to acrylic painting after quite a few years. I have never had a dedicated space for it and I want to carve out a work space in my house. I have two areas in mind and want to get some opinions on which to use.

Option 1: Take over part of a guest bedroom. I will need to keep the bed and dresser that are currently there in case someone wants to stay but in 4 years only one person has stayed in there. The space I can use in there if I push the bed out of the way is about 9x12. There are two windows, one East, one South. The South window is a really cool angled window that is very nice to look out. The East window has a shade I can use. I'm not sure how I will set it up but I think facing the window would avoid irritating glare. Not sure yet if I will be using a drafting table or easel (more decisions!)

The room adjoins a bathroom with a vent fan which would be good. The bathroom is a jack and jill that adjoins my bedroom as well. Issue with fumes there? The room also has nice hardwood floors I would need to cover so as to not get paint on them. There in no AC in the room and it gets about 90-100 in the summer so I might have to move out in the hottest months.

Option 2: Use part of the unfinished basement. Work space would probably be a bit smaller. But I wouldn't have to worry about messing anything up or ever having to put things away for guests. And there's a utility sink (which is where I would have to clean brushes if I worked in the other space.) There are no windows in the basement and no ventilation. The space is not heated. It's about 50-60 degrees down there. There are tons of spiders. I'm not sure I would feel motivated to work down there. Even though I have a table down there I regularly bring my sewing machine and supplies to the dining room to work instead. Can you tell I'm leaning toward the other space?

Sorry this is so long. Any thoughts or ideas are welcome!
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:00 PM
KJBaker422 KJBaker422 is offline
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

definitely the guest bedroom Don't bother with rooms that get too hot, thats not good for your art supplies and you won't feel like painting in there or moving everything out when it gets hot. Ventilation is nice to have and so are windows so forget the basement. thats my opinion
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:43 AM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Option 1 sounds better. I have my studio in a dark basement and it is NOT motivating, I always end working upstairs where is better light. Now I use the basement only for messy work like mold making, packing pieces to ship and assembling big pieces.
You can find a way to keep your supplies and work neatly presentable if somebody is staying in that room.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:00 PM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

oh yes, a room with windows of any sort trump a basement with spiders!! I did just this myself. had a small bedroom studio but my kids needed it so I had no other space but the basement. altho the space was large, it was cold and well, a basement that's not finished just isn't fun to be in. and the spiders, wow, they were huge!

for the heat problem, you can either put in a window a/c or there are now freestanding units as well. usually with that sort of heat, you have humidity issues as well and those units would fix that too.

put a large board on the bed and you can use it for a table until guests arrive.

do the guests stay long enough to really need the dresser? for one guest in 4 years I wouldn't be going out of my way to keep a space open!! use the dresser for your supplies.

you might consider shades on the windows that are filtering--you'd get the light but not so harsh at certain times of day.

tack down a heavy tarp and bring a bucket with you for a portable 'slop sink'.

might I suggest that with such a rare occasion for guests, maybe get a hide a bed couch in the living room, and take the whole room for art. once you get going, you just might not feel like sharing your studio with an overnighter. or get an air mattress. when you need this space for a studio, it seems a shame to not use what you have. if you must keep the bed in there, maybe consider a captain's bed with the drawers underneath, then the dresser could be removed or used for your supplies.

what about the closet, does the room have one? make it a really big shelving unit.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:54 PM
Abstract1 Abstract1 is offline
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Thanks for all the suggestions!

The closet and dresser already serve as storage for other non-art things like my off-season clothes and sheets/pillows, etc. I think I can use the nightstands for art stuff since they have drawers that are empty.

When guests do come they usually stay on a futon in my office space which is more private. I only have used this guest room when there have been enough people for two rooms so I think it would be rare that I would need to put art stuff away. I will try it with the bed in there for now and if it doesn't work I can move it (would just have to take it down two flights of stairs to the spider basement!)

The AC is my only big issue now. The windows are the crank out type and we had to cut a hole in the wall for the AC in the other bedroom. I don't think that unit would be big enough to provide AC for this room too. Hmmm.... Have to investigate that.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:00 AM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

http://www.purennatural.com/prod_desc.php?prod_id=959

something like this would do it for a small room, I just can't take heat!
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:52 PM
wsmyersart wsmyersart is offline
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Definitely the guest room. If you have had one person stay in 4 years, then you don't need a guest room, period. Get rid of the bed and dresser and take over the entire room!! Your one guest in the next four years can sleep in the living room on a fold out couch, or on an air bed. You will get FAR MORE USE, and infinitely more joy out of that room as your studio.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:08 PM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

I agree. You really do not have a guest room but in name only. My choice would be to clear it out and set up a nice studio where you can be comfortable. This will have a major influence on the quality, quantity, and pleasure you derive from a dedicated workspace that belongs to you and not a potential guest.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:22 AM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

