Art Space

When I was writing, we would often share our writing space online. I still have my desk in a corner under a window in my new place and I’ve also set up a makeshift studio for painting.

 

This is a guestroom. It has a Murphy bed that’s closed in this photograph. The futon usually sits along the left wall, but I had to move it for this large three-foot by four-foot canvas. Nothing sat level on the thick carpeting, so hubby went out and bought a smooth sheet of plywood to go on the floor. Even with sunlight coming in through the sliding glass doors, the light in this room was horrible and I was straining my eyes. We found a nice lightbox set-up on FB Marketplace and put that to good use.

The Murphy bed unit has shelves and cabinets where I keep art supplies. There are various painting mediums in there; gels, pastes, liquids, thinners, and such. Three hundred-plus paintbrushes live in Mason jars on a handy shelf.

I have no idea how many tubes of paint I have. Painting is done mostly with three primary colors, reds, blues, and yellows, which are mixed for various shades, along with whites, blacks, and umber. I keep some secondary colors and a few tertiary colors to speed up mixing certain shades and provide small amounts of quick color. Hanging shoe racks make a good place for keeping the colors organized where I can find what I need quickly.

I’m painting in acrylics and they dry extremely fast. This makes blending a challenge and I use goat hair mop brushes for large areas of blending. Glazing liquids help with blending smaller areas. I recently purchased a line of “open” hard-bodied Golden paints which have a slower drying time, the drawback is that they also have a longer tacky time, which is when your brush strokes can lift all of the layers off of your canvas, so there is a lot of time spent waiting for paint to dry, even when using a blow dryer to speed the process.

 

I like painting in early mornings when the light is good through the sliders that allow me to gaze out onto the palm-lined canal whenever I feel the need.

Morning time is when I feel most alert and focused, unlike late evenings when I felt a deeper connection with my writing.

There is a lady, Lisa Timcak, who owns a local gallery and shop, Island Visions. She has expressed some interest in displaying some of my work in her place next door to the ice cream shop. Inside of her gallery, there are tables and chairs to sit and eat your ice cream, which everybody who visits Matlacha has to do, so this is good exposure. She will be coming back to the village in October, so we shall see how that pans out.

The sun is coming up and I will be back to painting soon. I have been working on this large canvas for a few weeks now. It’s a slow process from start to finish, but quicker than writing a novel. And once the sun starts to set, I’ll be off to take my evening walk.

Let me know how your creative endeavors are coming along. Besides Alejandro, is there anyone else who has tried their hand at painting? I just picked up the brushes for acrylic painting about a year ago. I find it most relaxing and the minor frustrations are relatively easy to cope with. Have you thought about giving it a try? You may be better at it than you ever imagined.

15 thoughts on “Art Space

  1. I started painting as a way to ‘get out of the house’ when my late partner was dying and I couldn’t leave the house. I loved it and to my astonishment, ended up with some serious commissions and large scale murals to paint too.

  2. Looks like a great setup, Susan. Do you get all your art supplies from one place? Do you purchase your canvases in bulk or just one at a time? I’m curious because, at some point in the near future, I want to transition from simple pencil drawings to full-blown painting; even though I have no formal art training.

    1. I really don’t like ordering Golden paints from Amazon. There are counterfeiters selling crappy product. I usually hit Michael’s online or in store or Jerry’s Artarama when they are having 70% off sales. They have them frequently enough to keep well-stocked. I won’t use anything but Golden. Others simply are not archival. They go on in too thin of an application, or crack when curing if applied thickly.

      Canvas is another story. In Orlando I was getting all of my canvas at a local store called Sam Flax. From what I can find, there is only another store in Atlanta. Since moving here, I have ordered only one set of five 11X14 Fredrix Pro linen acrylic primed, but they are expensive. I only use them for commissioned works. I use Artist’s Loft student grade for things I’m just going to hang around the house and don’t plan to sell. I can pick that up at Michael’s on sale. I try to find Fredrix or Masterpiece, and Blick online has those, but again they are expensive. Art Alternatives is good quality at an affordable price if you can find them. That’s what I bought from Sam Flax if they didn’t have the size Fredrix that I needed.

      I rarely purchase one canvas at a time, to answer your question. I have a closet full.

      I highly recommend ColorByFeliks and Angela Anderson on YouTube and Patreon for learning technique. I have learn loads from both. They have entirely different styles and I am developing my own painterly style from practicing with their tutorials. It’s kind of amazing when I show gallery owners my portfolio and they like my originals best. Make me feel all warm inside. Good luck to you! Keep me posted as you transition and feel free to ask any questions. Are you on FB?

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