Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bathroom Office

This is my before office: the bathroom. Actually, it worked quite well. We had already taken out the bathtub, for other reasons, so we just installed a piece of wood for a workbench, and another for a shelf underneath. And did you notice the bubblewrap hanging from the shower curtain rod? The only problem was that my chair wasn't adjustable. : )

And below is my NEW office, in my new studio. I wanted slots for all my larger blank panels underneath, as well as my printers, paper, and boxes for shipping. Eventually I'll get something a little better for my bubble wrap - not sure what yet - maybe a shower curtain rod. I just ordered a whole slew of cork for my inspiration wall (found out the cheapest way to go for a big wall was 12x12in cork squares from Amazon pieced together), which will go above this workbench - I can't wait. Eventually my desk will have a formica top (on the solid core door top). Next ... more shelves.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

small painting shelves

This is my new solution for storing small paintings. My husband built and installed it today and I've very happy with it.

Before now I've just made several little stacks against a wall on top of a cabinet. It was not ideal because I could only see about 6 paintings at once. With this I can see most of what I've got at any time. I can put new stuff in front, and there's not danger of it ever slipping off because of the little lip on the front of each shelf.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More shadow box stuff

A few people asked about light. I knew I wouldn't be able to rely on window light alone, so I installed a daylight balanced florescent light directly above (to avoid glare) my easel. Today was a drizzly day, so without the light I would have been working in the dark. In this photo (below) you can also see my shadow box with both lights that I mentioned yesterday.

Below is another closeup of my shadow box - in use. You can see the spotlight on the left (in a regular light fixture, attached to a long, bendy arm ordered from B&H). And the real white light attached to the pvc on the upper right.

Here is a close-up of my real white light, pointing up towards the white cloth and bouncing around a bit inside my box (no direct light). I've taped it so it stays in this UP position. And I use a "north light filter" from my buddy Qiang over the light to make it even more blue, because I like the effect on my setup.

A couple of you asked how I attach the wood to the tri-pid. (the shadow box sits on top of this wood - I don't have the box itself attached to the tripod) Hopefully the photo below explains itself. The black part came with the tripod, with holes in it, which worked perfectly to screw the wood on.

Lots of you have suggested my husband make a kit for this, but at this point he has no interest, sorry. I have suggested he make a pattern, and he may do that if I can talk him into it. I'll post about it if he does.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Close-up of shadow box

We bought a worklight (green - sturdy tri-pod) from Home Depot. We removed the worklight and mounted a peice of plywood on top. Then the shadow box, made of pvc and plywood, sits on top. Every great once in a while I remove the box and put my computer up there - when I want to paint from a photo. The dimensions of the box can be just about anything, but mine is around 2' cubed. It's a little wider than it is deep, but not by much. To attach the plywood to the box we used quick ties - as seen below.

Over the box I put a white sheet (allows the light to bounce around inside, lightening up the shadows a bit) and a dark cloth over that (so the other light in the room doesn't get inside). This allows me to almost completely control the light on my setup. Some does get in from the front, but so far it's been ok.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Get Ready, Get Set ...

For a while I've been dreaming of custom shelves that would be just deep enough to display all my still life stuff, but not so deep I have trouble getting things out. My husband thought I was crazy, but I asked for 8" deep. We went to Home Depot to get the wood and he forgot that dimensioned lumber is actually less wide than it says, so my shelves are 7 1/4". But it worked out fine. Here is my husband installing them. Meanwhile I was frantically moving all my stuff from the old studio and putting them temporarily on the floor (left).

And here is the moment I've been waiting for! For some it might look like a bunch of junk - to me it is a lovingly managed collection of superb still life junk. There was just enough room. Apparently I am banned from ever going to Goodwill again.

Here is my painting corner, complete with my new Sorg easel, rolling palette and paint holder (awsome!), and shadow box.

And here is where I'll be taking naps ... I mean resting and pondering my paintings. You may notice the mat on the floor - it's a "Cadillac" mat from I got a 10' one (3' wide) so my feet don't hurt - I back up constantly to look at what I've done.

And here is my beautiful little desk with a frosted glass top. I got it from Ikea and I really love it. And the cute little rug by the door (Target). I'm very happy.

Next we'll install another row of shelves for all my other stuff (books, etc.) and build a work table for shipping, etc.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Paint and Juice

While I was away in California teaching, my husband did an amazing amount of work on the studio. To start with, he primed and painted the walls. I chose an off-white because I'm going to have a ton of stuff on the walls (shelves, etc) and decided as long as it was neutral it would be ok. I've heard gray is the answer. I suppose if I have a problem I can always repaint it.

Then he dug a trench beside the house so that we could take juice from the electric box on the house and route it to the studio.

When we poured the slab we had a pipe put in that would go from the outside of the slab up into the walls inside. This allows us to get the juice inside.

Below is the box inside the workshop part of the building that will power that and my studio. See all the fancy wires and conduits? I have no idea what they do - thank goodness my husband does.

Here's a close-up of all the breakers and whatnot.

And here it is all closed up and perty.

And some of the naked outlets ...

And now wired up with switches ...

And now pertified.

And the real test ... does it work?!?


We are keeping in mind resale and making this first a room that someone else might want to use. The main light I'll be using is a florescent above my easel, and another above my workstation. This one with the fan is just for show, though the fan might come in handy.

Now we are working on fixing a crappy stain job on the floor (long story!). Then we will put in baseboards. Then we will build some shelves and I will move in. Should be in a week or two!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pretty in Pink & White

My husband spent 2 days last week putting in the insulation in my studio. We decided to hire someone to do the drywall and floating/taping/texturizing because we've never done it before and figured it would take forever (where it's taking these guys 3 days!!!). We're just having it done in my studio (back part of picture below) and the workshop/garage ceiling (front part). We will do the rest ourselves.

Here are a few pictures before the sheetrock. I loved the pink insulation and the blue (tarp, outside) color combination!

Below is the wall of my studio with a hole for an a/c unit. It's illegal to build a space in Texas without one. Ok, I'm lying - my parents have lived here for many years without a/c - but they are tougher than I am.

Here are the guys today putting sheetrock on the ceiling of the workshop/garage. These guys are very good. If you need good dry wall guys in the Austin area I would highly recommend them.

Below are the 3 north light windows in my studio, with the sheetrock installed all around. You can sort of see our shed outside the window and I'm thinking it may be a problem in terms of reflected light. I'm seriously considering painting it gray.

Tomorrow they will start floating and taping. They MIGHT be done tomorrow - we're not sure yet. After that we will paint, hook up the electric, install some lights/fans/stuff, build some shelves, and I'm so in there. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to it!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Juice it Up

My husband has been installing all the electrical stuff for my studio. He had to drill a bunch of holes through the studs, and then string the heavy yellow wire all around, connecting the outlets. The metal plates are where we had several studs close together and couldn't drill a hole - instead we chiselled out a chanel. The plates are to prevent anyone from accidentally drilling/nailing into the wire once the wall is done. I'll have 10 outlets in my space! Apparently you can have too few, but never too many. We'll have 5 circuits between the studio and the workshop/garage, with 20 amps per circuit.

The next step is insulation for the walls, which my husband is being super safe with. He's wearing an air mask and being really careful with ventilation and not wearing the same clothes inside the house. Fiberglass is nasty stuff.
After that we've got just a few little details to attend to, then we're moving everything out before the drywall crew comes on Tuesday. Besides the slab, this is the only other thing we're paying someone else to do. Why? Because honestly we don't want to do it, and this way I can move in faster! : )