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Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Tour of my Newly Organized Pastel Corner

'Evening Comes Quietly'         16x20          pastel           ©Karen Margulis
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after the sun sets
the forest begins to glow
and the fireflies dance
It is day three of my studio clean-up. It was desperately needed. It had been a few years since I really organized.  As an artist friend of mine put it...she cleans here studio quarterly...every four years! That sounds about right. Yesterday I tackled the books and today I cleaned my pastel corner. I thought you might like a tour.  Here is a 'before' shot.
Before I organized I emptied the shelves filled with boxes of pastels
The first thing I did was empty the shelves next to my easel. They were filled with boxes of miscellaneous pastels. I also had several trays of pastels that I had never put away. It was a dusty mess!  Whenever I get a new box of pastels I have to decide if I will keep them in their own box or if I will incorporate them into my big studio box. Here is my thought on this problem:
  • If you are new to pastels or still building your collection I recommend taking them out of the manufacturer's box and putting the pastels together in a box such as the Heilman Box. This way you can organize them by color and value. It is much easier to paint when you don't have to hunt and peck through several boxes.
  • If you already have a studio box with plenty of pastels then keep it stocked but by all means keep some of the specialty sets separate.  I like to keep special pastels such as iridescents in their own box. I also like to keep sets put together by my favorite artists in a separate box. I have my McKinley set, a Jimmy Wright set and a Stan Sperlak set in their own boxes. I like to use these sets sometimes just for a fun challenge.
My Special Pastel Boxes

My Pastel Corner
Here is my newly organized Pastel Corner! My easel is a Blick H-Frame that I love. I can hook my butcher trays under the knobs with my working palette. My studio box is a homemade box with foamcore lids. On the top shelf I have fixatives. I keep all of my underpainting supplies on another shelf unit. The next shelf holds all of the specialty boxes. (see close-up)  On the next shelf I have pastel pencils, clips,color wheels, and my box of Diane Townsend lights. I keep these separate. I'll be posting on why soon!  In this photo you can see my dust catcher tray which is a piece of metal flashing.

I feel great now that it is done. I am excited to get painting now!  I have just a few more areas of the studio to organize and then I am done!

Today's painting is a 16x20 demo that I did for my recent workshop with the Lake Toxaway Art Guild. I finished it at home and changed the time of day to twilight. Look closely for the fireflies!

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