Articles

A View from the Easel

by Philip A Hartigan on January 21, 2014

CHICAGO — The 56th installment of a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? Submit your studio — just check out the submission guidelines.

Rebecca Clark, Hyattsville, Maryland (site)

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Affectionately referred to by a friend as the “scriptorium,” my studio is a small room in my bungalow. I work off my father-in-law’s drawing table (from the 1920s or 1930s), surrounded by cherished objects and images of inspiration. With pencil in hand and music on my iPod, I blast out of the boundaries of this space and into a realm of artistic transcendence.

Pinned to the wall are my inspirations: Mahatma Gandhi, Joris Hoefnagel, Jan van Eyck, Johannes Vermeer, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Dirk Bouts, Petrus Christus, Master of Flemalle, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Quentin Massys, Hans Holbein the Younger, Vincent van Gogh, Carel Fabritius, Rembrandt van Rijn, mascara de la dualidad (Tlatilco, Estado de Mexico), the Book of Kells, Tinariwen, The Incredible String Band, Micky Mantle, Kiki Smith, Arthur Dove, Peter Fonda as Captain America, John Singleton Copley, “Dikika” Australopithecus afarensis, Matazo Kayama, Maruyama Okyo, Giuseppe Penone, Jesse Clark, Harry Smith, Simen Johan, George Caleb Bingham, Lucian Freud with baby fox, NRBQ, Gautama Buddha, Jane Rosen, Homer the Cat, Carlos Estrada-Vega, William Willis, Randy Exon’s painting class 1982, William Morris, Matsubayashi Keigetsu, Van Morrison, George Harrison, Rick Danko, Brian Wilson, and Sufjan Stevens.

Jeremiah Johnson, Williamsport, Pennsylvania (site)

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My studio is the basement of a rented house. The space is small and the ceiling is low. There’s a toilet and a sink under the staircase, so I don’t have to leave much. Time and space is shifted between two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, on the floor, at the table or on the walls. I have a 6ft x 7ft and a 6ft x 9ft wall, so that often determines the size of the largest work (up to 5ft x 9 ft). I live where I work so I can work all the time.

Each piece is developed gradually. I work flat on paper, mylar, or unstretched canvas to be rolled up, and all sculptures are made to be dismantled. Everything is stored in the attic until exhibited. My influence is my hometown, my region, and daily life, and it’s all right outside of the studio door.

Marilyn Kirsch, New York City, New York (site)

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My studio is located in a very busy part of Manhattan, but it is set back from the street just enough to make it a wonderful and relatively quiet cocoon.

For me, it is perfect for working, reading and hopefully thinking. It is not very large as studios go. It is what is referred to in New York City as an “alcove one bedroom apartment,” but there is space for me to paint on large canvases and still have a few separate areas for other projects. This includes room for a large monitor for my work on digital photographs and photo-collages.

What my studio lacks in space, it makes up for in time. It is one flight below where I live which makes it possible for me to come and go without a second thought. This photograph shows a little of my homemade wall-sized easel on the far wall and a corner of a painting in progress. My worktable and painting materials are on the left.

Clark Whittington, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (site)

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I founded the art-o-mat® project  in 1997. Most of the machines that I have converted and have been created in this corner of my garage studio. The large work table and a lawn mower were the only things in this basement when I bought the house. It is now very full and dirty.

The vise and power strip are pretty much used daily. Illy cans hold various vending parts that are either new or raided from machines that have been scrapped. Tools are housed in an old vending machine that has been gutted and repurposed into a locker. The dull green wedge-shaped thing sitting on the floor is called a “butt box.” This was given to me by my neighbor who retired from Bell South (the phone company). These boxes were used by technicians who worked on the “whatever they are called” locker things on the side of the road. Phone repair techs would sit on these boxes for easy access to their tools, wires, parts, etc, and the box served as a seat.

In the background there is a mid 90s Arctic Racer ski video game that players drive with their feet. The TV (monitor) is also wired for cable. When not virtually skiing, I enjoy watching (aka: listening to as background noise while working) Globe Trekker, antenna TV, X-games type stuff, or Football. I normally only look up when something exciting happens.

Glenn Fischer, The Bronx, New York (site)

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My studio is located in the old Alexander Smith Carpet Mill, an expansive historic landmark building just north of the Bronx, where I live. It truly is a great space to work in, with huge windows that let in this amazing light all day long.

The wood floors are always covered with scraps of paper. The walls are lined with outdated books, album covers, boxes of found paper, magazine clippings, etc., that I use to construct my collages. There is always this amazing flow of energy that allows me to be focused and inspired.

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  • Scott Blake

    I’ve visited Clark Whittington’s studio before. There is always a friendly dog lying around and multiple mountain bikes in various stages of repair. ART-O-MAT rocks.

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