Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Peek Inside My Drawers

Heh. You didn't seriously think I could resist THAT title, did you???

Last week, Janelle asked me what I stored in my flat file and so I took some pictures of the inside of each drawer. It is awesome to have this for storage and I do believe I have put every square inch of it to good use!

First of all, the flat file has a huge top surface which is where I keep a jumble of photos for reference, paintbrushes, and other junk:

It looks like a mess, but the photographs are actually sorted into VERY IMPORTANT piles and I actually do use everything that is laying there almost everyday. At the back I have some tabletop easels which is where I set the smaller paintings to dry:

And on one side of the flat file is an added storage bonus, shelving! I could have used this for more junk, and was sorely tempted, however I decided to use it for some of my art books. Doug usually gives me a good art book or two for my birthday every year and I often buy a few when I visit a museum, so I have a good collection going. It's nice to keep my favorites in the studio:

Now on to the drawers. I have posted this image before:
I keep all of my paints in the top drawer (I used to keep them on the top surface, which I thought I preferred until I put them in the drawer and now I like them better there for some reason. Gives me more room for a jumble of junk, maybe.)

Drawer #2 contains a stack of watercolor paper and the initial portraits that I did almost two years ago when I was at the Vermont Studio Center. I like to keep them on hand to look at once in awhile as I continue working on the People You Know series.

Drawer #3 has another stack of watercolor paper, although this stack is mostly gessoed paper, ready to work on. It also contains some of the small format paintings that are available through my sales blog, as well as a few flower paintings that are well, just sitting there. Heh. Part of my painting inventory, I guess.

This is the drawer where I keep the bulk of the small format paintings for the sales blog:

And drawer #5 is where I keep all of the work on paper that I have done. You can see some the abstracts on top and under those are all the People You Know paintings that have been done on gessoed paper.

The next five drawers are used mostly for storage of other flat

Figure drawing pads (used and unused) are in this drawer:

Drawing boards and primed oil paper pads (which I never use):

Pastel paper pads and other assorted papers, plus a few larger scaled abstract paintings on gessoed paper:

Gessobords, and pads of palette paper.

As I do more work on paper, I will probably relocate the pads of paper. I love the idea of filling every single drawer with my work on paper! And considering that I can't resolve how to display those works, they may just sit there forever.

Anyway, I dearly love my flat file, it is useful but more importantly, it was a wonderful gift from a gallery director in NYC who showed my work for a few years before the gallery closed (sob).

So feel free to show us what's in your drawers, k???


Kim Hambric said...

It's just like one of those wonderful box of chocolates with all of the different layers.

I'd love to have one of those flat files. Not sure it would be able to fit up into my attic.

Thanks for showing us what is in, well, you know . . .

Tracy Helgeson said...

Omg, Kim, it was quite the event getting this up in my attic. In fact if I move my studio out, I think IT will staying put! We had to take it all apart and then patch up the wall in the stairwell a little bit;)

LOVE the chocolate analogy, for obvious reasons;)

Melody said...

I am absolutely in love with the portraits you did while in Vermont. The dearest to my heart is the man holding the flowers. It really speaks to me...thanks for letting us take a peek

Fiona said...

Sadly I no longer have any drawers to peek in.

peter senesac said...

Draw 4 is my fav. the whole collection makes a nice abstract

Janelle Goodwin said...

Tracy, Thank you SO MUCH for this post and answering my question. Now that I see how much can fit in the shallow drawers, that changes everything in terms of how it can be used.

You've inspired me to get organized! By the way, I love the way all your smaller paintings look nestled together like that!!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks Melody, I am fond of those pieces too. Even though they made me crazy and I have moved into a different direction, they remind of the wonderful, frustrating time I had in Vt;)

Fiona, um, care to elaborate??

Thanks, Peter, I like seeing all of them together like that too. Purty!!!

And you are welcome, Janelle. Anyway I should be thanking you for another blog post topic;)

And now you know too that one of my special little talents is being able to fit more crap into a room, or a cabinet or dresser than anyone could ever imagine, hehe.

Danielle Mongin said...

I love how your paint tubes are organized. Better than the buckets I am using beside my easel! Danielle

Fiona said...

In explanation,my drawers had a saw taken to them for the purposes of drastically reducing their size for the sake of all the weight on the bedroom ceiling. I actually only have half a drawer now, in truth.

Martha Marshall said...

I want a flat file!!! I had give up wanting one, but now that I see yours it's on my list again.

Always thought of them as a place to store big flat things, but you've proven that small things can be spread out too. Like the little canvases. And paint. Love that.

You can tell I'm catching up on my blog reading, can't you!

Tracy Helgeson said...

martha, hehe, I have been trying to catch on blog reading today as well!

Not sure where I got the bright idea to store the small paintings in the flat file, but it sure is a great place for them. They are such a pain to store otherwise, despite their size. I highly recommend a big flat file for all your storage needs;))

Apple said...

I really liked seeing what is in your drawers. You are very organized!!

Anonymous said...

*such* a good post title! Your flat files is so organised - colour me impressed. I think what impresses me the most is that all your paint tubes look used; you don't have a collection of "looked good but is actually useless" colours in there.

starblinkee said...

Looking at your studio really inspires me to create. I love the drawe you use for keeping your materials and books. Where did you get one like that? I have several old wrought iron containers for my art materials and a separate bookshelf for my books. I've been looking for something like the one you have that could hold everything in.

prashant said...

Not sure it would be able to fit up into my attic. Work From Home

Jala Pfaff said...

Wow. You are so organized. I am ashamed.

I love those black-and-white abstracts I had a glimpse of there. I can already feel them inspiring me.

Jala Pfaff said...

Wow. You are so organized. I am ashamed.

I love those black-and-white abstracts I had a glimpse of there. I can already feel them inspiring me.