Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Still Life Stand

"One always starts work with the subject, no matter how tenuous it is, and one constructs an artificial structure by which one can trap the reality of the subject-matter that one has started from."
                                                                                                            ~ Francis Bacon

My still life painting set-up in action.

Other artists' studios are endlessly fascinating to me. How do they store their supplies? How is their painting area set up? What color do they paint the walls? What kind of lights do they use? I've spent many hours reading through blogs and articles getting inspiration for my own studio, so I thought I'd share a new still life set up I put together in my studio in the hopes that someone out there might find it interesting/helpful.

Up to this point, I've been using a desk near my easel to place my still-life arrangements on, so I've been stuck with my still life models always being at one height. I've seen many artists using stands with adjustable heights for their still life compositions and I've wanted to build one myself. I'd already worked with a tripod stand on my DIY pochade box, so I planned on using the same idea for the still life set up, but then my ever-practical husband pointed out that in this case I didn't need to be able to tilt the top of the tripod head (unless I wanted everything to slide off and crash to the floor. Could be handy when I get frustrated with a painting...), but I would need something pretty sturdy to be able to hold up the weight of my still life items and the supporting board. He suggested I use a speaker stand instead of a tripod since it would be strong enough to support the weight and would have adjustable height, but wouldn't cost as much as a heavy-duty tripod with all the bells and whistles. Brilliant!

So he found this baby* for me online for under $50. It can hold up to 100 lbs. and extends more than 6 feet tall. The supporting board is bolted to the head of the stand for stability (especially with a cat about the place. She hasn't tried to jump up onto the platform yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.) Then I made a basic shadowbox out of foam core to sit on top of the board and control the lighting on the still life objects. 

Get into trouble? Who me?

I'm really delighted with this set-up and have been putting in many hours at the easel.

*This is NOT a paid endorsement (although if the company wants to throw some money at me for this post, I wouldn't complain...), but if you are interested, the stand is a PylePro PSTND1.


Wendy Barrett said...

Hi Gabrielle, I've really enjoyed catching up on your last few posts. Love your tulips and daffodil. What a great set-up you have for your still lifes. I need to do something similar. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! Been trying to figure out something for painting and photography. Now I know what to ask for for Mother's Day :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, Where was the speaker stand found. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

Gabrielle said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to check my comments and get back to you, Unknown! We found my stand on eBay.

Gina G. said...

Thanks for sharing your great idea!