This is the first post in a what I hope will be a regular series called Saturday Studio Time, about the trickery and design of setting up an art studio, whether it’s in a living room, a barn, or a fabulous heated room filled with glowing north light (I wish!). I intend to interview other artists as well as write about my own studio.
I realized that my hour-a-day still-life studies for the 30-in-30 painting challenge need a better set up than a south facing window (although the window set up does give me some terrific back lighting).
A shadow box was needed, a place where I could light the subject independently of the light source of the room. But I don’t have a lot of room in my studio, or a lot of time and patience to build something fancy.
But I did have an empty shelf—at eye level when I stand—on my Ivar bookshelves from Ikea (the ugliest bookshelves in the world, but so, so useful to an artist). And I had a black mat board left over from long ago graphic design classes, when we used to mount and display our work. (Does anybody do that kind of handwork anymore? Or do all teachers and clients merely view digital offerings?)
And I had that modern miracle, duct tape.
I cut the mat board to fit in the Ivar shelve space and taped together a box. It’s not the fanciest shadow box in the world, certainly not like this one, or even this one, and I still am not sure how to shield the front of the box from ambient light, but for a quick and dirty solution, it works fairly well.
Back to painting!