CHICAGO — The 76th 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.

Sarah Stolar, San Francisco, California (site)


My studio is a 500 sq. ft. outbuilding about 10 steps away from where I live, making it easy to roll out of bed and be in my studio by 8 am. I have a roll-up door that is usually open, allowing for natural light, a nice breeze, and in-and-out privileges for my studio dog assistants: (from left to right) Gesso, Sharpie, and Leonardo da Vinci. Pictured here is the main work area of my studio, and the space where I am most productive. I also have a dedicated workshop/tool area and a long wall I try to keep clear for working on large-scale projects.

The drawing area (left) is a place of contemplation for me. My collection of colored inks and vast array of mark-making materials are lined up and spread across my tables; being surrounded by these supplies invokes a sense of comfort and slowness in my process. There is a large L-shaped desk with an animation stand on one side (out of frame) and a work table on the other where I can do drawings up to about 22″ x 30” in size. This is my meditative space for exploration and play; a lot of sketchbook work is done here.

Unlike the drawing space, the oil painting “pit” (right) is a space of chaos and insanity. Everything on this side of the room is messy, oily, sticky, and no surface or clothing are safe. I have at least three huge palettes going on at once — a 4′ x 6’ table with a mirror on top, a 3′ x 3’ window frame, and a rolling table with glass attached. I use an old champagne bucket for my paint thinner, there are no tops on my paint tubes, and cat food cans filled with random colors clutter the tables. One of my easels and most of my palette knives, scrapers, and medium jars I have had for over 20 years and they are crusted with layers of paint. I cherish these objects as a record of my life as a painter.

Kristine Schomaker, Los Angeles, California (site)


My live/work studio is part of a 100-year-old building that used to make gumball machines in the Brewery Arts Community. While I love the openness of my space, I split it between bedroom, office, library, living area and studio. I love how I can wake up in the morning and start working without having to drive anywhere. The way I work, I have to let the paint dry for hours at a time before starting a new layer. So it works particularly well having my studio in my home.

Peter Yumi, Denver, Colorado (link)


This is my studio, which is in the basement of my home. I work in ten hours a day or more. I make papier maché sculptures which are then photographed, after which I work the printed photos into my collage process. It’s really messy. I mix flour with Elmer’s glue and hot water to make my own super strong glue. I love working and often forget to clean. This photo shows the studio a little cleaner than it normally is.

Meg Pierce, Sarasota, Florida (site)


When I left the New York area I left so much that I loved. But in Florida I found the light and space I was missing in those basements or converted industrial spaces I used for studios. I work with vintage fabrics, pins, and other delicate found objects. My clean, organized, clean and neat studio looks out at palm trees, blue skies and sun. I can move the furniture and storage and show the work during our monthly Art Walk, with all the intricate detail visible and above ground!

Wini Brewer, Los Angeles, California (site)

Located in downtown LA, this is my fifth and smallest studio. Being upstairs and under 200 square feet, I call it “my nest.”
All five studios began the same: “empty white boxes.” My intent is always the same, imagining a spare Zen-like space, empty save for my paints, brushes and panels. But each studio has immediately filled with a clutter of stuff, ending up with what you might describe as a “studio living room.” (I guess, when you think about it, it IS where I “live.”)
I paint mostly at the large high table but also use the floor or wall depending on the size of the panel and what I want the paint to do: drip or spatter, for example. Because of the size limitation, I’ve had to be very efficient with storage, with many things hidden away under tables. I love my built-in shelf unit which holds all my paint.
While decorative, my chest of Buddhas holds all my promotional materials. I do sacrifice workspace for things like my red table/chairs but it is important to me that my work place surroundings are pleasing. While I have a 1,000 sq. ft. studio in the California high desert, I prefer to paint in this 184 sq. ft. space because of the Los Angeles art scene, artists, and energy.

Philip Hartigan is a UK-born artist and writer who now lives, works and teaches in Chicago. He also writes occasionally for Time Out-Chicago. Personal narratives (his own, other peoples', and invented)...

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