Though I have a few odd jobs like substitute teaching and instructing Paint Nite, I earn most of my income through selling my paintings. I do have a studio where I complete most of my larger commissioned work on my parents’ third floor. It’s the classic artists’ studio where you enter and it looks like somebody grabbed paints, brushes, and canvases and danced around while tossing them everywhere. Painting on the boat has to be a tad more organized since it’s our living space.
I have a few fun tricks that I discovered for myself that help create less mess and accumulation of various items that would take up all the trash space. I paint at the table in the salon. To begin, I unload all of my brushes and paints onto the right side of the table, place my canvas in the center, and leave the left side for my pallet, rag/paper towel, and water cup. I have one little glass Mason jar that I keep on the boat for brush cleaning.
Instead of taking up room with a big wooden pallet or using wax paper that adds significantly to the trash, I cover a white plate with plastic wrap! It works beautifully. When I’m done, I peel it up and the plate’s still as pristine as before!
If I’m working on a commission of someone’s boat or pet, I put the image up on my computer screen in front of me. Printing out the image just wastes space and paper. Sometimes I even use my phone.
It all works out quite nicely since I have the boat to myself during the day. Herby goes off to be a dentist while Morty and I hang out in the boat. I either go to my parents’ house to work where I can dance around and play with my cat while paint dries, or I settle into my little station in the boat. The boat is nice because when I finish a piece, I can walk it right over to one of the galleries up the street where I show my work!