Articles

A View from the Easel, Part 11

by Philip A Hartigan on April 9, 2012

CHICAGO — The eleventh installment of a series (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9, Part 10) in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Click here to see guidelines for submissions.

Nikola Markovic, Belgrade, Serbia (site)

This is the studio where my father works. He is working as a painter for feature movies, theaters, TV shows, commercials, anything connected to scenography. I used to go there a lot before, and we share it. I was painting larger canvases or preparing canvases, papers, stencils, using a projector to draw or mix oil paint, all that messy stuff. That’s why it looks so unusual.

My working hours are from 9:00 to 15:00 [9am to 3pm], going to small studio, which is in the same building where I’m living. It is very useful, even it is very small, but it’s more than 3m high [almost 10 feet] and it’s near to my home. I make drawings in the evening at my flat, during evening rush (dinner, bathing my kid and doing million other stuff). I guess rushing and chaos makes me in the right mood for small drawings.

Nichelle Ryan, New York City (site)

About a year ago, I had a studio in Philadelphia in the Kensington district, that I recently closed down. I used to go there once a week to paint and it was energizing and a focused event for me to travel there just for work.

I saw an ad in the Philly newspaper for art studios for $90 a month and I couldn’t resist because there was no way in the world I would ever find something like that in New York. However, the neighborhood was so bad, infested with heroin addicts and prostitutes, that I soon realized why it was so cheap and I just couldn’t take going there through the zombies anymore in order to paint. It killed my spark.

So when my lease was almost up, I decided to attempt to work out of my apartment and turned half of my living room into my studio space. On the right is my desk where I do paperwork, have books for reference and do small-sized paintings. Directly in front, I call my “wall of thoughts.” It is literally a wall of Post-Its of whatever thoughts and ideas or inspirations and quotes to get me motivated and to remind me of my focus. Stacked up on the floor and hung on the wall are a few finished paintings and on the left are paintings that I am working on. I usually paint standing up sometimes or laying on the floor, it depends on how intimate I want to get with the particular painting. On the floor in the blue box are painting supplies, brushes, rags, etc. and next to that in the black box are oil pastels that I use for my drawings. Oh and of course there is my camera bag next to the blue box.

Catrine Bodum, London, UK (site)

What you see in the photo is an evening shot of my studio. I usually come to my studio in the afternoon. I need to do all my administratives, emails and gallery tours in the morning/noon before I can get into the mind I need for the studio.

I usually can’t get physically into painting until after 4 pm. So until then I come in, I sit and look at the previous day’s work. I make some notes, I read, I do some research and I do some smaller works on paper. That’s the work station you see on the left.

At about 4 pm, you will find me mainly on the right side, possibly crawling on the floor pouring paint on a canvas, doing final touches on another one, adding more paint to a third, doing a stroke on a fourth. I always work on several pieces at a time. That keeps me from being too precious about one piece. The actual painting can go really fast — a couple of days and it’s done. But until that moment where I can just toss everything at a canvas it’s a long run of days of ups and downs, of uncertainty, of research, of soaking things up. That’s necessary so that when I’m at the canvas I can be in full control of my “accidental” marks.

Dan Fenning, Kansas City, Missouri (site)

This view shows where the rubber meets the road, my computer work station.

Painters make paintings, sculptors make sculptures, I make images. They are made in my computer, so they can be exhibited by a photograph, ink jet print or on the web.

It is easy to confuse emotion and logic. We live in a metaphysical world but we must exist in a physical one. This is the central idea that powers my work. The space is dark, surrounded by my props. The Spiritual is all around.

Shaun O’Connor, Brooklyn, NY (site)

My new studio is in Bushwick by the Jefferson [L train] stop. It’s my most permanent workspace to date as I have been commuting frequently the last couple of years between Australia and the US to work on various projects meaning my workspaces are often very temporary setups. This room is long and narrow and so what you see is a bench at one end of the space where I generally work on sculptures and painterly pieces. The way that the space is configured changes daily depending on whatever project I happen to be working on.

A great deal of my studio process involves long stretches of gluing, sanding and lacquering which can create a significant amount of dust and mess. With this in mind I work on the sculptures at a bench closer to the open window for ventilation etc. I also have a great north easterly Bushwick rooftop view from this spot. At the opposite end of the space I keep a clean dust-free area where I work editing images, reading, writing and listening to music.

Several sculptures in various stages of completion are visible in the above image in addition to some source drawings, images and smaller 3D studies. Also visible are a range of materials and objects I use often including a hot glue gun, knives, measuring tapes, sandpaper, a variety of markers, bikes and a copy of The Herder Dictionary of Symbols.

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