April 05, 2012

On Your Mark...getting organized

(click for a larger view)

Ah, I simply can't express in words how good it feels to be organized! I have torn this studio apart from one end to the other and put it all back together again. After a very long time of walking around the elephant, I decided to simply have an honest discussion with it. We came to an understanding. I need to be organized in order to feel at peace in my working environment. Once I started, I couldn't stop and I suppose that was a good thing because now I'm DONE! Yay. And, the benefit is that I love my space.

Admittedly, I did not love spending days peeling labels off of pastels I had stacked away in corners of my closet. I had little bits and pieces in boxes everywhere. For this organizational task, every little spec of pastel was addressed. It became part of my color wheel (see the picture above) or it ended up in my recycle bowl so it will become a new pastel. Now, I no longer have to wonder if I have a color tucked away somewhere. I know what I have. If I don't have it in plain sight and I need it, I better go get it.

I was lucky enough to find this cool table when my hub (Larry) and I went to get some stuff for my slatwall. It was in the back room and was on sale because it had a couple of minor scratches and a little ding in one of the legs. We nabbed it in a second and then Larry made the custom boxes for my pastels. As you can see, they are double stacked, so the ones I don't use all the time are still sorted and easy to get to but are under the primary set. I LOVE how these boxes emulate the color wheel! It feels so natural to work with them set up this way. You can probably tell, the table rotates to stack within itself so, when I'm not using it, it takes up even less space in my studio. Sweet.

So, that's where I've been. Now, I am going to paint!!


  1. OH SANDY!!! Right now, I'm looking at this room and looking at these pastels like a dog looks at a bone! This makes me want to put the computer down and go to my room and do the same thing!! However, when I go to my workshop I wouldn't have any pastels with me since I wouldn't want to take them out of the bins...what to do!! I NEED LARRY.!

  2. I think we all need a Larry! This is awesome! What a neat way to store your extras close at hand and easy to find! The shape is so cool, too.

  3. What a fabulous way to organize your colours! I am so envious! My space is absolute chaos and my mind boggles every time I walk in to it! I asked my husband the other day if he could help me re-design it for my birthday and he seems quite willing, so fingers crossed I will be as organized as you are later in the year :0)

  4. Hi Hilda,
    Put the computer down....haha! I will say it is an absolulte joy to work with my pastels all nice and organized. I can't say they will stay that way for long but one way I recommend getting really good at learning about colors and values is to mix all (our) pastels up and then sort them out. Then, do it all over again. So, I suspect that's pretty much what I will be doing at some point soon.

    Hi Carolyn, Yes! EVERYONE needs a Larry! If only I could clone him...the world would be a better place.

    Hi Sandra, Oh, I know that feeling of chaos! I am excited for you to get your new, well-organized, space. I started enjoying it once I allowed myself the time to do it. It is so nice, too, that your husband is willing to help!

  5. This is one of the best ways for organizing pastels that I've seen yet! And I love the easel with the built in maul stick and pastel dust catcher. I make a paper dust catcher and tape it to my drawing table but this is much better!

  6. Hi Karen,
    Oh, I have to humbly agree after trying so many different set-ups over the years. This one is working really well for me.

    The board on the easel is an invention that Larry and I built together, it's called an Attache Board. If you are interested in it, you can find out more about it at ArtStudioTools.com. I'm going to put a link on my blog, I just don't have it set up yet.

    I have been using my board and Larry has been perfecting it for almost 3 years and I honestly don't know if I could work without it anymore. I work in such a spontaneous manner (switching from oils to pastels on a dime) that this system works great for me.

  7. That is a rocking' little set up, and I love the glimpse into your groovy studio too. Clean up & getting organized is so perfect in the Spring. I can't wait to see what you produce in your naturally lit, lovely space!