Creating Art in Small Studios

Each week on my Facebook Fine Art Tips fan page, I ask my artist friends and followers, “What’s on Your Easel?”

It is always great fun to see the postings of art from a variety of different mediums, artistic abilitiesand studios from around the world.

I personally enjoy seeing the different artistic expressions and sharing art tips, but lately I have been charmed by many of the small studios in which these dedicated artists are creating their art. I thought you all would enjoy seeing how some of your fellow artists are creating art in small studios…these artists don’t let any excuses get in their way!

Max Moss

art studio easelI thought some of the fellow artists on here might appreciate the little mini studio I’ve just finished. Not the room itself, just the goodies. My easel is a “Best” wall hanging easel……I built the table out of a walnut slab I finished and put on top of an old sewing machine base that I bought at an antique shop. I had it sand blasted and powder coated. It’s turned out really nice.

The glass pallet is 32″ long by 16″ wide.  Also, I have my paint on a 4″ by 18″ pallet that I can put in my freezer when I’m not painting (to keep the paint from drying)I got that brush cleaning doohickey I mounted on the back of the table from Wind River. (click to enlarge photos).

All the little wall hanging things are blessings from Ikea (holding the paint brushes). Those Europeans know how to live in tight quarters. :) One other thing I’m really excited to use next week when I’m painting/traveling in Colorado is the Art Cocoon you can see on the floor on the bottom left. What a cool idea those folks had! It’s really well made, and only $10 each.

So, I’m all gadgeted up and I need to quit playing studio designer and get to work painting. I just thought yall might enjoy it as much as I love seeing everyone else’s setup. ~Max Moss

Ken Newman Sculptures

Working out of a 5th wheel RV has some challenges…space is not always large, but the passion to create out weighs the need for the perfect studio space. RV living as an artist – space is limited but anything is possible. ~Ken


Jorunn Coe

I love my studio space. My studio place is small, but beautiful. It is very feminine in every way. When I look around, I see not just my own art but beautiful vignettes of flowers, dishes, lamps , books , mirrors etc. Yes it is a design studio located down town of our small mountain town, so friends pop in to visit and I can go to the coffee house when I need a brake. I believe that the space doesn’t have to be huge, but I believe it should be comfortable, with good lighting and I place to sit down and rest once in awhile. ~Jorunn

senior woman artist painting

Sea Dean

I have a tiny place and I’ve put a little studio in the lounge in the disused space behind the lounge chairs. I don’t have a problem with lack of light. I have too much light from the floor to ceiling windows which let in bright sunshine all afternoon behind where I sit. I have to completely close the blinds to cut it out. But I used to have the easel the other way around to paint the view you see below and it was difficult to see the colour of the paint I was using or on the canvas which let to all kinds of problems. Now I’m happy and I paint every day. ~Sea

Samantha Hegeman Villenave

Only finished work on my easel this weekend as I am showing in a beautiful ancientvillage in southern France this weekend. However, the scenery is breathtaking, and I am buzzing with inspiration and cannot wait until I have a little time next week! (: Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend Lori and thank you again for letting us share. ~Samantha

french artists studio

Debb Ferris Bates

My “little art studio” is in a small room in my basement. Not much light.My window , I covered in stain glass that I did a few years ago. There is a deck that hangs over this window, and I thought the stained glass window was nicer to see :) ~Deb

small art studio

Jack Mckenzie

This my “mini art studio’ in one corner of the room. The cabinet that the easel is sitting on is an old TV set Most of the magazines in the shelves below are cooking magazines since I like to cook, too. ~Jack

Lori McNee

About 20 years ago, I first started my own art career at the kitchen table. After a few years, I dedicated a corner of our busy living room to my ‘studio’ among a television, Nintendo, toys, kids and my dogs. Those are fond memories, but now my kids are grown and in college and I have lovely studio all to myself. Even though my studio would not be described as small, the area I concentrate most of my work in IS small. Even though I have taken over a bedroom for my studio, the majority of my painting is done in this corner…

To my left is an adjustable shelf where I set up my still life paintings. When I paint a studio landscape, I use the shelf to hold my laptop so I can project reference photos. My next purchase will be a new and large LCD monitor to help enlarge my images!  In the second picture you can see the way I light my easel. I have tried many types of lighting and lamps that simulate daylight. Finally, I have found a simple, and inexpensive solution that works – a shop light with two 32/t8 fluorescent bulbs from good ole’ Home Depot! ~Lori

art studio

Hopefully some of you have gained some new ideas for creating your own small studios. Please join us and share, ‘what’s on your easel’ on my fan page! Thanks for stopping by and please share any suggestions you might have…we all learn from each other! ~Lori :)

Want to further your painting skills? Please check out these art books I recommendclick here.

