While I generally don't like using direct sunlight it can be done as seen above. It works and there are times when it is desirable.
Mary, sometimes we need to learn to deal with what we are dealt. Isn't easy but there are workarounds for almost anything. I try anything until I find something that works.
For most purposes I like bright shade for photography. For interior photography it gets a bit more complicated. I use a rather basic layout of lights and filters. Because my work involved metal leaf it is almost a requirement to have polarizing filters. For others it would be a waste of time and money.
Basic photo light set up.
Same set up using halogen work lights.
This is the layout I use in the studio. Over the years I have purchased lights of photographic quality, that is something I felt I had to do. If you don't want to make that kind of investment then try using halogen work lights available at hardware stores and home stores. Small units with clamps would be ideal but the larger units work as well. Make reflectors of white mat board or foam core and use these to reflect the light back onto the artwork Using these work lights direct may lead to odd shadows and what appear to be markings on the surface. This is caused by the reflector and the safety cage on the lamp. This is a photo of the larger model with the safety cage removed. This is for demo purposes only and I highly recommend leaving the safety cage in place at all times.
By bouncing this light on a white card you can soften the light which in turn softens the shadows etc. You can also make a reflector by using a piece of cardboard and attaching aluminum foil to the surface. I would suggest using the satin side and be sure to crumple the foil first.
You are going to have to find ways of supporting the reflectors so they bounce the light onto the artwork. Remember it needs to be stable but temporary. As an inventive group i am sure you have some ideas on how to make this work.
Over the years I have decided to make the investment in some studio lighting. Nothing terribly expensive but good enough to work.
I purchased two light stands (sturdy ones) and two halogen light heads (small compact and efficient). I also was careful to add two sheet polarizing filters (I did make a holder for these sheets, the pro units were just far to expensive). I also purchased a metallic surfaced reflector in a 12" size. (this is to assist in the metallics and getting them to reflect light rather than become black holes.) If you are doing 3D work, reflectors might be of use as well. If you are doing 2D none metallic works the reflector may not be required or desired. Again, a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil may be an option.
Some sort of camera stabilization is very helpful. I purchased a sturdy heavy duty tripod for this purpose. A stool with a stack of books may work if you are not wanting to make that kind of investment.
In order to get the external polarizing filters to work properly you need to have a polarizing filter on the camera lens. This may not be possible on a point and shoot camera but on a digital SLR you can purchase a filter like this for each lens.
I have also added a remote shutter release. This helps control the shakes that might happen if you were to use the on camera shutter release. There are those that are physically attached to the camera through a side port or some have a remote control shutter release. I generally use the attached shutter release and find it works very well. If your camera has a timed shutter release this can be used instead of a remote release. Saves a few dollars.
The last thing I added is a camera level. It attaches to the hot shoe of the camera and is designed to quickly allow me to level the camera left to right and front to back. A standard line level is also a viable option for this purpose.
this shows the camera level (about 40.00) and the line level (about 5.00)
The last piece of equipment I have is a stringed mirror. Sounds a bit odd but it works. I took a small mirror, about 3 X 6" and attached some twill tape to the back of the mirror. I can pin the tape to the homosote and hand the mirror at the middle of the artwork. I make adjustments to the camera position so that when I look through the lens i see the reflection coming back at me. This gets me close to being square on artwork.
simple mirror with tape attached.
If you can't see the camera reflected back at you you are off center.
If you can see the camera clearly centered you are probably about as close to centered as you can hope for at this time.
Next I will do a setup and shoot.
It takes me about 5 minutes to have the studio set up for photo sessions. that is assuming I haven't cluttered the space up with other things like artwork, packing crates, etc.