For those of you that have know me for years and years, can you imagine coming into my home and not seeing a painting studio somewhere? Ever since I had my first apartment out of college (and away from campus studio space), I have a had a huge easel set up and a room to paint in. Well not always it’s own room, in one apartment, I made my kitchen the studio. But as I painted way more than I cooked at that time, it made sense. But when I moved to Texas 6 years ago, I had to use a shipping pod to move my stuff so that everything could be stored in it for a month and many of my favorite things simply did not fit. The majority of my books, my favorite chair, a massive amount of stretcher bars and my easel were included in what couldn’t come with me. My mom took the chair, the easel and all the stretcher bars and even moved them all with her a few years later to Virginia! They however were still a far way from Texas and the chair and easel too big to fit in a passenger vehicle. In a random round about way, I did get all of my stretcher bars when my MIL road tripped to my moms for Christmas one year and brought them to me on her way home. For an entire year I would look at them longingly and think that I was so close to being able to paint again. Last July when we moved into this house there were two little rooms in the garage. Adam called one for his gardening stuff and I took the other, thinking that one day, I just might get my easel back and paint in there. I dumped all of the stretchers on the floor and basically didn’t look in there again until this week.
This week I started to get really irked that I was letting something like not having the easel that I bought almost 20 years ago stop me from painting. Why do I need THAT easel? I could buy another! So I looked up the cost to replace it and made a promise to save up for a new one. I also started thinking that most of the painters that I know don’t even use easels. They stick the canvas on a wall and go at it. So today I stopped putting off cleaning out that room because of something I didn’t have. It didn’t take long, I’m a naturally organized person so in about 4 hours I had it cleaned out, sorted out and ready to go. I filled the corner with the table with my paints, brushed and stretchers. With each box I unpacked I marveled that I let it go this long. The opposite corner of the room holds tools and lightbulbs and house stuff like that, but for the most part, the space is all for painting. The shelves and table were all here when we moved in and I as I guessed they would be, are perfect for paints and stretchers. It’s dirty and ugly enough that I don’t have to worry about lining the whole place in plastic sheeting like I used to have to in the house, because I’m a really messy painter. Like messier when I paint than you could imagine if you knew me. I use oils and I like to break them down with thinner and drip all over the place. It’s stressful to paint in a nice place so I’m thrilled that for the first time since college I can get paint all over the floor and not care! I measured it out and if having the canvas on the wall doesn’t work, I can fit another easel in here but honestly, I don’t know that I want one. I kind of want to mount the canvases right to those center beams and the wall over the desk and be able to work on more than one at once. I never enjoyed how big the base was of the easel was. I didn’t like how, even though my last easel was designed for big canvases up to 90″, if I was working on a canvas that was short and long, I couldn’t bang on one side without it vibrating (I’m apparently a violent painter too!), so a wall or the bracing of the shelves may work best anyway. All I know for sure is that I’m out of excuses. And now the only thing left is to stretch a canvas and start a new palette and I couldn’t be more excited!