Articles

A View from the Easel

by Philip A Hartigan on March 5, 2014

CHICAGO — The 60th 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.

Sichong Xie, Brooklyn, New York

SichongXie-studioMy studio is only 12′ x 20′, but I have three free walls to play with. I prefer to use these three walls as much as possible, so I put canvases up on the wall or hang the objects on the ceiling while I work on them. For the current body of work, I collected a lot of plastic objects, and I prefer to translate these materials into a new meaning by re-creating them into new installation forms. I like the space like this, because I can really make connections between my artworks and the space. At the same time it’s easy to enter and move around in. I am very interested in photography and video, too, so sometimes I will cover my studio with all black fabrics so I can use my studio as a dark room. I like the changeability of my studio space. Also, I think my studio is organized in such a way that it helps me feel more energetic about the work I create.

Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, Denver, Colorado (site)

MurphyStorage. That’s what stands out when you look at panoramic shots of my studio: obsessive little drawers. But it’s the names on the storage spaces that tell a story. “Koosh ball drawer,” “Bucket’o’Heads,” “Animal Parts,” “Horsehair,” “Bits’o’nature,” “Dead Bees,” “Prepared Slides.” And of course, “Glitter.” I can see in these drawers every transition my work has made. I work with a lot of different media, from those above to bacteria and collaborations with honeybees. My work spans the sculptural to paint to photography; it makes me a bit of a hoarder.

Lawrence Quigley, Brooklyn, New York (site)

LawrenceQuigley_studioMy studio is in the basement of the building that my wife and I own. The studio is about 300 square feet. Early on, I put up homasote on the back wall so I could tack up ideas easily. I’ve been here for about 10 years, and I’m still shuffling stuff around. Almost everything that takes up floor space has wheels on it.

Rachel Foster, Chicago, Illinois (site)

FosterThis is a picture of my West Loop artist studio. I have a half dozen folding tables that I can set up and configure to aid in whatever I’m working on. The press in the picture is my 1921 Chandler & Price letterpress. The studio has reinforced floors to ensure that the 1800-lb press doesn’t fall through. I work mostly as a printmaker and hardly ever leave any paper I am working on out in the studio. All items are housed in flat files before I leave.

Michael Demers, Hartford, Connecticut (site)

demers_studioThis is my “bunker,” a 7′-x-24′ room made of cinder blocks. I work digitally, so I don’t need a lot of space to “make” my work — just some flat, sturdy surfaces on which equipment sits (computers, printer for proofing, etc.) and space for texts and magazines that I’m working through. It ends up looking more like an office, but having things this organized and laid out helps me make my art (my web-based artworks, for example, require a lot of coding — distractions inevitably lead to mistakes that can break the project). I keep the lighting low and the door closed when I’m working, and the space feels removed from everything. Half of the studio serves as storage for some of my physical pieces, so different images end up on or against the walls from time to time. And because much of that work is produced serially, it’s also a nice way to “live” with the images in particular arrangements until they find a more permanent home.

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