Remodeling My Crazy "Studio" (room)

I've spent the better part of the past two weeks purging, cleaning, Spring cleaning - I mean, I am  purging anything I haven't used in 2 years - I think my house has lifted a foot off the ground with all the purging.

My "studio" room is crazy - So many things - I needed to organize.  I am about half way done with my remodel.  I like to paint standing - I have always found it difficult to configure set ups that are eye level or adjustable.  An artist that I greatly admire used adjustable bracket shelving for her various set ups.  I decided to give it a go.

I used a level, my new pink electric screwdriver, toggle bolts and stud finders (I told the guy at Ace that I was looking for a stud finder and he said "you found me" - LOL) -  okay, so, I've spent the past few days figuring this out.  I think it will work - time will tell.

that's a shelf that came with the house - it is level - unfortunately, I had to remove it because brackets for a still life set up weren't going to work with it in place....

okay, took it down to reveal two amazing toggle bolts stuck in the wall so I decided to hang my bracket holders there - 

so, although the toggle bolts worked, the bracket holders are too far apart for most set ups (plus, I realized I needed to also order 24" deep shelf holders for larger "table tops" -....   Still...……  making progress...………  figuring it out...………….

these are spaced about 44" apart - I have several fake shelves that are not nearly that to make it work...……… what to do...………… 

I needed two more bracket holders in between at different distances to accommodate any size.....  I got the stud finder and lo and behold!!!!!!!!!!!   that may work...………..   I went back to my stud at Ace and he helped me find wood screws for the studs.....

looky there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I think I am onto something.....    I got my level and proceeded to drill accordingly with my fancy pink screwdriver (THAT IS AWESOME BTW!!!!!!!!!!!!) -...………………..

About this time, Mr. Husband physicist/engineer/perfectionist came upstairs to find out what the hell I was doing and he had to leave...………..  "why are your gaps so different between each bracket holder on that wall and why are you drilling so many holes and I can't believe how you are ruining this house with all of these holes willy nilly everywhere that someone will have to repair one day if we ever move and you are ruining a perfectly unholed wall …………"   well, he didn't really say all of that, I'm just checking if anyone is reading this paragraph.  But he did have to leave because of my appalling spacing - it horrified him - truly.  I think it was genius.

A genius accident.  I needed to find the studs for the middle brackets because I sure as anything was not going to toggle bolt drywall...………..  studs it was...………….

I should be able to accommodate a little lemon on a little shelf to a  large table top configuration...…….

I threw some various "table tops" and props just to test the sturdiness...………  These are not real set ups for paintings -------------  I am in construction mode at the moment...……..

But, I am very excited because I think this going to work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My deepest "table top" - playing around with weight.....

finally, I will be able to get eye level compositions easily...……..   

placing different backdrops and light blockers etc... is working well...….

I can't wait to set up a real still life and paint again.

Any suggestions appreciated as I am in the throws of construction/re-organizational madness.

PaulBBoudiccaBOB73Bancroft414Summer[Deleted User]Dianna


  • edited April 2019
    @PaulB you get the different width spaces between!  I can use a small foam core even with a single fruit setup on the far right side and I think I can use a massive table top if ever needed with the weight limit recommendations (200 pounds!!!) I mean, I could even have a live model standing on it  :)………  That "Barbie" is a necklace holder thank you very much.  That is my easel I never use...…. my dirty easel is still much loved - I have it worn in properly and your amazing easel is my dream!!
    PaulBdencalSummer[Deleted User]
  • edited April 2019
    Fantastic! Isn't it great to have an opportunity to get your "hardware store swagger" on? Love it! And what an ingenious set up to have adjustable still life shelves/table tops. Genius!
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    That looks thoroughly organized.  Well done.  Are you really down to one room?

    It must be so much easier now you've cut back to 12 palette knives.  Before you really had too many.
  • Wow! What a great job you’re doing.My house is looking a touch pre-organised Julianna with the woodworking bench in the kitchen, and saws, drills, chisels, and woodust on the dining table. Ha ha.
  • @PaulB nope, not even close - still residual items in dining room, living room spare bedroom and spare bath (plus hallway) - it's coming around though.  

    I had to get rid of my beautiful rod iron and brass day bed that I didn't want to give away and to my great surprise - no one wanted it!  Not even Goodwill - it's in my front door area waiting for pick up next week - 

    I moved my make-up vanity into the spare bedroom and finally hung my Le Sidaner watercolor - I'm tired of it being on the floor.  If we get an earthquake that is substantial, so be it - I figure the watercolor can't break so believe it or not, this is what gives me the greatest joy, seeing his painting every single day.
    I can't believe that notan - did they do that in the late 1800's???  

