Asian with a twist

Carpentry with one's brother involves lots of second-guessing. (Photo by Sandy Quang)

Carpentry with one’s brother involves lots of second-guessing. (Photo by Sandy Quang)

My studio is in a retail area on Route 1, but I’m also less than three miles away from Camden Falls Gallery. To sell from my studio would violate my non-compete agreement.

A few weeks ago, Howard Gallagher, CFG’s owner, told me he thought it would be a good idea for me to keep hours in my studio. That opened the door to a mini-gallery of sorts.

Unfortunately, my studio is too beautiful to convert to a store. It has natural-finish shiplap walls, large sliding glass doors, and radiant heat in the poured concrete floor. I don’t want to damage the woodwork, and I don’t want permanent display walls. These are almost insurmountable limitations in designing a display system.

Practicing my "open" sign.

Somehow, my “open” sign looks backwards.

For those few areas where there are uninterrupted walls, I ordered a STAS cliprail system. This will let me rearrange paintings without constantly pounding nails into the woodwork. There are only about 20 running feet of wall space in the studio however. That means I will need additional display walls. However, I want to take them away when the season ends, so I don’t want to attach them permanently to the room.

I had an idea for the panels, but no way to attach them to the open beams. Then my brother Robert showed up. We toddled down to the lumber yard together. Between us, we figured out how to make a false moulding set off from the beam with spacers. It required just six wood screws set into the beam, and it is solid as a rock.

It will be interesting to see if this works.

It will be interesting to see if this works.

Both of us are decent craftsmen, but neither of us totally trusts the other. I surreptitiously checked his angle measurement on the ceiling. After I set the spacing for the screws, I noticed he came back and double-checked them.

“Measure twice and cut once,” I told my son.

“Measure once and re-check everything your sister does,” my brother told him.

What is particularly painful about this is that I had a set of booth walls that I finally got rid of last December, after having stored them in my garage for years. They served me well, but I just didn’t need them anymore.

The panels hanging in place. They're pegged at the top, and can come down and be stored.

The panels hanging in place. They’re pegged at the top, and can come down and be stored.

We finished before dinner and the panels actually looked better than I expected.

“It looks kind of Asian,” I mused.

“In a Home Depot kind of way,” responded my nephew.

True, but really not that bad.

Carol Douglas

About Carol Douglas

Carol L. Douglas is a painter who lives, works and teaches in Rockport, ME. Her annual workshop will again be held on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, from August 6-11, 2017. Visit for more information.