Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Building a painting wall for large paintings

I had been planning on constructing this painting wall for a few years. My home is the upstairs of a former hardware store (before that a meat market) built in 1932, and the main floor is my studio. It was built for a family business, and so the upstairs is like the home of an  old house rather than a commercial area. There is 24" shelving all round the base of the room, and about 7ft above that is another shelf. I finally figured out how to make myself a painting wall (for large paintings) without taking out the very sturdy and well constructing shelving. Here are some pics . . haven't finished yet. I have to wait for my aunt to come by and hold the lumber and sheetrock while I drill in the screws. I realized I couldn't do it myself. So I must wait until she can come by to help.

I also made a great 4' x 6' table with two hollow core doors and four saw horses. I love it!!!

As I seem to be mostly right brained, I am going to feel very proud that I have constructed this on my own. I don't like working with numbers (I like them in paintings!), so instead of trying to figure it out by calculation (which wasn't working . . have to have a visual), I purchased an 8', 2 x 4, put it up against the shelving, and realized from that what direction I needed to take (won't go into a long explanation!). I will post pics of the completed wall. I have decided to use cradled wood panels instead of canvas for oil painting. It's necessary for oil and cold wax and encaustic, but I'm also drawn to go back to just oil, and this way I can really attack the surface with subtractive techniques. Wow . . that word "attack" is pretty strong! :-)


  1. Jann, this is a brilliant solution! I'm visual also, that's why I cut up measuring tapes for collages rather than use them for measuring. Attack may be a strong word but those cradled wooden panels can it! I loved the artwork on the table. Colours, composition, everything!

  2. Great solution. Looks exciting. I agree, even for oils alone, wood panels are great for a more vigorous painting style - and you don't get that canvas bounce which drives me crazy. Can't wait to see what comes of this newly worked space.

  3. bravo for figuring all this out! your studio is really coming together. i too love seeing the paintings on the table, seeing the sides somehow gives a different sense of them. onward.....

  4. ps i love it that your aunt is around to help you.

  5. Hi Carole . . thank so much for your support!

    Hi Lynn . . yes . . that canvas bounce . . no more! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Hi Suki . . Thank you! I feel really good that I finally did this. Had been thinking about doing it for a few years! And the paintings on the table . .
    lots of panels that have been worked but stalled because of that proverbial "need something more but don't want to mess up what is there" issue. So I have to talk to myself . . "well, they're just going to sit there and not go anywhere, so plunge in!" Takes some sitting for the surfaces to not be so precious! And my aunt is so kind. She has lots of arthritis in her hands, but could hold the 2 x 4's and sheet rock in place. . . bless her!

  6. wow, I'm impressed by your handiness! And I love the sound of living in an old hardware store with a studio downstairs.

    looking forward to seeing those large paintings.

  7. Jann, Burdick's chocolates are made in the next town from mine, handmade of course and mega expensive. Walpole, NH home of Ken Burns.

  8. My husband is an engineer & I am about as right brained as you can get, so I say from my heart, congrats on you new panel space!
    I very much enjoyed your circle post below. I love circles, but always seems to paint rectangles! sigh.