    thank you @Elize     @Boudicca but you have a great excuse with your amazing show coming up!  I'm so excited for you.
  • lucky you! its going to be  a great studio.... just one thing.. i think its best not to keep the oils and solvents where sunlight falls during the day... just as a precaution..
  • Looking good @Julianna I have all this to come in the coming weeks, but I will cut back and simplify my set up if that’s possible even 
  • Thanks for sharing. You've got a right to hang your paintings and enjoy seeing them. No arrogance involved. It's also part of the learning experience; every glance at a previous painting reminds you of those lessons learned, mistakes made and your progress as an artist. Don't feel apologetic about surrounding yourself with your own work, it doesn't suit your personality.
  • How beautiful all your paintings look! You are such a great artist. I wish I could paint with that thick juicy paint. When I've tried it's all gone wrong!! :)
  • Your husband must be very patient and love you very much!! <3

    Cheer up, you'll be painting beautiful flowers soon :)
  • edited April 2019
    Great work @Julianna! And yeah it is a tough job to reorganize, been there done that a number of times in my life and doing it again at this moment too, just like you. After it is all done, it should feel new and uncomfortable until I get settled in my new space, especially when I get down to painting once again. It takes a little longer for the feelings part of me to catch up and settle into something new in order to become satisfied again accompanied by a greater sense of appreciation and respect for myself, these qualities are very important for me. Most often when I ignore this, my mind stays cluttered and unmanageable and I break down not being able to even work well, and whatever I do ends up same, confusion being too close of a friend. It's often difficult to learn anything new, succeed at it and enjoy it. And procrastination is my greatest enemy. My cluttered space encourages me to procrastinate and cause me too much grief and frustration, and rarely let's me win at what I love most and I end up losing, never getting ahea
     The most important part is to give myself credit, pat myself on the back, treat myself to something special to really enjoy. 
     I am taking my time and time to paint while I clean up my studio, 'cause so many tiny little details to tend to in my case, real dirty finicky sh_t! and a real fire hazard to me and to others around me.
     In the end I do it because I care.
  • @Richard_P patient because he put up with the chaos everywhere for so long or patient because it is taking me so long to get it sorted?  He pretty much ignores me while I am zipping around and assembling furniture and dragging large pieces of furniture from here to there - as long as I leave him alone - he's fine - when I start cursing and screaming - that kind of annoys him :).  He's tired of my whining about how long it is taking and how much I want to be painting  -   this deep purge/Spring cleaning thing is exhausting.  Yesterday, I found a box of wedding planning things... even all of the rsvps, menu suggestions....  it was ridiculous - like, what made me ever think I would look at those again or need them?  to the dump pile it all went....

    ok i'm procrastinating - I am going to paint some lilacs in my studio and see if it feels better in there now that I re-arranged some things....

    wish me well...…...
  • Thanks for inviting into your home and showing us around your studio, and all the decisions.   Love how you framed and hung your paintings, very beautiful.
  • Looking forward to the lilacs!
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    That's really beautiful.
  • wow, what an enormous expenditure of energy....  but it's such a wonderful feeling to have things organised the way you want them so you can concentrate on what you really want to do.
  • Beautiful work but shouldn't this be in "Post Your Paintings"?
  • @BOB73 you have a point but it is my first painting in my new studio, an experiment to see if I was comfortable in there.  To my surprise, I ended up finishing this painting in an afternoon - I looked at it this morning and although I could probably spend more time on certain things, I decided to sign it and call it done.  I am in a class and am so far behind with assignments and I have more lilacs I want to paint and I have another few days to finish my deep clean/purge of this house plus,...……   :)  " A painting is never finished, just abandoned" - I can't remember who said that?  I usually post in "post a painting" when I am confused, struggling and aggravated :).  
  • Well I'm glad you are over being "confused, struggling and aggravated" Post them where you want, we'll find them. As regards ""they" (people in the know.... wise people.....creative, genius people...) ,  say this is important to purge- organize - de-clutter - "" I'm not sure these geniuses would agree:

    Left: Walter Sickert at home (1938) Right: Francis Bacon in his studio (C.1973)

    Related imageRelated image
    Albert Einstein looks confused, struggling and aggravated, you two have so much in common.Related image

  • Hmmmm, seems to be a common thread in those photos. ) Beautiful paintings Juliana. ) 
  • Goodness gracious @BOB73 - that Sickert even had me gasping a little bit.  I can relate to Lucian Freud's mess much more than Bacon -and Picasso and Einstein don't even have messes :) -

    I'm finishing off a few more things - two busy days and then I can paint again on Thursday - thanks to the help of a lighting expert (PaulB) - I do believe I am finally getting my light situation sorted and finger's crossed, I will be able to paint properly at night.  I am a night owl so that is my best time.

    I am coming 'round the bend, I see the tunnel and I can see the light at the end of it now - Mr. Julianna thinks in no time, I will manage to get it chaotic again - I'm not likely to put things back in their proper place.

    My favorite thing is those still life bars and adjustments!!!!!!!   I am so excited to have a large table, shelf, small - any height I choose - I can finally paint eye level standing up!  I am even going to hang my round table on the 24" brackets - it works perfectly!

    I may post photos later this week with my lights in place - not to bore y'all but I want to document the conclusion - put a period to the end of this convoluted journey.

    Thank you for your encouragement.