I agree the bedroom is a good option. The basement sounds horrific (I hate spiders). My studio is in my living room. I have a north facing large window. One wall has heavy duty plastic (hung on some screw-in type hooks so it is easy to remove and replace if necessary). I paint on large canvases hanging on this wall. I nailed in little metal brackets on this wall spaced a little ways apart to accommodate 2 canvases or one huge canvas. I also have a giant easel with another canvas on it. I bought an end of roll section of linoleum (white, so it would not darken the room) to put over our hardwood floor in my painting area for protection. We live in an old heritage building and have to be a little careful as we are renting. I have several metal "tie rack" metal frames attached to the wall from which i hang brushes, scissors, tape, palette knives, mat knives, string, etc. I have 3 low industrial locking cabinets and a work table. My pallettes and a large container with more brushes are on top of the cabinet closest to the wall. Inside this cabinet are jars and jars of acrylic paint. All my mediums, glues, fixatives, and lots more stuff are in the cabinet across fom my paint cabinet. My sketchbooks, tools, watercolor supplies and drawing & pastels supplies are in the third cabinet. Everything is arranged so that it is easy & quick for me to just start to paint. I have 2 plastic containers (16" x 14" x 2" deep) with lids which act as my painting pallettes - one for warm colors, one for cool colors. I lay a thin wet large sponge cut to fit, and soaked wet palette paper to go over the sponge (available at art supply stores "stay wet"). Then I put my paint on the paper. After my painting session I spray a touch of water and close the lids on the containers. this works fantastic, and I have tried many methods of palettes. With oil paint I never had to worry about paint drying out, & I had huge palettes, but with acrylics I was wasting so much paint. At first I tried the store bought stay wet containers, but they cracked and fell apart and never closed properly. Then I found these other containers which were really meant for carrying sketch supplies. My paints stay moist for several days, so prep time is reduced! Cleanup is quicker too.
In total my painting area takes up about 12 ft x 20 ft. It takes up the biggest area of our living room. The downside is not being able to have a door, but all in all it works great - it helps that my spouse is fully supportive of my art. I do try and keep it tidy and free of clutter. Paint splatters are okay on the linoleum and on the plastic covered wall. The most important thing is for you to be happy and comfortable with your area and use your ingenuity in solving space problems. Please forgive me if I have broken any rules for the length of this post.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:15 PM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

ivon--would love to see this!
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:28 PM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Hi Chewie,
You said you'd like to see my studio set-up. Here is a montage of pics of my studio, hope it's not too hard to make out the details. The paintings on the plastic lined walls and on the easel are in progress, with just the underpainting showing right now. My north facing window has a great view of the Vancouver harbour and mountains. Storage is a bit of a problem, so I have to hang my finished paintings up just to get them out of the way.

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:28 AM
Abstract1 Abstract1 is offline
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Ivon - thanks for sharing pics of your space! I love seeing how you set everything up. The linoleum is a great idea. I also like the cases you are using for your palettes instead of the sta-wet boxes. Do you happen to know what brand they are?

Do you normally paint with your back to he window or do you move your easel around depending on the light? I haven't figured out exactly where to paint in relation to the windows in my space yet. Guess some experimentation is in order.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:58 PM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Hi Abstract1- The palette boxes are embossed "ArtBin on the lower right hand corner. They are available at Opus Art Supplies in Vancouver - I got them fom the Granville Island location for about $15 each. I checked online, and it shows other ArtBin cases which are deeper and have a large handle area for carrying. I saw those in the store but I thought the ones I got fit more neatly together on my cabinet. I think mine are new stock, maybe that's why they don't show up on their website - but you could email them and ask.

I paint with my back to the window (my easel is on wheels so it is easy to move it if I need to). When I am painting the canvases on the plastic lined wall the window is to my right (it's the only window in the apartment) but it is a big . I can also move the paintings to my easel when I want to check color, value etc. with the window to my back. I photograph my finished painting on the easel at a vertical tilt with the window to my back, preferably on a cloudy day, before my finishing varnish so there is no glare.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:57 PM
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Hi again Abstract1 - I found the " ArtBin box 15in x 14in by 2in, Super Satchel Slim Single Compartment Box" on the www.amazon.com site. It looks just like the ones I have. They are on sale right now for 9.88. Be careful that you look for the correct name, as they have so many viariations with dividers (may not be removable), different depth, handles, etc. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:24 PM
Abstract1 Abstract1 is offline
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Re: Which space would you use for a studio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivon
Hi again Abstract1 - I found the " ArtBin box 15in x 14in by 2in, Super Satchel Slim Single Compartment Box" on the www.amazon.com site. It looks just like the ones I have. They are on sale right now for 9.88. Be careful that you look for the correct name, as they have so many viariations with dividers (may not be removable), different depth, handles, etc. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the info! I thought it might be an art bin but I hadn't seen that size before. I think it will be great to avoid snapping the sta-wet lid on every time.
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