Every once in a while, I have to reaccess my art studio and how it functions. For while, I have felt like I needed more flat work surfaces. My primary work surfaces are tilted (the easel and the drafting table) and I just have the flat surface of my desk. I found myself wishing the back wall of my studio was just about two or three feet wider, so I would have plenty of room to add a generously-sized, counter-height island right in the middle. But, moving walls is complicated and expensive, so that will remain a wish and a note for any future studio.
I decided to set my drafting table so it was level and used it like that for much of the week. I think I would miss having the table titled, though, which I use for sketching and watercolor. It’s not too hard to adjust, but it does take a bit of effort to turn the crank, raise the table, add on the ledge to stop papers and pencils from sliding off, etc.
I found I was using the flat surface a lot, though, so this gave me the incentive to try some other options in the art studio.
I have started working some in acrylic to do little abstracts and landscape studies. It’s been so fun to expand my artistic horizons a bit more. I’m working on acrylic paper, so it’s better to work on a flat surface with plenty of room for a palette and water cup.
I’ve also been adding some water-soluble crayon, colored pencil, pastel, charcoal, and lead over top of them. I haven’t done very much work mixing mediums, so it’s been challenging and freeing. I tend to take my work a little too seriously and this is pushing me into being more playful and relaxed.
I’ve always been that way! When I was studying musical theatre in college, my music theory professor (who also coached our traveling musical theatre ensemble), told my parents, “Marian is very serious!” I was and I still am. I take creative work seriously, which can be a benefit when it comes to discipline and study, but it can hold me back and box me in when it comes to experimenting.
I find that these little studies and abstracts are helping me find my artistic voice. I’m not focusing on the detail but allowing the paintings to come together intuitively. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned back to my oil paints and easel.
I have received positive feedback on the little studies and abstracts, so I will be selling them in my next original art sale. I have been planning on doing that in November, but we’ll see! I am finding that I don’t want to rush into a launch followed by all of the packing and shipping. I want to keep the pace slow, enjoy the holiday season, and create.
But, my board is full and so are my drying ledges. I’m going to have to have a sale to make room for new creations!
I’ll just have a little debate with myself about when I should have the sale for a few minutes! I guess I need to get that sorted out…
Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to talk about my art or the sale, but to share what I’m trying out in my art studio! Our old kitchen table has been hanging out in the basement as a place to play board games and do puzzles. More often than not, though, that happens on the main level. The table gets pushed against the wall and sits unused most of the time. So, I brought it up to the art studio to test out the size.
I butted it up against the back of the desk partners-desk-style. Size-wise, it’s a nice match for the desk and just needs some casters to make it the same height. I am also going to try it as an island to see how that feels, but I’m going to use it like this for a while.
This option allows me to keep my drafting table titled and provides another flat work surface.
I brought a chair from our bedroom to use for now…
The table is a little low, but the casters will fix that.
My main point in sharing this is to share my process for testing out ideas when it comes to arranging furniture. I used to feel like I needed to run out and buy something, but I’ve learned it’s more valuable to borrow something from another room in the house to test out that idea. If it works well after a few days or weeks, then it might be worth looking for the perfect piece. If not, you can simply return the piece to the room you borrowed it from, your curiosity satisfied.
As far as this table, I like having an extra work surface in here, so I know I’d like to make something work. It might end up being this very table or I might end up replacing it with something else. Time will tell!
If you don’t follow me on Instagram and you’re curious to see the art I’ve been creating, here is a preview or a few pieces. I’ll share a separate post about the Nice View collection as well as the oil minis, color charts, acrylic abstracts, and studies.
More on these paintings soon…