CHICAGO — The 87th 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.

Frank Herrman, Cincinnati, Ohio (site)


This has been my studio since 1986. It used to be the former transformer station for the trollies that ran in my neighborhood, and I purchased it from the sheriff’s sale. It is a brick building with thick walls, floor, and roof. Built to get rid of heat, I capped the large roof vents with skylights, insulated the ceiling and had gas service for heat run to the building. It has a high ceiling, full bath and rooms for storage such as flat files, painting racks, and hanging small paintings. I like all the space above my head while I’m working. It seems just the right size work my painting practice where I can have stations for large scale work, drawing as well as small paintings.

Filippo La Vaccara, Milan, Italy (link)

By moving to a very large space, I felt a sense of emptiness. So I began to think and create sculptures that would not only fill it, but also populate it. The result was a kind of “Noah’s Ark.”

The sculptures are made ​​of wood, fabric, and acrylic paint. Now I have to move them from time to time to create new space.The sense of emptiness and loneliness has gone. On the other hand, however, I start to move with difficulty in a place that is now a bit crowded!

Suzi Long, Mendocino, California (site)

I wake up with the dawn breaking through my windows and look for whales since I can see the horizon from where I sleep now on the third floor of the watertower. I wind down 10 spiral steps to the second floor office and cross through there and the bathroom into my kitchen studio workshop space. I give my cat some food and put the water on for my coffee and return to my aerie to dress for the day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I walk for an hour with a friend. Once I’m finished with my breakfast, during which I check my email, I usually do some computer work at my desk before I ever get to my studio or outdoors.

Getting out to paint in the morning is always a joy. And I try to go out at least two times a week. If not, I spend probably the hour or two hours before lunch working on whatever is on the board in my studio. I have a corner with two sections of fiberboard wall space that I use for an easel. One is about 6 feet and the other is about 4 feet. I can do up to seven small pieces one time. My free standing easel is also nearby next to my big box of Sennelier pastels that is open on a wheeled surface. It’s a great space, it’s a large window on one side with a great view, and French doors on the other. My work table is on wheels and buy frames are stored above the fiberboard wall. I will more often than not frame a plein air piece the same day that I painted it. And I put a label on the back and give it a title and take it downstairs to my gallery.

Dwora Fried-Dreilinger, Los Angeles, California (site)

My studio is a converted garage in the back of our house. I like working at night, when it’s quiet, so I have plenty of strong light. My daughters and my wife like to drop in and chat, the dogs sleep next to the door and the radio is blasting classical music.

I work with mixed media boxes, so there is a lot of everything: paint, photographs, toys, fabric, metal, plastic, wood, glue, nails, hammers … It looks messy, but I know where to find everything.

Eli Gold, Salina, Kansas (site)

This is not my normal studio. This warehouse was mine for the duration of a recent residency at the Salina Art Center. This is by far the most space I have ever had to myself and being able to drive straight into my studio was a luxury I may never have again. The junk in the background is stuff I have collected for the installation I worked on in the art center’s gallery. Sometimes all that quiet space felt lonely, but most days it was perfect

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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)...