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Readers Respond: What Rules Do You Have in Your Art Studio?

Responses: 60


What rules do you have for visitors to your studio (including friends and family)? It is to not touch anything, or perhaps not to turn any canvasses facing the wall around? To not comment on works in progress unless you solicit an opinion? Or do you simply not allow visitors at all?

On Rules

Rules can stifle the creative spirit. Every decision must be made on a case by case. The only rule I would consider is to not let people see something until it is finished! They tend to assume, and their assumptions are usually wrong, and then you can get defensive and feel you have to correct their wrongful assumptions and it`s just a pain.

Only one rule

My palette is a big sheet of glass on an old desk. The rule: The cat must not walk on my palette.
—Guest Mickey Oberman

Want to get back to it!

I used to have a lovely studio upstairs, north light exposure, also my office; but my family freaked when I was "Up and away" from them. I finally had to quit to tend to my kids's acting out years. Downsized and cleaned out the upstairs (can barely climb those stairs now!) but I want to paint my old studio room and get out those paints and begin again! These suggestions have really helped me to feel that I wasn't so selfish after all to want my own time/space! Thank you all!

My Space

Letting family know it's my space where respecting that space is important. There are times I am just having fun and that is when my family can come in and watch or sit and talk with me. When I have a deadline or very focused on a painting they know to only slip in quietly to set a plate of food and don't break my concentration. But my family is, of course, the most important to me and I always try to take breaks and see what the family is up to and ask about their day although it's hard at times to pull myself away. Although I love my space, I won't let it distance myself from my family.
—Guest Sharon

Stay Out Unless Invited

I remember a story about Alexander Calder being furious because his family tidied up his studio for his birthday surprise and went off in a huff, not attending his own festivities! My studio is creative chaos, I know where everything is, I work on more than one piece at a time, sometimes in different mediums. I keep the door closed. My dog is the only one allowed. The cats have been exiled for various infringements. If invited, I say you can look but don't touch. I don't have people in when working. That way we can sit down and talk about art or whatever. The atmosphere of the studio does seem conducive to lively conversation. Art making is mostly solitary and I find only other artists really get that.
—Guest artzi

Don't Cook My Subject Matter!

A watercolor class assignment was to paint a still life with vegetables. Among my items was a nice, plump purple eggplant. Before I was quite through with the painting (the third week of class), my wife cooked the eggplant! Since then, I've concentrated on landscapes and cityscapes.
—Guest Steve Walters

Solitude and Comfort

I love my alone time. My back porch is where my studio space is set up. I like to work in an uncluttered atmosphere. I had storage cupboards built where I can keep stuff hidden while providing me with a surface to set up my things. I only have rules for myself. Aside from the tidy workspace, I work better alone. The reason for that is I like to talk a little too much. Once I start to paint, I'm oblivious to everything going on around me. Another rule I'm working at is to take more breaks during the day. At 60, I'm getting a bit stiff in the joints.
—Guest shirley laprise

Studio Rules

Yes it's my messy studio. I know where everything is. You may look but do not touch.

Music, Music, Music

The only rule I have in the studio is music! I listen to music all day when I paint. Jazz is the best and jazz singers in other languages even better.
—Guest Art Epicurean - Jane Robinson

Studio Rules

Please come by but don't expect much conversation. My wife once asked about an oil change for the car while I was working. I answered her with our phone number. Please don't touch anything.
—Guest Matthewsheekart

No Special Studio Rules

There are no special rules for visitors in my studio. They may touch the paintings unless they’re wet. Comments and opinions are well appreciated, especially on works on progress. They may actually provide improvements on it. It depends on the purpose of the painting. If the painting is a request then I give my best to satisfy it. If a painting is my idea I also value and evaluate comments in order to follow them or not. I don’t like to be distracted for long hours, or leave a chaos on the studio at the end of the day. I need to clean palette and brushes every day. Remaining paint of the day is saved in a small tile (oil) or wet paper (acrylic) inside a plastic box.

No Entry

No entry without prior invitation! My studio/atelier is located in the garden away from the home. As it contains printmaking chemicals for etching and screenprinting as well as paintings on easels, I don’t need the added burden of having to supervise some uninvited idiot touch something potentially dangerous. Here in my studio/atelier I have no distractions. No doorbells, no telephone and most importantly I am not at home whilst in the studio/atelier.

My Art Studio

The only people who show interest in entering my studio besides me are my grandchildren, and usually they ask first. If a project is underway and paints and brushes are out and too available for grabbing I will say no, I have "stuff out cause I'm working on something". I do have (cheap) tubes of water and acrylic paints for grandchildren to use, and they certainly love using them.

My 'Studio' Rules

Everybody's welcome to my corner of the living room, my studio. Don't touch the paintings or pick the brushes that I am using. I usually set my GGC and younger GC up at the dining room table to paint their own masterpieces to take home, so I 'share' some brushes and paint, pallets, etc.

Art Studio Rules

I know there was a possible hail storm being predicted and my studio was the only place with floor space large enough to get the antique car into on short notice, but NEVER EVER run into my stored paintings again or I'll personally become that car's demise! I promise.
—Guest Theresa H

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