Working From Home With Carole Malcolm

When it comes to making art, there’s no place like home for Ontario based painter Carole Malcolm. She shares what it’s like working in her home studio, from dawn until downtime. Read below to learn more about Malcolm’s techniques, tools and love for nature.

Artogone: Walk us through your studio. How have you organized your work environment? 

Carole Malcolm: As you enter the studio you will see a few tables spread out with paintings lying flat in various stages. The lighting everywhere is daylight fluorescent so I can paint at any time of day with consistent light, for painting or taking photos of the finished paintings. The walls are lined with shelving for my supplies.

I have a sink area where I refresh my water and wash my brushes, with many family pics and printouts of words of wisdom from my favorite artists. I also have a side room off the studio where my husband has built shelving to store canvases and finished paintings.

Shoreline Study 08019 by Carole Malcolm
Malcom lays her paintings flat, allowing them to dry between layers.

What does a typical day at the studio look like?

 I like to get up early in the morning…usually 5am. After a coffee and reading the news online, then I get busy.  I am a morning person for sure, as far as productivity in the studio goes. I usually finish my day with a plan for the next day, so that when I start working the next morning, I can get started right away (after coffee). Even if it is only preparing canvases and preparing for the next series. I paint until mid-morning then do my workout, walking and weights usually.  I return to the studio after lunch for about three hours. I usually still go to the studio each day but on the weekends, I only paint for a couple of hours in the early morning.

You sometimes work on many artworks at once; can you tell us more about your process? 

I always work in a series for sure. As you can see from the pics, I have a few tables set up so that as a painting is drying, I can just move to another. I work mainly with liquid acrylics so the paintings need to lay flat in order to dry between layers or washes. I also have a large easel that I use for the palette knife work that I do on the treescapes so that I can step back quickly to measure my progress, or make changes towards completion of the painting. I alternate between treescapes, seascapes and wildflower paintings, finishing one type of series before starting another. For instance maybe 10 seascapes are painted over a month or two. When they are complete, I move my focus to a new treescape series or wildflower series in order to stay fresh.

Storage shleves built by Carole Malcolm's husband James.

Is there anything that you enjoy doing while painting, such as listening to music or podcasts, drinking coffee or tea?

Coffee, coffee and more coffee! I enjoy listening to talk radio shows and podcasts that focus on politics and news.

Can you tell us about a tool in your studio that is essential to you? 

My palette knife is essential and modeling paste is my secret to obtaining great texture on my canvases. The brand I presently use is Liquitex Light Modeling Paste. And of course, the paint is almost the most important tool. I use Golden liquid acrylics.

What are some of the challenges you face working from home? What are the greatest upsides? 

It is wonderful to have my studio in my home so I can do what I love and paint every day. It is quite effortless to go to work each morning, no matter what season we are enjoying or even any time of day, since my studio is equipped with daylight bulbs. I am still trying to find a downside to working from home…if I think of something bad about it I will let you know. I feel very blessed to be able to work and live out in the country surrounded by nature and tranquility. A few years ago, my husband James joined me in order to take over the shipping and general office work, which gives me much more time to just paint.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know? 

I hope folks who enjoy my work will see and feel how much I love working in the studio and presenting Mother Nature in my own way with paint.

Discover the artworks currently available in the artist’s studio:

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