Garage Overwhelm

I’ve been working in the garage these past couple of days, as I am trying to prepare it for the open studios. The more I dig into it, the more overwhelming it gets. Take a look at what I’m working with.

I should have taken a picture of how it all looked when I started, but of course, I forgot! However, this is what it looked like by the end of day one:

And this is after six hours or more of organizing it. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere at all. In fact, after the first few hours, I got so distraught, I considered canceling my participation in the event altogether.

This was because I thought I had an art hanging system all worked out whereby I’d use curtain rod hooks that I’d hang from the black vertical shelf bars. Those are the shelves that run along the middle of the room (garage). I thought I could cover up most of the boxes and stuff with the art. But once I tried a few paintings like this yesterday, it didn’t work out the way I’d hoped.

Basically, the hooks are long and hang the artwork too low. I’m not able to hang work at each level of shelving, leaving a large area open between paintings, and a big portion of the junk on the shelves showing. It just looks cluttered and really distracting. An awful way to display the art.

Well, I got really discouraged and took a break. I hadn’t eaten, so I had some french toast and water and thought for a while. I thought about writing a long complainy blog post about how I was going to quit the whole ordeal. Then I tried to come out of it. I looked on Amazon for a solution.

I found some smaller S-hooks with little rubber edges that just might work. I’ve already spent a lot of money on a number of curtain rod hangers (luckily, I can still use some of those), but I found a set of 36 S-hooks for under ten bucks. They will be here on Saturday and I pray they will work out better. The ones I have will accommodate the deeper canvases. These S-hooks could work better for the 3/4″ deep canvases. We’ll see. Hopefully, there won’t be such a long drop-down on them and I can hang them higher on the racks if that makes sense.

So today I tried to organize my flat files. The drawers were stuffed and they didn’t even have everything in them yet. Like I said before, I never really moved all my stuff into them when we moved here. I had all the art in plastic portfolios during the move because I didn’t know how else to safely transport it all.

It turns out, not everything is going to fit in the cabinets anymore. I guess I’ve accumulated or made a lot more since the move. Also, we had way more wall space in the old house. I took a lot of work out of the frames and put them in the portfolios. Now, there’s just no room, not without stuffing it.

So, when we go out to LA next week, we’re stopping by Ikea to pick up this smaller drawer set that will hold everything that’s 16×20 inches and smaller. I’ve read about how artists have used this set of drawers for their supplies and whatnot. It’s called the Alex drawers if you’re interested and it’s about 26″ wide x 26″ high x 19″ deep. A good size, and it’s on casters.

If it holds supplies, it can hold paper art. I separated out everything 16×20 inches and smaller and put it on top of the flat files for now. I’ll stick it all into these drawers once we put it together the weekend after next. Apparently, according to the reviews, this thing takes two to three hours to put together. That puts this particular task off until September 12th. I told you all this prep was going to take a long time.

Then I’ll have to go through the small work (drawings, prints, and such) and put tape on the back of them. I’ll do that loop thing so I can tack a bunch to the bit of wall space I’m using…once I figure out where all the crap in the way is going. FYI: That “loop thing” I’m talking about is so you don’t put tack holes through the actual artwork. You use drafting tape on the backside of the art and then hang them from little tabs.

I’m trying to find my least expensive work. Organizing some of this work today, I’ve already found a few drawings that I’ve never documented. I ripped them out of a sketchbook. I don’t mind selling them. They were just quick sketches and can just sign the backs.

I’m going to tack all the drawings (and some prints) to this wall area, once it’s cleared out.

I’m blocking access off to the remainder of the garage from beyond that wall (on that side) with my giant green drum coffin, which I’m using as a table. I’ll have some books on there for people to look through, and also a computer with my website on it.

I can’t unwrap all my art for this thing, so having access to my website will be helpful in case someone seriously wants to see something. I, myself, will also have access to all my prices from the website because I’m not always sure unless I look them up.

And I suppose I could stick prices on the little paper pieces that are going on the wall. I’m not fond of doing that sort of thing though. It reminds me of a smorgasbord. But sometimes people are too shy to ask what the price is, and I can understand that. Maybe they want the prices displayed, so I should consider it.

Anyway, I am all in and I’ll just have to do the best I can with displaying the work. It’s definitely not fancy, and it’s not that I want it to be a hotty gallery space or something. I just feel like people want an artist’s studio experience, and they are not getting that here. They are getting a garage where I do not make any of my art. I mean, at least I store it here. Maybe that’s something?

I also can’t help that everything says, “Carol Es” all over the place. That was my name for my whole life after all. I can’t deny that. I do wonder what to sign the drawings I made during that timeframe though. That’s a small conundrum, but I’ll figure that out. I just need to get this space organized. And maybe, just maybe, I can get back to work on Outlander before the open studios take place.

I actually figured out how long it would take me to finish the book. It takes a day to complete one and a half of the watercolors, and it’ll take maybe two days to bind and trim. Then I’d be completely done. That’s about a full week of work, not doing anything else. I’d like to have some days to make more quick drawings, and maybe some watercolors too–all before the 8th of October. I have to fit in a few other appointments along the way as well. But we’ll see where I stand after this week is over.

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