Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Different Point of View

You might find this hard to believe, but I have decided to change my view point. When it comes to Art, you can't always look at things the same way. You must have an open mind. I am officially announcing that I am going to be more liberal when it comes to my point of view.

My normal viewpoint on art, at least for still life, has been about 48 inches.
A typical still life stand is about 4 feet tall, which puts your subject at eye level when painting. Lately I have been designing some pictures that are asking for a lower, more top-down view.
I had considered just cutting down an existing table to 30 inches- about the typical height of a dinner table or desk.   Instead, I decided to make a still life table that would allow for adjustment.
Here is what the old fashion, non-adjustable still life stand looks like in my studio. I built these a few years ago using some old porch columns I found in the garbage.

First thing I had to do was cut the main column down to the minimum height. I chose 27 inches.
Now I had an open box into which I could insert a smaller column like a piston.

I built the box 1/8 inch smaller than the inside diameter of the main column. It would be snug with a bit of wiggle room so it would slide freely up and down. I made it about 30 inches long so it would slide up a good distance.
The box is slid into the column all the way down. A hole is drilled through the outside column and the inside box. The hole is in the middle of the front and back side, about 2 inches from the top of the outside column. The box is slide out. I used the drilled hole as a guide to mark off lines where I will cut a slot. I cut the slots in two sides, front and back. These slots need to be big enough for bolts to slide through freely. I used a 1/2 inch carriage bolt, about 2 inches long. After I marked it off in pencil on the inside box, I drilled two holes in the top and bottom. Then used a jigsaw to cut the slot between those holes. You should be able to see above that I made sure the slot did not extend too close to the ends so as to weaken the side.
I painted the box. When the paint dried I waxed the box so it would  not stick.
A bolt is feed through from the inside and a wing nut place on the outside.

Here is the column slide all the way up, wing nuts are tightened down. 

I then attach the top. The top is a light 1/2 sheet of plywood 3 foot square with a block on the bottom that will fit into the column. I can screw it on tightly.  The whole thing is painted with some left off miss matched house paint I have sitting around. I did realize that the piston created some suction and made it hard to pull up, so I drilled an air hole at the bottom of the column to prevent this.
Here is the finished still life stand in the studio at its lowest setting.
 Here it is at it's highest setting.
Now, I have a still life stand that I can adjust anywhere from 30 inches to about 46 inches.
Ta Da! The official Richard Luschek Magic Adjustable Still Life Stand © patent pending.

Paintings with a new point of view will be appearing on this blog very soon.


Jim Serrett said...

That is very nice.
Great solution to a common problem.
Thanks for sharing it.

Brunomac said...

Cool, I would use that for a lot of different stuff.