Wednesday, 20 May 2009


In this blog I have written a lot about my passion for painting outside, in the landscape.

This doesn't however mean that I could do without my studio.

Essentially this is a large indoor space which I use for storage; to prepare, stretch and prime* canvases; as a framing workshop; and of course for painting.

While it is a lovely, characterful building it does some drawbacks. Chief among these is natural light, which is sometimes lacking in strength.

This means that in order to get the best out of the light I almost always have to work close to the window, facing a particulary way.

Also, because it is a rented space I have to respect the walls and the floors. This is quite a challenge as I'm a naturally messy person - but it is at least a good discipline.

The top photograph shows my easel and the canvas on which I'm working at the moment. The black-and-white photograph below is one I took of myself priming canvases on the studio floor last year.

*Here is a link to an excellent article on stretching, sizing and priming, written by my old Slade colleague and friend Andy Pankhurst. It appears on the website of the late Margaret Muller - another Slade painter.


Chris Rudge Renewable Power said...

I love the interior view of your studio. Yo make it look like it has lots of light though :)

Harriet Barber said...

Ahh yes and that's because I'm getting the best out of my camera; I used a high ISO, and a tripod for the B&W shot.
It is always seems surprisingly bright 'outside' after being in the studio. The light is consistent but only good for painting under the window.
I'm very particular about getting enough light to fall on both the palette and canvas.