CHICAGO — The second installment of a series in which artists send me a photo and a description of their workspace. You can read the first post in the series here.
My studio is in complex of studios in Hackney, East London. The main painting to the right is called “Labyrinth,” based on a design on the floor at the entrance of Chartres Cathedral in northern France. My day of work is to start early after a slight breakfast and a couple of fast chess games. I usually keep busy till the beginning of the afternoon. It could be painting, preparing a project or editing one of the films I am working on at the time.
Turning around from my easel, this is the view … kind of a mess. I use my dog’s crate as a table top for art supplies. He snoozes away in the crate, safe and sound, for hours as I work. My other dog sleeps nearby on a chair out of the picture. Some dog hairs inevitably become embedded in my thick oil paintings, especially along the edges. If there was ever a dispute about authenticity, my paintings could be identified by my dogs’ DNA.
I work between a wood shop studio and a small painting studio in the garden, behind our house in the city. It’s nice because I hear trains and the Atlanta subway fly on by every twenty minutes, and the repetitive sound is my favorite white noise.
The spaces are small and I like that aspect. I think it helps me feel comfortable. I also have a tiny painting table space attached to the house. There are canvases in progress in every room too, and I sometimes drip where I should not be dripping. It is full immersion over here. No one in my family seems to mind. They know it is necessary for me, and that is love.
This is the section of my studio where I have fabricated the Twins series over the last seven years.
Presently I am teaching my SAIC (School of the Art Institute) apprentice Soo Kim how to use the scroll saw, one-inch shaper and the band saw to make the pieces in the mosaics. That is “Krisitin” on the wall.
My current palette is the floor, where hundreds of colorful bottle caps and jar lids are arranged for easier selection of just the right ones.
In the background are two of my current works, my bottlecap self-portrait titled “Close” (a homage to Chuck Close), and two of my in-progress “Endless Columns” made from plastic lids.
I have been collecting the lids from family, friends and dumpster diving, then hand washing and sanitizing each one. In the process, I am trying to make people aware of the amount of trash we are putting into our environment.