One of my favourite Buddhist sayings goes something along the lines of, "We are presented with lessons in this life. If we don't learn a lesson the first time we will be presented with it again and again until it's learned." I was thinking about that yesterday as I emptied my studio closet of damp paintings. Just over a year ago our hot-water tank gave up the goat (as my brother calls it) and the basement flooded, including the closet of paintings that have no home. We caught it early and there was no damage. At that time I promised myself we'd find a solution to a storage problem that involves paintings that live beside a laundry room and are just around the corner from the hot-water heater.
Fast forward a year and, typically, problem ignored. After all, we'd lived here for over 12 years with just one little problem, right? Wrong. Lying in bed on Saturday night listening to the monsoon-like rain with the windows wide open I wondered about -- but didn't actually check -- the drain by the back door. The next day, while putting in a load of laundry, I stepped in a puddle. There wasn't much water but what was there did, of course, find its way into that same closet. This time there was damage, and not just from me hitting my head against the wall.
At that point my knight in shining armour (aka my beloved husband, Greg) swooped in and solved the problem. He headed out to Home Depot and had a sheet of 3/4" plywood cut to match the dimensions of the closet floor. He also got five short table legs and screw plates (one for each corner and one for the middle), all for under $60. It was a tight fit (as you can see by the paint scraped from the wall) but works great. And because two heads are better than one, I had a brilliant idea for some support bars. While sorting through the artwork I'd pulled out of the closet I found several stinkers that really needed to see the inside of a garbage bin. Two of them were on 24" x 30" stretchers (1.5" deep) with crossbars. We stripped the canvas off and Greg bolted them to the false floor and the wall, dividing the storage area into thirds. They're shallow enough to maneuvre around and because of the cross bars can support even very small paintings.
I have looked longingly at this $450 studio cart at Opus for years so am really tickled that Greg and I came up with this much more economical solution.