Articles

A View from the Easel

by Philip A Hartigan on April 17, 2014

CHICAGO — The 64th 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.

Tom Snelgrove, Long Island City, New York (site)

tom_snelgrove_studioI am fortunate to have a decent-sized, affordable studio in Queens, just one subway stop from Manhattan. A few years back, I signed a lease with several friends for a large unit within a mixed-use industrial building. We each built out our own studios. This was a great opportunity, as it allowed me to create a studio that ideally served the needs of each of my processes. I work in several media, ranging from video to painting. Depending upon the project I am working on, my space changes radically from being a painting studio, filled with materials like oil paints and panels, to a facility used to shoot green-screen video shots, to an editing studio.

In this image, I was shooting a video clip that was part of a 6-minute video I created a year ago. In addition to the area seen, there is also a separate room, with fully built-out racks and loft space, used for storing paintings and video equipment.

Anthony Amoroso, Chicago, Illinois (site)

Camera 360Here we have an approximately 280-square-foot studio in a building devoted to creative endeavors. The pink work in the middle turned out to be trash, as is sometimes the case, but I hadn’t given up on it yet. All of the others visible passed muster, but only two have since been stretched and varnished. It can take quite a while for them to get from the floor to wall to completion. The slowness seems right, so I’m not inclined to change it. Painting only represents half of my practice at the moment, so there’s no hurry. I’ve settled on a process of floating a somewhat complex strata of oil, acrylic, glitter, and mica onto canvas laid on a sheet of plastic that is itself floating on a bed of water. Sometimes they need a homogenous application of paint or to be flipped and painted from behind. Curing while pinned to the wall follows, then stretching and a layer of lightly to moderately tinted varnish for finish cohesion. All the time elapsing allows inherited conditions of material and environment to exteriorize. The steps involved aren’t arbitrary, but nearly all specific details are and should be. Maybe I’m too lazy to get entangled in such things. Life is hard enough as it is.

Sophie Patricia Chapman, London, United Kingdom (site)

sophie chapman studioThis is a shot of my studio space whilst on a residency in Berlin. The studio is a really important part of my process; I see the gatherings and clusters of stuff, stored and piled, as a version of the work. This practice of constant curation is part of how I decide on the combinations, arrangements, and pieces that I put together. This helps balance a sense of the calculated and serendipitous. I am interested in an excess of images and information, and how we navigate or create meaning amidst that. Working this way also helps me consider how the influence of traditional modes of art practice, versus junkier pop cultural practices, operate. The studio is very much a place where things are tested out, a physical thinking through.

Sarah Hobbs, Atlanta, Georgia (site)

Sarah-Hobbs-studioMy studio is on the quiet side of a small office building on a busy street. There are day traders, engineers, insurance salesmen, and me. On my door is a sign that says “Peachtree Cardiovascular Business Office.” I will never change it. The space has beautiful light and plenty of room to think. I am a site-specific photographer and installation artist, so my work does not come to fruition here, but this is where I work out ideas and create all the parts of the environments.

Some of the materials for my upcoming installation are under the window. I work on many things at once, so I have many places to sit, two of which you can see here. Over one desk are diagrams of the spaces I am creating as well as some drawings of materials I want to use. Many of the ideas I am working with are on notes across the other wall. On the long table is a large, ever-changing grid of photographs I use as a sketchbook. The old chalkboard is a prized possession on which I write my long-term goals.

Sharon Singer, Dunedin, New Zealand (link)

Sharon-Singer-studioMy studio is in a large, grand room in a turn-of-the-century wooden villa built during the Arts and Crafts movement. It is airy and light due to a high ceiling stud (12 feet), which is decorated with ornate plaster work. The large window floods the room with morning light and overlooks a mass of park-like greenery. Out of shot is a beautiful tiled fireplace with carved mantel, chock-full of quirky inspirational finds. Mountains of National Geographic magazines spanning 60 years are piled on the floor together with assorted art magazines. Arrayed along the window ledge is a collection of dolls, either made by me or sourced from thrift shops and reinscribed. These operate as sculptural objects in their own right and also serve as subjects in paintings, around which I create strange, fairytale-like narratives.

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  • http://Catton.co/ Donald Catton

    Maillol’s famous model Dina remaked in her old age that all this talk oif studios really did not mean much,am artist works where ever he ( Impersonal pronoun )
    can. ” After all”, she said ,”Maillol only had a cave.”

    • Den Hickey

      Yes, but when we get to build our own more permanent spaces to work it becomes more interesting to see how various artists go about doing so… and other artists can sometimes pick up a few tricks on working space and furniture and storage from such things.

  • http://Catton.co/ Donald Catton

    Yes,Den, the nuts and bolts of making stuff are important but the only real value is what we have in our heads and what we can make of it.

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