A glimpse of my world

I stepped into the studio this morning and decided I should show you my working environment; I photographed everything exactly as I found it, warts and all. I think tidying up beforehand would be dishonest. As you can see, I like to work on a drawing board – a throwback to my architect days, I suppose. Sometimes I like to work flat, sometimes near vertical. The drawing board stand can accommodate. The board is also a light box; some years ago I cut a large hole out of it, mounted an industrial light fitting to the back and then fixed a thick sheet of perspex over the top. It works well, although the perspex tends to buckle after a while in the heat of the lamps.

I have a chair, but never use it when I’m painting; I prefer to stand and move about – I get quite Jackson Pollock at times. Then I sit and ponder what the hell I’ve done… As you can see, my working area is to the left of my board – I am left-handed. I am just about to start a watercolour, so the oils have been dumped on the plan chest and the water jars are still on the floor. I like plenty of water when I’m painting so I use 2 jars filled to the brim, one to wash brushes and the other to give me a plentiful supply of clean water. I mix colours not only in the paintbox but also on white plates. I use large pans of colour (in preference to the box) and fill them from tubes. I think my next post should be my thoughts on colour…

The studio itself is purpose built and sits at the bottom of my garden. It seemed a good size initially, but it rapidly filled with my clutter and I could do with double the area now.


13 thoughts on “A glimpse of my world

  1. Great to see the inside of your studio Keith.
    Mine has to work as a space for teaching and coaching also so has to be pretty tidy.
    I’m in a tin shed on an island in the Thames but no rats luckily.
    I’ll post a pic next week.


  2. LOL about the fox stealing your bird feeder–I have to wonder what it’s goal was–perspective from the fox’s eyes–what a story!
    I like that you shared your working space with all its glorirous clutter–oddly this is what happens with my writing resources–document & books everywhere in piles and folders and just taking over everything. In extreme contrast when I paint I’m so organized and tidy that it’s like another world coming to be. I prefer watercolor blocks so they’re portable anywhere–and small jars of water for the same reasons you cite and I set it up very neatly–and then put is up neatly. Same with my pen/ink works which due to the ease of carrying a lot of pens anywhere is also a very contained operation–especially in comparison to my writing times. So your painting area is kin to my writing area. How odd our minds work, eh?
    So glad to have wandered into your space. waves~~


    1. Glorious clutter – that’s a very generous way of describing it; others may call it an unholy mess! A friend of mine, who has a very tidy mind, once watched me working. He was driven to distraction by the mayhem and immediately started moving things around so that I could work in a more ergonomic manner. It was wonderful – all my brushes were to hand, the paints and water jars in just the right places. As soon as he left, however, it all just somehow returned to it’s usual chaotic state…
      You say your writing area is the same; it’s a permanent workplace so you can get away with the untidiness. When you gather your equipment for a field trip you have to be organised – I guess that’s the difference. I love to hear how other people work, though, it fascinates me. We all do it so differently, and there is, of course, no right or wrong. I’d love to know what a psychologist would make of it….!


      1. O a psychologist…ha, ‘science of the mind’…mm and what do we make of psychologists and their ilk in this day and age? ha..I suspect ‘we’re’ more sane than they purport to be with all their ‘rational’ thoughtt processes. Rational according to ‘who’? Linear ttinking can be so stiffling. LOL.
        Yes we all do it differently and that’s part of the fun of it all. grins


  3. what a studio, I have a table in between my kitchen and my living room that has a pile of crap on it. Sometimes, I move everything out of the way and paint. But mostly I just do it at class.

    Rats? Really???


    1. A suggestion. Whatever stuff you take to class is all you need to paint. Clear the crap off the table and replace it with this! But life’s never that simple, is it?

      The rats really aren’t a big deal. I live in the country and people around me keep various forms of livestock; the rats are attracted to the feed. I have a bird-feeder hanging just outside the studio, so when seed falls to the ground the rats see it as picnic time. I haven’t seen one in a long time, not since the cat arrived to patrol the area. I did have an entire bird-feeder stolen by a fox though.


    1. Thanks for explaining about the water…I was worried about that

      Fear of water – hydrophobia – a symptom of rabies; I think you should get yourself checked out…

      But seriously, you can’t have clean colours without clean water; sometimes I just need to damp the paper and if all I have is a jar of mud, the painting will also turn to mud!


  4. Fascinating! And what a great studio – I really like the idea of a drawing board/light box. Also the pencils look most professional all standing to attention there. I was once engaged to an architect and was always fascinated by his board and pens.

    Can’t ever imagine using such huge water bottles though. Are you a good shot with the air gun?


    1. Thanks June. My son uses the pencils. I have a long walk to the nearest tap, so I like to have plenty of water to hand. The drawing board is a bit of a relic; you’d be hard-pressed to find one in an architect’s office these days. Graduates are leaving uni without knowing one end of a pencil from the other – it’s all done on CAD. See the Campaign for Drawing http://thebigdraw.org.uk – I’m an active supporter and try to get to the Big Draw opening events each year.

      Rarely use the air gun these days because the area is effectively patrolled by the neighbour’s cat!


    1. Your studio is great. Mine is the kitchen table. I’m constantly setting up and putting supplies away.

      Nothing wrong with the kitchen table – many professional and semi-professional artists do just that! You don’t need much in the way of materials to paint; my studio happens to be full of clutter, most of which I do not use on a day-to-day basis.


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