Saturday, January 26, 2013


I have been re-organizing my painting studio over the past few days.  It has been a good thing, but also a difficult thing.

After my father died in December, I brought home his drawing table.  Although he worked in a commercial art studio for most of his life, he always maintained a space at home where he could work.  He had his drafting table and a "tabaret" where he could set up his palette, lay out his brushes and supplies.  Who could count how many hours he spent at home, slaving away over an illustration that was due at an art director's office by a deadline.  We almost never went on a family vacation without Dad pulling an all-nighter to finish a job the night before.

Now I have set up his table in my home.  In fact, I did my last two paintings on it, but did not have it set up to the correct height, and did not have it set up right with my palette, paints, and water supply.  The tabaret that we gave him in Christmas 2011 was here, but I had to wait for my boys to come home to move it up to my studio on the third floor last weekend.

I had to go through everything he had stashed in there, move out some of his stuff, and make room for my stuff.   Very hard.
Since I moved this all this new furniture in, I had to re-arrange what I had.  My bookcase got moved to the landing on the third floor.
The long desk that used to be under the studio window got moved across the room where the bookcase used to be. 
Do you see the old wooden drafting board?  My father had that hanging on the wall in his studio, and drew on it when he used his opaque projector.  But, I think he told me that it was HIS father's drafting table.  My grandfather was an architect, but sadly, there was not much call for his profession during the Great Depression. 
So, I have a lot of history in my painting studio to live up to.  I have to admit, the first time I sat at the drawing table, I had a few "I'm Not Worthy" moments.
In that little room under the attic, I have the drawing table, tabaret, desk, and this triple dresser full of supplies (and my new easel and my iPod player).  The palette labeled "David" was a gift from my dad to his grandson in 1989.  It contained watercolor paints.  I recently found this and and sprayed the old paints to see if they could be re-activated after all these years.  All that color on the top is from me using it as a palette for mixing acrylic paints and never cleaning it.  :(
I also have my old cutting table from when this was my sewing room, and it holds my watercolor paper (which comes in 22" x 30" sheets that don't fit well in any cabinets).  Some of my unframed artwork is stashed on top of it.

If I get chilly when I am working up there in my finished attic space (and we did have a snow and ice storm this weekend), I can grab this sweatshirt that my father painted, put it on, and keep warm.

You can see why my studio now contains so many memories of my father.  Maybe he will be looking down on me and inspiring me from above.

I miss him so much!

It helps to have my sweet new little granddaughter to hold and love.



katy said...

Very sweet. I think Daddy would be very proud and happy to know you will be using his art table and supplies.
Love you!

Vicki W said...

Oh what treasures! Your Dad would be so happy to know how much these thimgs mean to you.