Articles

A View from the Easel

CHICAGO — The 97th 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.

Mary Chaplin, Wailly, France (site)

chaplin

I am a French painter, living and working in Picardy, northern France.

My studio is in a beautiful village built on a chalk hill. From the big window at the end when the shutters are not closed, I can see the old trees of a private path that leads to a castle.

In totality the building where I store and welcome the public is around 100 square meters, this room that you see is around 20 quare meters, with a ceiling more than 3 metres high. I like the feeling of this room, which opens on the garden and woods with the birds and wild life always in movement.

In this picture you can see a lot of things everywhere. Paintings on easels, waiting to be framed or varnished. Lots of different pots of paints and tubes of oils because I am a very curious artist and go from pastel work, to a watercolour piece and then I come back to a bigger shape canvas working with oils or acrylic. I like having the place tidy but because I love creating all the time it is never the case! I should confess that I prefer spending my time painting than tidying.

On the left shelf, there are lots of different pots of paints, in the drawers are my sticks of pastel carefully organised by colors. You can see a loudspeaker because I always listen to music or to the radio when I work. On the right side, there’s an old piece of furniture in oak given to me by a friend where I put documents, books, or paper tools for lessons.

It is also the place where my students come to participate in the workshops I organise. They like coming here because it is a very peaceful studio with lots of warm feelings coming out of it.

Jaynie Gillman Crimmins, Brooklyn, New York (site)

crimmins

My studio is in a decent-sized space that I share with two other people. My area is about 7 feet x 12 feet and I feel lucky that half the windows are directly in my space.

My work is created from my shredded household (mostly junk) mail that I sew together or roll. What is on my table: 1) on the box is an element that I am sewing together using folded and unfolded shreds; 2) the green shreds (yes, they are color coded) are laid out in rows of 10 shreds because I started counting the folded shreds between the unfolded shreds; 3) always need to hydrate; 4) thread used to sew the shreds together; 5) the rubber band is used for finger stretching exercises during the day; 6) the box is from a soft brace I have to wear on the hand that I fold with (trigger finger and carpal tunnel are by products of my process); 7) a container holding the green shreds; 8) a white garbage bag holding the white shreds; 9) my computer which doesn’t always come to my studio because it is too much of a distraction.

Patrick Arena, Nashville, Tennessee (site)

arena

I live in the finished attic space of a small Cape Cod in East Nashville. One half of the 25-foot-long space is my bedroom. The other half is my workspace, including a cutting table and computer desk (not seen in the photo). To the left of the window is my taboret and large glass palette as well as my large easel. To the right is my drawing desk where I also make some smaller paintings. Written across the top of the drawing desk is this artist’s creed: discipline, honor, truth, dignity. Surrounding this end of the room is shelving that has various materials and tools organized by use and type. Other resources, like books and reference guides, are nearby.

The window faces north-northeast, and receives nice morning light. To supplement on cloudy days (or at night) I have a number of full spectrum lamps. The space is cozy and inviting, especially welcoming in the morning. Nearly everything is at arm’s length. It feels like a cockpit or a wheelhouse on a small ship. When everything is close at hand, there are less likely to be disruptions from hunting for something when you’re in the midst of working on something at full steam. I can settle in and just work, which is comforting when I’m not getting up every ten minutes to look for this paint or that brush. Scattered around the space are small, personal objects of inspiration and motivation.

Dawnice Kerchaert, Pontiac, Michigan (site)

kerchaert

One side of my studio space is set up for metal fabrication and the other side is filled with natural materials I have gathered, plus few other things I might use. I like to work on multiple things at a time so I value table space. The process is grungy and sometimes noisy. I have had this space for about three years. Previously my studio was in a smaller basement space, so the natural light here is another bonus.

Carol Ladewig, Oakland, California (site)

This view of my studio shows the process for my Year in Color series. For the past four years, I have been creating a small painting for each day using a complex color that has been made by mixing a simple set of primary gouache and acrylic pigments and white. These individual works are then assembled into larger installations that effectively chronicles a year: 2011 and 2012 were single large installations, 2013 was assembled into month-long installations, and 2014 is organized into 8-week panels.

There are also a number of auxiliary creations chronicling weeks, my palettes, etc cetera. With varying annual rules and limitations for each year’s paintings, I am exploring the interplay between structure, intent, and chance to create a record of time — that is both a narrative and a history.

comments (0)