  • There's messy and then there is dirty. Bacon is just dirty.
  • I hope you will soon be comfortable in your reorganized space and turn out even more masterpieces.  I can't wait to see them.  Your photos of your paintings were enjoyed.  They are beautiful.
  • edited April 2019
    That's a lovely floral, @Julianna. I've just now seen it. The composition is lovely and the colour harmonies are gorgeous.  I also like the way you push paint around. :)

    It feels good after a clean up in the studio. But entropy always seems to eventually get the upper hand again. But that allows us to feel good all over again after the next tidy up. :)
  • entropy? is that what I have? I thought it was atrophy. But I get it now, as atrophy continues entropy worsens. If there was an award for that it would be an entophy.
  • I'm coming down the homestretch - it feels wonderful and I am very much enjoying my studio space and feeling comfortable.  My final struggle is lights - I have about 12 different kinds of lights.... have tried any number of things...…….   I can shut my blinds in my studio NW facing window in the afternoon to control ambient light better but I still cannot paint at night!!!  I'm so aggravated - I am a night owl - I would love to be able to paint well into the night as long as I please.  I even tried to do a day painting and a night painting but still - I can't figure out my easel light - it is awkward.   Should I clamp it on a tripod (I have a ton of tripods from all of my light experiment purchases) -    5000k bulbs.   I need to try to some foil on the still life light to get that focused better....    Any ideas??  Suggestions????  Help!!!!!
  • don't use foil. For LED (bulbs that don't get hot) you can use black-painted non-reflective foam core or poster board shape you lights the way you want, you just  have to get creative with poster board scissors and tape. I got rid  of all the shades on my clamp on lights but kept the rings that hold them on.
  • edited May 2019
    Almost a month to the day and I am finally done.  I'm quite certain, this house has lifted a foot off the ground with all the purging and organizing.  I have a few more paintings to varnish and frame but that is all on my "to do" list - it feels great.  I spent the better part of the day going through all my oil paints - I used my new BFF - the tube wringer and was able to consolidate and organize my wall shelf - 

    Sophia Loren Scarlett O'Hara even has a bed in here now.  She loves to be where I am.

    my hands are going to have callouses from wringing so many tubes - but I was able to make room for almost all of my paints to go on my wall shelf - these are the bottoms of the tubes - it's amazing this tube wringer cinches so tightly that all I have to do is cut it - unbelievable.  

    I organized as best I could....  I have so many favorite colors for various subjects so tried to keep that in mind.  

    these were the only things I could not fit - my Genevas, my Munsell neutrals - a travel pack of maimeri puro and a huge tub of cremnitz I bought by accident (I thought I was buying their largest tube - not TUB"  so.....   I'm pleased with my progress - my guest bedroom and bath are ready for company and everything is in this little studio room - my piece of heaven.  

    This has been an emotional chore - going through so many old paintings (some as far back as 2nd grade) - throwing away - donating - purging, organizing...…   whew!   Time for a vacation!
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    I figured the tub was cad red, and almost empty.

    This is great, organized and compact.  Time to let loose?
  • dencaldencal -
    edited May 2019

    Lighting: Suggest four T8 style 40 watt LED clustered ceiling fixtures (cAU$85 each). c5000k with a quality dimmer (or wifi controlled from your smartphone). You may be able to get four LED strips in the one fixture.
    This will emit 14,400 lumens and c576 lumens at the centre of the canvas (depends on your ceiling height).

  • Congratulations on finishing a daunting task. You should celebrate with a round of golf (needing fresh air, I'll bet) and a round of drinks. You can fine tune your lighting after a vacation.
  • edited May 2019
    @dencal I don't have a smart phone - I don't even have a smart laptop - it has a lag of about a second even when I type which sounds like no big deal but try typing a sentence and everything is a second behind on the screen.  I have some tube lights and fixture that sounds like what you are talking about....    I am making progress.  Thank you for your always thoughtful responses and help.  @BOB73 i'm getting the lighting nailed down - paul helped a TON!!!!  it's coming along.

    Look at how this guy organizes his tubes!!!!!!!!!!   genius!!!!!!!!!!   but, why is he using oil paints that I used in high school - the cheapest of the cheap oil paints - Winton student grade - but hey, he is winning big prizes in oil painting competions….<iframe title="vimeo-player" src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  • @Julianna
    I have just looked at his work on his site. Amazing realism, but yes I too am surprised he uses student grade paint.
  • He uses so many tube colors, I bet he can't mix colors worth a toot and the bristles are falling out of his brushes to boot!
  • edited May 2019
    Student grade earth colours are fine. The pignents are ubiquitous in nature and so cheap that the manufacures can make the student grade as good as the professional grade. Even in the professional grade, yellow ochre, for example, is usually placed in the series #1 category and is sold cheaply.   When you get into the cadmiums etc in series 2, 3 and 4 ... the price goes up.  The more expensive pigments are often powerful and so little is needed.  Maybe that guy just knows his pigments so well can get away with cheaper grade paints.  I can recommend red oxide and yellow ochre for most reds and yellows in landscape.  :)
Sign In or Register to comment.