Articles

A View from the Easel

by Philip A Hartigan on March 19, 2014

CHICAGO — The 62nd 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.

Donna Dodson, Boston, Massachussetts (link)

Dodson

My 200-square-foot studio exists in my live-work space, where a living room might have been. The 10-foot-tall ceiling makes it seem bigger than it is, but I manage to get a lot done with my fleet of chainsaws and hand tools, and my endless supply of logs that my friends bring me.

My daily process is carving direct in wood, using photographic images I find on the internet as my guide to carving animal-headed female figures. The afternoon when the sunlight streams through the windows is the most magical time of day to be in the studio.

Anthony Butler, Kansas City, Missouri (link)

butler-640

I have always worked from the front room of whatever loft or one-bedroom apartment I am living in. I work with paintings mainly, so I just set up shop where there is the best light.

I keep the cat busy with her toys while I put out all the paint and other supplies I need to keep handy. I work either on the easel or flat on the coffee table. If I work on the table, I just put the paints on a box until I need them again. I usually get paint on the carpet and in my coffee. I’m used to it.

Michael Hafftka, Manhattan, New York (site)

hafftka_studio_sm

I have been working in the space for 30 years. I paint on one side of the space, where the easel is, and I draw on the other side, where the table is. Before me, this space was used by Swami Prabhupada when he first came to the United States, as an ashram and as a workspace to paint the brightly colored idols at his International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which he was the founder of.

For many years I would get mail from all over the world addressed to him. I have always loved this space; it has an amazing vibe. When the doors to the outside are closed, there is total silence. This feature has been very helpful when people pose for me — subjects lose track of time, and the whole environment is somewhat dreamlike. People have allowed me to paint them for many hours at a stretch.

Eron Rauch, Los Angeles, California (site)

rauch_eron_studio

I’ve had just about every imaginable working situation over the last decade, and I’ve found that I’m happiest when I have easy home access to my studio.

In my current setup I’m using the second bedroom as my studio (I have no idea if the attached bathroom’s shower works — it has has been filled to the top with archive boxes since I moved in).

Most of my projects are produced over the course of three to five years, so I find that I spend lots of time rearranging sets of work on the wall and making proofs and tests from my computer. The intimacy of a home studio helps me keep involved with that iterative process, so if I get an idea while I’m playing video games, I can walk to the next room and tinker for a few hours. Though I mostly work with digital photography, I’ve recently been doing installation projects with the Creative Underground Los Angeles collective, so sometimes I have to come up with jury-rigged ways and avoid totally destroying the space while still using saws, drills, fabric, lighting, and industrial paint to create objects that will end up filling an outdoor area or stage set.

Laurentiu Todie, Rego Park, New York (link)

todie

I do some analogue work as well, but prefer digital by far.

I was not born yesterday.

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