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Old 02-13-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
Laurel Alanna McBrine Laurel Alanna McBrine is offline
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Location: Oakville, Ontario CANADA
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Organizing Tips for ALL THAT STUFF!




I would love to hear from others about how they organize all the stuff we have in our studios.

Right now, I am trying to come up with a new system for organizing everything because what I have been doing is not working - things are all over the place.

I think part of the problem is having several mediums (watercolor, oils and acrylics) and not enough storage, but I recently inherited several low, deep bookshelves from my youngest son which I think will come in handy. I need to get some containers that fit on the shelves.

I also have a couple of rolling plastic carts with drawers, an old wood chest of drawers with one broken drawer that doesn't shut all the way, a drafting table that I use flat most of the time as a high work surface, a tall wicker bookshelf, a small bookshelf, a big easel, a french easel, a table and an old rolling microwave cart that use as a taboret. The room is about 12x24, basement walkout with a sliding door and window on the long wall. Paintings, frames and canvases are currently leaning against walls here and there.

I was thinking of posting a photo, but decided it would be too embarassing.

Please share your tips and tricks for organizing your paints, brushes, mediums, gadgets, canvas rolls, boards, paper, pencils, sketchbooks, frames, palettes, easels, books, magazines, completed paintings . . . . .and keeping things in order!
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Laurel,

I see no-one has responded. Does that mean we are all slobs and ashamed to share? I doubt it.

Personally, I'm constantly fighting and frequently losing against the ocean of supplies that I seem to require. I take odds and ends to transform into storage. For instance, right now I have no option but to have an extra wood trundle bed frame and bed frame stored sideways against a wall in a back bedroom. Since it's there, it's being put to use: the top of it is serving as a place for stretched canvases to sit until I'm ready to use them. But I'm not recommending this to anyone else!

My methods seem similar to yours: I'm using a bureau to hold extra paints and pastels, bookshelves, boxes, magazine holders: nothing unique.

How about anyone else?
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:12 PM   #3
Debra Rexroat Debra Rexroat is offline
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Location: Auburn WA
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My house is my studio I am afraid, which means two of us (and our fat cat) share a small 1910 cottage with colored pencils, watercolors, acrylics and pastels -- and all the different grounds and papers (oh how I love a good hand-made paper!) and then my finished, framed and stored works! My partner loves to shower me with new stuff all the time, but I have had to differentiate between "oh, look, I like this" and "I have been needing this" when we go to the art supply store.

Our guest room (we have a 2 br home of less than 900 sq ft) contains my drawing table and a storage bed I found at Ikea (much storage space underneath, but it needs to be cleaned and sorted badly) and and my studio easel sits between the dining and living rooms, with the taboret beside it. I have four bookshelves of art books, going all the way back to my childhood. My walls are floor-to-ceiling art hung gallery style in almost every room. I am sure the lack of space could share the blame for my inability to get creative at times.

Whenever I do get things more organized, it seems like all it takes is a brief creative spurt and it is a mess again. I think what is going to happen is that the closet in the guest room will soon be converted to well-designed storage so that I can get a little more streamlined in our living area. I see a new little five-drawer taboret in my future as well.

I have too many easels and will soon be listing those that just weren't a good fit on Craig's List or some such. I find frames and paper storage to be the most challenging, due to bulk and the need to be protected.

My pastels are in pastel drawers, my plein air case, and several cigar-box-sized containers. My acrylic paints are in plastic shoe boxes, and my watercolors are in the extra-long pencil boxes you get at Office Depot. Brushes are in jars according to type and size, except watercolor brushes are rolled in bamboo and muslin holders I made myself.

I will be curious what others who have such limited space do, and especially if anyone has figured out how to downsize and reduce without great pain.
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