Archive for May, 2018

Making Art in Small Studio Spaces

May 19, 2018
French easel set up

French easel set up in a spare bedroom at sis Deb’s place

Early this Spring I found myself in transitional living arrangements and went to stay with my sister Deb. She kindly gave me space in her spare bedroom to paint in a temporary small studio. I had to get used to working on a small french easel with a narrow side table and lots of drop cloths everywhere. After painting a few traditionally stretched canvases I switched to working on 12″ x 16″ canvas sheets that can be matted and framed by the future owners. Attaching my canvas sheets to a masonite board allowed me to set up or move the work to a storage room quickly if I needed to.

temporary art studio set up

25 x 22″ masonite board supports the canvas sheets, secured with white artist tape. (Open handle and clips are for transporting drawing pads from studio or class room.)

I decided to paint a small piece beside the main larger painting, partly to test out colors first. The 2 paintings evolved together, the same color mixtures used for both. I alternated working from one piece to the other, which gave me a useful perspective. The tree painting is a continuation of a previous series theme, while the abstract floral is a more spontaneous design. I think this helped me stay loose.

Painting on sheets from the canvas pad also helped me when it came to storing finished paintings. Once dry, I can just store them stacked flat.

I really like the look of white mats and simple dark frames for displaying this size of art work. Once I move to my own new studio again, I might just continue working like this now and then! What do you think of painting 2 pieces at once?

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The tree painting in oils takes shape.

The floral painting progresses.


Pink-tree-final“Spring Tree with Pink”, 11.5″ x 15.5″, oil on canvas sheet

“Abstract Floral”, 8 x 10″ oil on canvas sheet, white border for framing


“Abstract Floral” with white mat and simple dark frame


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