Work starts on the new paint studio

I wrote a month ago about the joy at finding a new studio to paint in. It’s somewhat of a milestone for me as I have been looking for a space for some time. Now the work has begun on fitting it out to suit my requirements and that, alas, means a lot of time and money needs to be invested.

Leveling the ground floor

Laying floors is never a straightforward thing to do and these two are no exception. One of the reasons I have to start work on the upper and lower levels is the need for level surfaces.

If I don’t have my floors level my paints do literally slide off the canvas. One of the characteristics of my enamel paint is its ability to be thinned (an essential quality) and in all but the most unusual of paintings, some of the paint applications have to be thinned down. This is to get it to move where I want it. However, the downside is that unless I have a flat surface to work on the paint will act like water and react to gravity. Many is the time I’ve turned my back for an hour and come back to find the paint has run right off. Not a good situation to be in

So the downstairs has had three sets of latex screed applied so far, in a bid to try and even out the imperfections that existed when I moved in. Unfortunately though the entire floor is still on a slight slope so it looks like Adrian and I will be shuttering and cementing before long; the only way I can guarantee us getting a totally flat surface.

I could have done without that hassle and time delay. But problems like these have to be overcome. The paintings will thanks me in the long term.

Building on top of the mezzanine floor

It’s a similar story on the mezzanine level but due to the way the floor has been constructed we are unable to pour a self-leveling compound; instead opting for a tongue and groove floor – raised on timber joists and leveled off using jointing spacers.

The upstairs is even less level than the downstairs so every 18 inches or so the joist has to be leveled in two directions before the floorboard gets fixed down on top. At least this way all the imperfections of the floor will be gone and the mini ‘stage’ area (which will measure 4m x 6.15m when complete) will be 100% flat. It will be finished off with a single piece of vinyl flooring to cover the whole surface area (as I cannot have two pieces joined together).

It’s a time consuming and tedious job but I cannot paint without it. Oh and it’s yet more expense.

Organizing the preparation area

Still, on the plus side, I managed to get a basic structure for the mix and prep area. Organizing tools, cups and a space to blend the paints and chemicals together is crucial if I am to enjoy using the space and operate efficiently through the paint sessions.

I’m very happy with the ability to see every tin of paint (at last) by utilizing the extra long shelf that runs along the length of the studio. For an artist that needs order and structure I like being able to see all my paint colours in a single a glance.

You may also like to know that I can recognize each  colour by its number and that I don’t need a swatch of it on the tin anymore! It’s probably a little sad but I’m rather pleased that I know what RAL 4010 is (Telemagenta by the way).

Raw materials in a painting studio

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