You might like some of these articles:

Top 10 Reference Photo Tips for Artists

Survival Tips for the Outdoor Painter & Enthusiast

Plein Air Painting with Utah’s Finest

How to Build a Pochade Box from a Cigar Box

How to Pack for Painting: Tips for the Artists Flying by Plane or Car

New Zealand: Painting and Playing in the ‘God Zone’

Bringing the Still Life to Life: A Painting Demo by Master, Jeff Legg

Demystifying Social Media for the Artist

Sketching Peregrine Falcon Birds from Life

I hope you join me on Twitter and Facebook! ~Lori :)


About Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Artist Ambassador to Arches/Canson/Royal Talens. As the owner of FineArtTips.com, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses.

Comments

  1. Lovely post Lori, I wish I posted a picture of my desk too..
    Best wishes
    Matteo

  2. Lovely post Lori! I wish I posted a picture of my desk too..
    Best wishes
    Matteo

    • Oh Matteo…I would have loved to include your ‘desk’ in this post. If you’d like to add it, send it on in to me…

      Thanks for the comment-
      Lori :)

  3. Lori, Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. I love learning about art and artists online, its like I have another chance to go to the best art school ever. I’m also just getting in to blogging and networking, in fact this comment is for me a learning experience. You are a great role model, keep it up! By the way, I discovered you on youtube. Keep up the good work!

    • Hello Michael and I am glad to hear this little post was inspiring to you. Blogging is a lot of fun and congrats on jumping in and going for it!!! I am always looking for a good guest post, so keep that in mind.
      YouTube??? Thanks for letting me know where you ‘found’ me. Those little videos are a lot of fun to make which reminds me…it’s about time to make another one.

      Take care and hope to see you again-
      Lori

  4. Hi Lori,

    Thanks for sharing all of these pictures and stories ~ I always love seeing other artists’ studios. I have a small bedroom set up for painting and drawing but lately I find myself spending a lot more time working at the kitchen table because the natural light is so much better in there. I may have to look into the shop light idea!

    Amy

    • Hello Amy,

      Thanks for stopping by for a comment. Small studios often times are more efficient than large studios! Now that I have more space, I have a harder time staying organized…lol! Yes, that shop light is a great way to bask your easel in even lighting. I hope you try it out.

      Happy creating-
      Lori :)

  5. Some inspiring spaces here, and a great idea to showcase them. No matter the size, they all have a specific place and purpose, and that can make a difference when pondering that immense whiteness at the start of the next project. Kudos. :)

    • Debb Ferris Bates says:

      It is amazing by just looking at each photo, of each studio, how many ideas we can each get from each other ( did I over use the word “each”…lol…) I have always been intrigued by any artist’s studio. It like I get in their heads abit more , get to read them a bit more by seeing where they create their “art/love”creations :)
      Lori you are so kind to post other people studios and link people to all of them! Thanks and keep all these great articles coming ! Debb

      • I totally agreed, Deb! Such a great way to share, generate new ideas and peek through the window into other’s creative space.

      • Hi Debb-

        This has been my pleasure. I really get great satisfaction from knowing that these posts are helpful to others. It is so much fun to learn about how other artists create. Their studios are as individual as their art.
        Thanks for all your support Debb!

        Hugs-
        Lori

        • Debb Ferris Bates says:

          Thanks Lori !
          Look at all the comments !!! My guess Lori…you will have to do a “part two” on Creating Art in Small Studios :) :) :) This is so great to meet all these artists here! What a wonderful thing you are doing by posting pics and such.
          Any studio, tiny or not, is the “heart” of each artist, where most of our creations begin, because of my surroundings (favourite books, music , art shows, that I have taped and let run, over, and over again while I paint…lol )and oh WHAT A WONDERFUL PLACE IT IS !!

