Articles

A View from the Easel

by Philip A Hartigan on July 23, 2014

CHICAGO — The 72nd 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.

Lauren Watrous, Bernardston, Massachussetts (site)

watrous

My husband and I built my studio into the basement of our home. It’s lovely, warm, and light-filled, even though it’s the basement. I have four easels, five desks, a hot plate, a refrigerator, and a space heater. I work on many pieces at once and they are either
resting on an easel or stacked into a box with a lot of other works in progress. The easels are for looking; I don’t usually use them for painting. I use the hot plate and refrigerator for making and storing certain materials I used to make in my kitchen, but thankfully don’t have to anymore.

Ashleigh Wink, Baltimore, Maryland (site)

wink

My studio is a shared workspace with my musician husband. Half of this 8 by 10-foot spare room in our row house holds my art table (which is usually just for storing supplies), my easel, and any in-progress paintings. I use the wall for displaying my source images and any inspirational works, phrases or images that I come across.

Since I often work on my paintings on the floor or on an easel, my current studio suits my basic needs, though I look forward to eventually having more space to work and store completed works.

Cate White, Oakland, California (site)

white

My studio is in the spare bedroom of my house rented for cheap seven years ago. It’s my 140-square-foot retreat from the chaos outside my door and inside my head. The primary challenge in my life and my art is to find a way to focus what feels like multiple opposing impulses and energies, such as freedom/connection, anger/love, and surrender/control.

Since moving here, my work has reflected the culture of poverty surrounding me, with its complex mix of violence, beauty, strength, and despair. My studio feels at times like a battlefield where I try to wrangle into form an image that balances these internal and external dualities.

Even though I have a table, I always end up on the floor hunched over in a cramped position, working quickly and messily, using whatever is at hand for a palette or rag. After a few days, I get up, survey what I’ve done, Instagram some pictures, and clean up until the tension builds to a pitch where the only thing to do is to get back in there and organize the universe again.

Brandon Barr, Jackson, Mississippi (site)

barr2

This is a shot of where I do most of my standing and ripping, or working. The shards all over the floor are a result of my process, which involves layering digital prints of glitched sequences from films and slowly tearing away pieces to reveal the layers of imagery beneath. The studio will quickly become littered with bits of paper. Given that the work often explores issues of entropy, I too have embraced this concept within the cleanliness of my workspace. However, I have begun recycling the smaller bits into new pieces so hopefully this will naturally create some order in my studio.

Jason Carter, Detroit, Michigan (site)

carter

This is the office, a 600-square-foot store front, which I’ve been in since 2011. The building was built in the 1940s, I believe, with first floor business and second floor apartments. The studio contains no 45-degree corners,and it has a popcorn-sprayed ceiling, track lighting, and an entrance wall of windows.

I use oil, and generally attach the canvas against the wall, then gesso and paint against for resistance. After some drying time, I then will stretch onto a stretcher. Unseen is the collection of books, turn tables, and flat files.

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