Helen English Artist
I have a bit of a confession. I am not a naturally tidy person. This would not be a problem if I didn’t love tidiness! It’s a bit of a conundrum, especially in a house which has reduced in size whilst we build an extension to replace the previously dilapidated 1970s add-on to our 1950s house.
However, I have strategies! When the extension is finished, I will have storage space like I have never known! In the meantime, I have my studio and that is my haven. The one place where I know where everything is to the nearest millimetre and where I have the space to create as well as anything else related to my work.
So, how do I organise my space? Well, like most people who enjoy art, I dabble in different mediums and that means that I have an abundance of materials. Different papers, canvases, boards, paints and other mark-making tools. I used to keep all my paints and similar in one area, my brushes and the like in another, and all of my papers and canvas in yet another area but that proved to be cumbersome and complicated for me. So now I have divided my space up in a different way.
I have everything relating to a medium in one space. This might be a box or on a shelf, depending on size and type of space needed. For instance, because my watercolour work is often commission work and used frequently, I have given it a place where it isn’t hidden and it’s all close to where I paint. I can find everything I need quickly and easily. Other mediums are easily accessible but they aren’t visible until needed.
The other must do for me is having a clear desk. Whenever I finish working, I put everything away and a wet painting in a place where it can dry without disturbance. It’s so nice to come back to an uncluttered space – like a breath of fresh air. I always write in my diary where I need to pick up so that I don’t spend time wondering when I walk back in.
Now, all I have to do is to organise the extension when it becomes a part of our house!