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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why Organize Your Studio Space

'Desert Cool'            8x10         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
It must have been the wide open spaces of the Southwest. I felt it as soon as we arrived in Marietta and the trees formed a tunnel over the road. It was a bit claustrophobic. The feeling continued when I went down into my studio.  There was stuff everywhere!  Good stuff like pastels, paints and paper but it was out of control. I longed for a big open space with lots of light.

I'm not really complaining. I live in a beautiful green place and I have a wonderful large studio space. But it was in desperate need of an overhaul.  I needed to organize my supplies so that I could be more efficient and so that I could make better use of my space. I have a plan but it is going to take some work.

Today was the day to start. I have students coming in a week so I have time to get things back in order before my class.  Here are some of the before shots and my thoughts on why organizing your space will help you paint better!

My working studio

My outer studio used mainly for storage since it has no heat or air
My goal for this overhaul was to make more space for students to move around. I will be getting some easels and tables so that students won't need to bring their own. The work stations will be around the outer edges of the room so that we can stand at an easel and easily back up to see our work.

I also want to make space to leave my oil and acrylic supplies out in addition to my pastels. So I will now have two stations...one for pastels and another for oils and acrylics. I will call this area the 'no excuses' easel.  There  will be no more excuses for not doing oils or acrylics since it will all be out and handy!

I am feeling much better despite the piles of supplies scattered about. I know it will be back in order soon.

  • Sometimes an unorganized studio space can prevent you from actually painting. It can be paralyzing or you might spend too much of your time cleaning and organizing your space and not painting in it.
  • Coming into a clean and organized studio space is like staring a fresh canvas. It is a fresh new beginning. I am back from my trip inspired and filled with new ideas so I need a fresh space to allow them to happen.
  • Knowing where all your supplies are and making it easy to get to them will help you be more creative and intuitive in your art. You won;t have to break the flow to find that pastel or certain brush. 
Today's painting was done yesterday on Black paper with Terry Ludwig pastels.


Sea Dean said...

How strange you should decide to blog about this today. We have a carnival of 20 Artists Blogs talking about their studios with photos and giveaways. Perhaps you will find some ideas. This is a link to my blog and links to all the other Artists are at the bottom. http://www.paintamasterpiece.blogspot.com. By the way I love your work and always think of you when I´m trying to achieve a pastel like effect in my painting.

Observe Closely said...

Another wonderful thing about the periodic studio re-org is the opportunity to get rid of the stuff you never use. There is usually an art school nearby that is ready to take surplus supplies. Lacking that, there is always a starving artist who will too. Great feeling to pass unused supplies to someone appreciative.

robertsloan2art said...

Oh wow! You've got a great studio. Of course it matters to organize your studio.

Not only is it hard to get inspired when everything's chaos, it's hard to work. The stuff you need is way over there buried under a pile of other stuff. You spend half your time finding the tools and materials you need. Once you do, finding or creating a place to work is exhausting and then you're supposed to feel creative?

I have limited body energy due to a skeletal deformity and fibromyalgia, a double whammy. I learned the importance of organizing when it makes the difference between whether I can paint or not. If I have to gather supplies first, a lot of times I wind up napping instead of painting by the time I've got them together.

I view that as a miniature of something that happens to busy, productive people who have a lot of energy. Everyone has limits. The more organized you are, the more of your energy can go to the actual painting.

Yay for your No Excuses layout - I do that too if I want to use certain mediums because I will tend to use whatever's in reach.

Karen said...

Thanks fo rthe link Sea! I'll be sure to take a look. Great timing!

Karen said...

Thanks Jan...I do have some extras that I will be donating. It is a great way to help others and get rid of the excess!

Karen said...

Thanks Robert! It is great to hear from you. I always enjoy your thoughtful comments. It adds so much to my posts!

Jude Page said...

Organising one's work space is really important because this can help in making your tasks easier and faster. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!