A lot of painters struggle with space to create their paintings. A simple search on the Internet reveals most of us resort to a garage, basement, spare bedroom, or even a corner of the room. I too long for the 14 foot ceilings, north light windows, and a 20 foot by 20 foot space just to paint. However, the question is; do you really need it?
Take a look at the en plein air artists. They do not need a massive studio since they work outside. If you don't paint en plein air, you can still adopt their methods. I use my basement to create, frame, and inventory all my work. A small desk in the family room is used for the "office" and I do run all over the house for space from time to time. All my equipment is portable, or easy to store away when not in use.
Here are some tips for all my cramped space friends:
- Try using a French easel and storage bag as your "mobile art studio" and paint anywhere you have room. When you are finished, pack it up and put it away.
- Use folding tables as work benches and tables when you need the space. When you're finished, fold up and store as needed.
- Use a laptop and the kitchen/dining room table. Desktop computers take up way too much space. Plus, the laptop can go with you anywhere! Instant mobile office.
- Use a cell phone for the studio. A land line is a waste of money. After all, you shouldn't be tied down to a studio right?
- Only purchase the supplies you need to finish a job or project. Avoid the "pack rat" mentality.
I hope these five tips help you find peace when you get frustrated for not having the ideal space. When you do get more space, I would advise keeping the same discipline of "mobility" that way you can keep your space clean, useful, and organized. I do a lot from my 12 foot by 20 foot basement studio and there is no way I could do it all without the mobility of my equipment.