Articles

A View from the Easel

CHICAGO — The 88th 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.

Karrie Ross, Los Angeles, California (site)

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My home is my studio, the only room without art supplies is the bathroom. This photo was taken in June 2014. I was framing several pieces for an upcoming show as well as in-process pieces for another one. My total square footage is about 750 sq ft. and pictured is an iPhone panoramic photo of my living room/studio where I set up a card table to paint many small [works] at one time or flat work, and the easel hiding behind two 48″x48″ canvases, on the left, for larger sizes.

There are storage shelves on the right where oils, acrylic, and jewelry makings are stored.Though the doorway on the left is the kitchen area where I paint watercolors and store supplies. And the door to the hallway on the right leads to the computer/art storage room, bathroom, and sleeping/storage room. My chair is where I sit, draw, journal, and contemplate art and the world.

Erika Lincoln, Winnipeg, Canada (site)

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This shot is of the main production area of my studio in downtown Winnipeg. I took the photo from the doorway of my office/kitchen area. I have occupied this studio for the better part of 14 years either shared or solo. I currently have all the space to myself. To the left of the picture is an open space where I assemble my sculptures. The three tables in the foreground are for different tasks, the one near the windows is where I build electronics, the one near the drill press is for fabrication, and the one with coffee cups is for drawing.

The four windows face south which gives amazing light in the winter, but is way to harsh in the summer months. I try to be at the studio everyday during the week and keep my weekends for other things. The one thing I wish the studio had is an elevator, as dragging crates up and downstairs is painful.

Margaret Tsirantonakis, Stamford, Connecticut (site)

Margaret Tsirantonakis Studio

My studio is a 290 square foot corner space on the second floor of a two floor brick building. My studio is one of 14 studio spaces on the floor that comprises studio members of the Loft Artists Association, a group of artists that have occupied various studios in this previously undeveloped South End of Stamford.

I paint in natural light so this corner space is ideal for my working process. I also love that the light comes from the northeast. I begin my paintings from observation so having four windows is also a big plus because I like to use the window views and incorporate the changing light in my paintings. I also set up a variety of still-life arrangements so I like having a number of tables and various objects including plants and flowers.

This space has a warm glow with the brick walls. But I also have sheet rock walls to hang my work up, and in the even natural light spend time looking at my paintings and the color relationships in them which is so important to my work.

Brian Crawford Young, Forres, Scotland (site)

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To imagine my studio, you first have to bring yourself to Northern Scotland. We are really stuck out in the Northern Atlantic, subject to westerly winds, long days in summertime, and of course long nights in winter. Being so far north and on the edge of the ocean gives us beautiful clean air and crystal-clear light. Painter’s light I call it.

My studio is on the outskirts of the town of Forres (which gets a mention on the first page of Shakespeare’s Macbeth), in the ancient county of Moray. The building is in an industrial zone on the outskirts of town. There are seven of us sharing the open-plan top floor. I’ve been in this studio about three years now, and feel really supported and ‘safe’ and able to make a mess, which is very important. My half-space (painters don’t need as much room as installation artists, I find) has good light from a north-facing skylight. When I arrived, I put in a long kitchen worktop on a trestle, painted the walls white, acquired a comfortable chair, installed my ancient hi-fi, and settled in really quickly.

The best thing about sharing in the Side Door Studio is the tacit understanding that we are all on the same mission: to express ourselves. So we support and encourage each other, but we also know when to just leave each other alone. Generally, I work on several canvases at once, in bursts of three or four hours, maybe 4 or 5 days a week. I listen to music while I work, through noise-cancelling earbuds, or through my large speakers if no-one else is present, and often give my paintings names from whatever I’m listening to during the process. Names are kind of arbitrary in this style of painting, but I prefer this to untitled numbers. My favorite painters and hence my influences are mostly American, but usually those with a more European attitude to color, such as Richard Diebenkorn and Milton Avery.

Recently I’ve been exploring in a kind of Suprematist way in planes of color. I have always believed in the power of art to spiritually transform the viewer (and the artist) using only color and non-representational forms. If I look back at all of my work I see that I’ve been trying to do this all along, without realizing.

Alan Neider, Hamden, Connecticut (site)

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This studio allows me the space to experiment, test paint, and to not worry about the mess accompanied with making work in an aggressive/energized way. I work on the floor, walls and easel pouring, spraying, brushing, and staining the painting while doing a lot of sewing in preparation for painting.

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