Friday, August 08, 2014

An Idea for Pastel Storage

'A Good Summer for Lace'         6x8        pastel          ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting here $65
 It happens about twice each year. It gradually builds. I work and I paint and I am oblivious to the unorganized mess of art supplies. I don't know how I don't notice it but I don't. I am too caught up with my work. Then one day it hits me. I can't paint another thing until I tame the mess. It starts to weigh me down. I can no longer ignore it. I reached the tipping point last week but the work began today. I am starting to see the light at the end of this dusty tunnel.

Today I decided to tackle my pastels. I have a lot of pastels. Ten years worth of collecting. Pastel people will understand.  I have boxes and boxes of pastels on my shelf in various storage arrangements. I do have a big studio box that is filled to overflowing. These pastels are organized by color and value. I have some special sets that I like to keep separate and they go on my shelf. I also have boxes of leftovers....duplicate colors, smaller pieces, halves from other sets. These are the boxes that I wanted to do something with.

I never use the pastels on the 'leftover' shelf!  I needed to find a way to make them visible and accessible....Costco to the rescue!

The BEFORE shot. Pastels are everywhere!

The 'In PROGRESS' shot

The 'After' shot. Drawers are filled with my leftovers which now can be seen and used!
A few months ago I bought this great rolling cart from Costco. It has 10 removable drawers. I wasn't sure what I would use it for but I can't resist a container of any kind. Today it occurred to me that the cart would be perfect for all of those spare pastels. What good are they doing hidden away in boxes?

  • I decided to organize the pastels by color. I have a lot of greens so I used two drawers and separated them into cools and neutrals and another drawer for warms.
  • I used a one drawer each for blues, purples, red, oranges, and yellows.
  • One drawer is devoted to lights and colorful grays (this will be a great drawer to take out for clouds)
  • One drawer is used for my Diane Townsend Terrages. I have about 50 of them but never remember to use them because they have been closed up in boxes! (I have room for a few more too)
  • I have one empty drawer so I will work with this system for awhile and decide what I might use the last drawer for. hmmmm maybe for my harder pastels?
Note on how I use my pastels: I use butcher trays and choose my pastel palette before each painting. I put these pastels in the tray. So this system will work for me because I always spend a few minutes before starting a painting going through my pastels to choose my working palette. Now that they are in plain sight  I will have a lot more pastels available for me to choose from when deciding on the working palette.

Painting notes: This painting is on watercolor paper that was coated with clear gesso to give texture.

1 comment:

Susan Williamson said...

So there is hope for for me also! Genius idea, Karen. Now all that unorganized space in the horizontal surfaces can be used for table top easels!