CHICAGO — The 83rd 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.

Grant Bruckner, Los Angeles, California (link)


My studio is 20′ x 40′. Basically I find a space and turn it into a world of its own. It starts off as building materials, canvas, paint, found objects, and I assemble them into what I find to be finished. I work my way words the door until I have enough room to get out and shut it. A week later I take it down and start over.

Donna Festa, Bangor, Maine (site)

As you can see, my studio is quite intimate and simple with only the basic necessities needed in order to make my paintings and drawings. It is a room in my home with a dog bed under the work table where Lewis, our rescue dog, sleeps while I work each day. This intimacy of home is reflected in my very small scale paintings that are made quickly, in one sitting. Photographs of people I love hang on the walls as well as boards that the finished paintings hang on where they either make the keep list or get trashed. Having the studio in my home allows me to scrutinize the work all day long. Many trips up and down the stairs are made as I wonder if the work made that day is any good or not.

Matthew Usinowicz, San Francisco, California (site)

This is my studio in the Sunset District in San Francisco What you see here is experimentation at work with a cold beer. This is how I work on a regular basis and when something clicks I perfect it with a clean finished look. I like to call it controlled chaos. Specifically I am working on creating stencils from gessoed Bristol board and using oils to create beautiful smooth blends to collage within other paintings. Initially I work with canvas on plywood – something about upstretched canvas pin to cheap plywood takes the preciousness out of the process of painting. I like to beat it up, get frustrated with it, fall in and out of love with it, then finally realize it’s just a fucking painting and make it beautiful.

Sarah Seaver, Jaffrey, New Hampshire

I love this space. The light is everywhere. I make what I suppose is best described as “Neo-Victorian natural history displays.” If I am feeling cheeky though, I will occasionally just tell people I glue dead things to boards. Given that the practice of this odd art-form can often entail performing all sorts of strange feats, like invisibly glueing the wings back on a desiccated wasp, the light is important. But its also pleasant, like quiet company. In the summer it is quite hot and dry up here. The smell of dry old paper and wood permeates the air and leaves one with the feeling that all is right with the world.

Maria Mijares, Plainfield, New Jersey (site)

Fourteen years ago I built a 1000 sq ft studio connected to my historic house. Although I only work in the far corner, I needed to see the narrative of my paintings spread out. I’ve been sitting on the floor all my long art-life. I used to have a small pillow, but I would look up from the painting to find it had somehow traveled across the room. As years passed the tile floor began to feel harder, and unfolding myself to stand up is definitely getting more difficult. So, I bought a dog bed! This good-sized cushion felt pretty luxurious until I thought: “I weigh more than a medium sized dog and will likely flatten this pillow before long.” I ordered a piece of memory foam to fit inside the dog bed cover, and then placed the original egg crate beneath. Surrounded by everything I need at arms reach, and with Van Morrison keeping me company loud from four speakers, I work until 4 a.m., when my cat Anthony lets me know it’s time to quit.

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Philip A Hartigan

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)...