Articles

A View from the Easel

by Philip A Hartigan on July 2, 2014

CHICAGO — The 69th 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.

Adrian Rhodes, Hartsville, South Carolina (site)

RhodesI have two adjacent spaces in my local Arts Council. One is set up for printmaking, with areas for screen, relief, and intaglio, and the other for mixed media and painting. Both spaces are about 150 sq. feet and have fabulous windows and high ceilings. I move back and forth between both spaces, incorporating my prints into my mixed media and letting my paintings inform my prints. Lots of flat storage for my papers and collage fragments, a tall tool chest to hold my pencils, prismacolors, inks, montana markers, etc., and a mini Keurig coffee brewer are all close at hand.

Patricia Finley, Denver, Colorado (site)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy work is “painting” with colored resin. I add paint, ink, and pigment to resin and create with the resulting colored resin. This means that I “paint” with a sticky, viscous, molasses-like product that is both toxic and impossible to remove from, well, anything. I create behind the plastic sheet which you can see is draped from ceiling to floor. Behind this opaque plastic curtain is a table covered with plastic and a significant exhaust system. If you look closely, you can see my carbon filter mask on one of the tables. While creating, I also wear a hairnet and a large men’s shirt, thereby completing my ever-so-classy ensemble in which I look rather like the cafeteria lady from Mars.

My art is, however, well worth it.

Vivian Liddell, Athens, Georgia (site)

LiddellI was happy to find this space when I moved back to Athens after almost a decade of live/working in Brooklyn. (It was a major upgrade from my previous narrow basement space with fluorescent lights.) Having one space where all of my creative pursuits can remain in various states (rather than constantly having to put things away, as I was doing before) has transformed my work. My drawing table, sewing station, and silkscreen equipment coexist with my paintings, and they’ve all started to overlap. The only thing not visible in this panorama is the back wall, where I do all of my woodworking and have some storage.

Alonzo Davis, Paducah, Kentucky (site)

Davis2AIR Studio Paducah is a visiting artist live-work studio I established ten years ago, after retiring from my position at Memphis College of Art in Tennessee. It is located in the LowerTown Arts District and accommodates one or two visiting artists at a time. I use it twice a year, traveling from where I now live in the Washington, DC, area. It has a skylit studio, patio, furnished kitchen, and adjoining sculpture garden. This space was a decaying mom-and-pop small grocery store that was remodeled as a live/work space with a large studio workspace.

Michael Una, Chicago, Illinois (site)

UnaI need all my tools where I can see them, and within arm’s reach of a rolling chair. It breaks my flow to have to get up and search for something. I don’t actually have an easel because most of my work is electromechanical in nature. A good drill press is the best gift you can give yourself. The most used tools in my workshop are the drill press, followed by the soldering iron and the CNC router. One last thought: organizing your workspace organizes your mind and clears the way for new work to be created.
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