Saturday, August 22, 2015

Breaking in the new studio.

I’ve been pretty busy this past month getting settled into my new home with my family and getting my new studio set up. My studio is now in a bonus room in our home just off the upstairs landing at the top of the stairs. We’ve downsized, so my studio is now much smaller than my old one, but it’s still a great space that inspires me, so I thought I’d tell you a bit about it.

Just before move-in day.

The walls. I wanted a neutral gray for a wall color so that any light reflection off the walls wouldn’t affect how I see my paintings. It took two tries--my first choice appeared too blue once I saw it up on the walls--but I ended up with Sherwin Williams 7016 “Mindful Gray,” and I’m real happy with it. It’s not too cool; not too warm.

Blinds are now on all the windows since this photo was taken.

The lighting. My two windows in the main part of the studio are south facing…not the ideal north facing direction. But I have blinds on the windows which seem to diffuse the light nicely, and a large fluorescent overhead light along with two standing lamps with warmer GE Reveal bulbs.(You can see the overhead light in the "empty" studio photo above.) I’m no expert at lighting, so I won’t even attempt to get technical and try to sound like I know what I’m talking about. But after reading up on the techy info I could understand, I chose Phillips T8 Daylight fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot for my overhead light, which are a cool light similar to north light. I have four of them in the fixture. So far, I’m real pleased with the lighting in my studio, and it even seems to cooperate well to photograph my work right from my easel. Plus, in the past, I’ve always used a small overhead lamp above my easel, but I’ve found that I don’t need to use them in this studio. 

Pastel on the left. Oil on the right. Cushy mats in front of each!

At my easels. I decided to place cushy mats in front of each of my easels. Haven't used these before...not sure why. These are actually just kitchen mats I bought at Target, not the more expensive “anti-fatigue” mats, but they feel great to stand on all day. I have an additional mat under my pastel easel to help cushion wayward pastels that get away from me and to protect the flooring from too much dust collecting on it. My laptop (for my photo reference) gets placed on the cabinet (actually an old microwave stand) to the left of my oil easel or on top of the small white storage containers next to my pastel easel...both surfaces are roughly eye level for me.. although I do need to find something to raise it another inch or two on the pastel side.

Storage. Although my main studio area is small, I have another tiny separate room that extends off of the studio. The builders of this house actually meant for it to be a walk-in storage room. It has a low ceiling and a smaller than normal doorway. But at just barely 5’2,” I can fit inside just fine. In this room I have a framing table with storage beneath, a drawing table for sketching thumbnails, and another long table for trimming boards, preparing panels, varnishing paintings, packaging work to ship, etc.

Framing, sketching, and other odds and ends.
The all important sink. The one item that our new house did not have, that I do need to have at least near my studio, is a utility sink to wash brushes. We were fortunately able to have a small one installed in our laundry room, which is also upstairs just down the hall from my studio. Convenient enough.

Shelves. Still missing from my studio is shelf space to prop up paintings in progress … these are on the to-do list! I do, however, have some shelves in the hallway outside my studio where I can place completed paintings waiting to head out the door to shows or galleries. (And they dress up that wall!)

My "overflow" space outside my studio.
Much of the extra space in my old studio was used for teaching my local classes. I’m taking a break from teaching ongoing local classes and currently focusing on teaching workshops and producing more gallery work. My blog previously focused on topics I taught in those classes at my studio, so I guess the focus of my blog may need to evolve a bit. I hope to still post regularly and continue to discuss painting topics that I hope will be of interest to all of my blog readers.

Blog Radio Interview
I was honored to be featured live on Artists Helping Artists Blog Radio on August 13. You can listen to the archived version here:

Upcoming Workshops:

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 28, 29 & 30, 2015 (Fri/Sat/Sun); Meet & Greet on the evening of Thurs., Aug. 27
Carrie Moore Studios
21036 S. Leland Rd.
Oregon, City, OR 97045
Contact Carrie Moore, 503-866-5507, 

San Antonio, TX - 3-day PASTEL workshop
Oct. 17, 18 & 19, 2015 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts
115 Melrose Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
$400/member; $450/nonmember

Wethersfield, CT (Hartford area) - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2015 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Wethersfield Academy for the Arts
431 Hartford Avenue
Wethersfield, CT 06109
$390/member; $420 nonmember

See my website at for full 2015 & 2016 schedule.