          Hugs,
          Debb
          Ps….you should ask what music people listen to while they paint…that would be interesting, eh :)

    • Hi Greg! Yes, this little post was a fun one. I liked showcasing my friends’ little studios for others to find some inspiration. I know what you mean about that ‘immense white’ staring back at you! I am staring at one right now…

      Happy creating-
      Lori

  6. Wow! Very inspiring! It’s always enjoyable to see others’ studios and the work in progress that they have. It’s very telling about how they work, how they think, etc. It’s where the magic happens!

    • Hello Joe, thanks for taking time to comment. I am glad you enjoyed this little post. It was fun for me to peak into their studios too…

      Hope to see you again-
      Lori :)

  7. Wonderful post, Lori! A big thanks to everyone who contributed photos of their workspace. It’s so nice to be able to see these creative spaces and how everyone finds a way to “make it their own”. It’s a bit like having a virtual studio tour! Opening up your private creative space is such a gift. Here’s a link to a recent refurb that I did, with before and after photos. It was a big inspiration to reorganize, tidy and set up to create!

    http://bitly.com/eh7FbS

    Thanks again for sharing, everyone! So inspiring. :)

    • Hello Janice,

      Thank you for the great feedback and for sharing your own beautiful studio with us. Wow, what a wonderful space you have created! Someday I will do a post on elegant studios and would love to include yours…

      Hope to see you again sometime soon!
      Lori :)

  8. SO much great reading on this blog. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I found your website through Ken Newmans blog. Excited about that. My husband is a sculptor. He does all his sculpting in the dining room because that is were the best light is. So when he is doing his “artist thing” he walks through to the living room to stand back and get his perspective. I do bead work, also in the dining room, so we joke all the time that instead of a dining table, we have a “craft” table. We travel as much as we can in our fifth wheel and he sculpts there too. We just got back from a few weeks on the road and he got quite a bit done on his latest project. I have some pictures on my blog http://www.roxythetravelingdog.com Thanks for sharing all the great info. Mary

    • Hi Mary and thank you for letting me know how you found my blog. I am amazed at the dedication artists like Ken, and your husband possess to be able to sculpt in such unusual studio conditions! It must be fun for you to bead while your husband sculpts in the dining room. I have a dog named Roxy too! Thanks for sharing your blog with us.

      Thanks for the visit and I hope to see you again-
      Lori :)

  10. The Art Studio of Meltemi [8' x 10'] and what’s on my easel? Simple see my website…

  11. Very nice post with beautiful pictures.

  12. I tried the RV studio idea for 1 year quite a few years ago. I had it set up in a campground. The winter was a bit of a challenge but other than that I met a lot of wonderful people from around the country.

  13. I too work in a nice small space :) It’s cozy, colorful, and I have a gas powered wall heater to warm my buns while paint is drying.

  14. Thank you very much for this post! My wife an I have been trying to set up a room in our house as a Crafting room. Now that our children are grown and out on there own we have Turned there old rooms into spaces for our “toys”. We turned one room into a computer room / Office and the other we have been trying to make into the Craft room. The ideas here will solve many of the problems we have run into as well as help with the layout of the room.

    Thank you once again, Be safe and happy :)
    Dan

  15. This is so fun. I love seeing others’ studio spaces. And I thought I had a small studio, until I saw the one in the motorhome! I’m thinking I’ll do a post one day on my own tiny studio, which only works because I have two great closets nearby! Thanks for this.

  16. Just made a discovery of another artist’s studio you may wish you check out. Though it’s not small, it is significant: http://www.retronaut.com/2013/01/photographs-of-monet-and-his-paintings/?utm_content=bufferf59a5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  17. Lynn Rattray says:

    Hi Lori,

    Helpful post. Do you have any past posts recommending easels? I’ve had two and both are difficult to manage when adjusting height. One is a moderate priced easel and the other is expensive. Both are difficult to reposition height and neither of them hold the position. Do easels usually have to be replaced for this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks for all your helpful tips!

    Lynn

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