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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Studio Ramblings - My Easel Modifications

I have been meaning to write a post about my easel modifications for a while now.  I found it so frustrating to use the easel as it came as I always had to hold onto my panel/canvas/drawing board as I worked for fear of it flying off the easel.  Several times I had gotten caught up in my work and forgot to hold on and was literally attacked by my art, not good for my inner peace to say the least.  The last straw was when it happened while working on a commission, the drawing board attacked me and my pencil (which of course I always keep super sharp) hit the paper, I gasp (before cursing like a mad woman) and frantically searched the paper for the flaw....luckily it only dented the paper on a area that required texture, whew!  I promptly masking taped my board to the easel until I could come up with a work around that I was happy with.

I have seen several suggestions on how to modify easels but the thought of screws going into the pretty wood made me pause.  So I brought in the big guns, my father in law :)  Of course his English is not so good so I had to tell my hubby in art talk what I needed and then he had to translate for his dad so I was not 100% sure what I would end up with.  I wanted something I could swap out various sized canvas's and panels from 4x6" to 24x30" quickly and securely.  So the images below are the original easel with I believe an 18x24" painting on it.

Notice the huge gap at the top of the painting, not so secure! But it does look really pretty :)

Also, I did not like the overhang of  wood on the top and bottom which hold the canvases in as I could never figure out an easy way to paint all the edges without having to hold onto the piece, which seems silly when I have this huge easel.

So this is the easel now, yay :) The clamp piece at the top was removed and a longer piece of wood  was attached in it's place which securely holds small to larger sized pieces perfectly. This is a painting in progress on a 1/8" wide 8x10" panel.

On the bottom portion, another piece of wood was attached filling the gap so that the base of the painting sits flush so I can easily paint right to the edge while it is clamped down.  A layer of rubbery shelf liner was attached to both the top and bottom piece which prevents the canvas and panels from slipping forwards or backwards.

This is showing a closer shot of the front holding a 11x14" cradled  panel (2" thick).

I wanted to post this as I LOVE seeing other artists studios and how they organize their space and make things easier to it is about making art, not fighting with equipment and  tripping over paintings.


Karen Martin Sampson said...

Very nice easel modification! I can see that it should work very well for you. Sometimes our creativity has to be used for things other than the painting itself!

Tracey said...

Thanks Karen :) I know, I built a horizontal canvas storage thingy, a wall gallery for hanging my paintngs & a mahl stick too, sometimes I wish my creativity would just stop nagging me sometimes ;) Oh, I need to make a brush hold because mine keep rolling off my palette... :)

Tracey said...

hmmm this looks like exactly what I was thinking of for a brush holder http://artisttaboret.wordpress.com/a-better-design/101203_82/

Of course I would LOVE the entire taboret, I think I need to start playing the lottery or sell a lot of the paintings that are cluttering up my studio :)