Articles

A View from the Easel, Part 13

by Philip A Hartigan on May 1, 2012

CHICAGO — The thirteenth installment of a series (Part 1234567891011, 12) in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? You can peruse the submission guidelines here.

Jane Kenoyer, Reno, Nevada (site)

I have a studio space that is very flexible to my working style. For my larger paintings I use the scaffolding shown in this photo. It does fold up if I need the center space to build and stretch my canvases. I have a drawing desk and several easels that I use for working on multiple paintings at a time. My primary medium is oil, but I like working with graphite, watercolor, sculpture and writing.

I like to do a lot of reading in my studio, mostly art related books and art magazines that I read from my hammock. A typical day starts out with coffee and emails, I also work as the web editor of Hi-Fructose magazine, so after a bit of work is done, I hit the treadmill, then I am in the studio painting until dark. Because my studio is located in my home I try to stop and take the time to make a healthy meal. After a long enjoyable dinner break I will then take to my desk for sketching, writing or if it is a mellow night I like to swing in my hammock and read a good book.

Amelia Alcock-White, Vancouver, Canada (site)

Unlike the bright spaciousness of a traditional studio, mine has been relegated to the dark underworld of a basement. After child #2 was moved into the bright south facing room, I was faced with the choice of quitting or making do. Many hours of sketching and measuring allowed me to squeeze the easel into a ridiculous, four feet wide working space. In fact, it has worked impressively.

I open the garage and windows to blast out the toxic fumes. The garage acts as a makeshift wood shop for the occasional custom frame. I crank up the fan and baby monitor to some good ol’ sleeping babe rhythms. My strategy: to find Zen anywhere and work within any available time allowance.

Seen here is the storage bank of 30 or more oil paintings, gicleés and prints. Easel, wood panel studies, acrylics, boxes and bins of overflowing semi-organized paints, mediums and brushes. Because of intermittent working hours, I enclose my oils in a covered palette box so they are available at a moment’s notice.

Lance Rautzhan, Bushwick, Brooklyn (site)

I have been working in this space for over six years. It is a fairly large part of a loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn where I live with my wife. I paint daily, but mostly at night. Usually, I’m working on two or three pieces at a time.

The carpet on the floor is covered with six years’ worth of leftovers. It’s very heavy. The chair on the left is also covered with six years’ of drippings. I really like that chair. The space fills with northern light, perfect for photographing work or the occasional times I paint during the day. I won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Molly Herman, Brooklyn, NY (site)

 

I work on a “mobile palette” (a table fitted with wheels) so I can relocate my work station within in my studio as needed, which is important since I work on both the wall and the floor. The rolling table is topped with a hollow-core door (painted white) and a piece of glass cut to size. I work with both oil and water-based media. I use the glass top as a mixing area from which I can also make large quantities of paint and later scoop paint into containers for storage. In this way, I work both from the palette and the bowl.

Lisa Purdy, Denver, Colorado (site)

This photo shows my everyday work station. It’s quite messy because I have no time to clean it up once I start painting. The painting process goes rather quickly, and I pay attention ONLY to what I’m putting on the canvas. I freely mix colors on the palette (disposable paper) and never put together formulas for what I’m painting. You can see a big container of Goop handiwipes I use to clean up if I have to answer the phone or the door. Oil paints travel very far if you’re not paying attention! One look at my car would prove that.

Under the top of the table I have drawers with all my tubes of paint, chalk, oil sticks, etc. There’s also a box of plastic wrap to put over the paints at the end of the session, in case I get back to it soon enough to re-use some of the colors. If not, I rip off the paper and start with a clean palette. At the right of the table you can see the pegboard I use for an easel.  The pegboard allows for countless variations so I can put very large canvases on them.
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