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I have rented a sparse, small art studio (15x18) - concrete floor, french doors and one windows, no water/sink, and 8' fluorescent bulbs.... what I need is sage advice on how to outfit this space. I have been gifted 56 large canvases (most 4'x3' and larger) and I'm moving into oils - so this space will be used on weekends only (go over, paint, let art dry during the week). 

I haven't done anything this large, so I don't know what to do. Should I build a giant drying rack, carpet the floors, just go with multiple easels (I do work pretty quickly so I generally have 6 to 12 pieces working at once), tables, carts...? I have no clue. Hoping someone has already gone thru this. 

I do figure I'll switch to oderless turp but bring home some brushes to wash. Any help is appreciated. 

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Rick,

I don't do canvas work but I do paint.  I flip furniture and home decor, so yes, painting is involved.  Dh built me "The Barn", my studio, and started it about 11 months ago.  The Barn is similar in size to your space.  My space is 14 x 22 with 4 windows and 2 doors, one of which has windows.  It also has insulation which is totally necessary here in the deep south.

The Barn has a concrete slab, that was professionally done.  It has electric/water.  The building itself was built by Carolina Carports and is an all metal building.

Requirements for my work ... plenty of light, shelving on the perimeter for storage of things that are not yet started and then storage for finished pieces.  I have pegboard up to use some of the vertical space.  Above my sink is some of the pegboard.  I have hooks there for hanging brushes to dry after they are washed.

I also wanted water.  At first we were going to put in a double sink and a water closet.  I opted to forego the water closet because I wanted as much work space as possible.  The Barn is in our back yard so a w/c is nearby.  For the sink we ended up going with a double utility sink.  I feel having running water is essential in a studio, especially for those who paint.  Not sure you can bring water in where you are.  Do you have plumbing you can tap in to?  I get that oil brushes are not washed with soap and water but I still think of it as a necessity.  :D  If you are going to work there for long stretches, do you have a w/c nearby you can access?

Like you I usually have several pieces "in the works".  I like having 2-4 things going on so that as one piece is drying I can be working on something else.  I can envision you having several "work stations" where you have different canvases in place that you working on, each at a different level of completion.  Having these work stations can help prevent too much down time when you're in the studio.  Understandable, with oils having the dry time that they do, you may still get to a point that you've done all you can for the day and be done before you're really ready to quit.

Flooring ... I can't imagine why you'd want carpet in your studio.  I have a concrete slab that dh painted before we moved anything in.  We can easily repaint it if it get too ugly from drips and splatters.  After being in The Barn for almost a year, I would not want anything different for flooring.

I have climate control through a split system.  It is a unit that provides cooling in the summer and heat in the winter.  I love it.  When painting and staining I need the humidity controlled so it does not take forever for it to dry.  Our summers are just too hot for us not to have a/c in the summer.  The winters are milder here than most places but they do get cold enough that we need something to knock the chill out of the air.

Lighting is LED fluorescent.  I have 8 lights.  Four are one one switch and 4 on another.  That way if I am running out there for something quick I just turn on one of them.

The building, though in our back yard, is has locks on the doors and is covered by our homeowners.

I am not sure any of this helps.  I don't mind answering questions if any come to mind.

Thanks! The space I have was previously an add-on game room for a large, older home, and there is a pipe for water - but no drainage so I won't a sink after all. I do have access next door to I alway stand when I paint so that's why i was considering carpet or putting down multiple oriental rugs (I've had both knees replaced but standing on concrete for 10+ hours is not appealing). I tend to fling paint a bit and I discovered that oil paint, unless it hits something fibrous, will stay there and transfer to my shoes or clothes. But I might have to try and stick with concrete. 

I'm going to start with 2 easels and maybe a table and chair to sit and sketch on at first. Its the drying thing with oils that's got me worried. 6'x5' canvas takes up a lot of space. )

Rick,

Especially since you've had knee replacement, it would be good to invest in at least one and maybe more (depending on how you work) anti-fatigue mats to stand on.  The concrete will kill you.

That was my thought too!

I've done both, as of today. I bought a huge oriental rug and then got two standing mats and a rolling stool to sit on. Now I need to tackle a rolling-table-thingy I can put current paint and brushes and something to store all the other stuff in. Found a teak bar cart from the 1960's, but I'm not sure the top is big enough. Too many decisions )

I am trying to avoid plastic/metal stuff - we have too much Ikea stuff at home. 

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