Articles

A View from the Easel

Artist studios in Atlanta, Catskills (NY), Ireland, Los Angeles, and Mantua (NJ).

The 100th 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.

Mollie Douthit, Kilkenny, Ireland (site)

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Everything within an arm’s reach when I sit down to paint. Brushes and paints to my right, still life stage to my left. The table the stage sits on is scattered with objects that may or may not make it into the paintings. When one is chosen to be looked at it is placed on the stage ready for scrutiny, distilled.

Ginnie Gardner, Catskill, New York (site)

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My studio is a large light-filled room in a Federal-era building that has high ceilings and arched windows. My working method since the mid-1990s has been to create equivalent color palettes from my collage and montage studies for translation into the medium of oil paint. I work from collage maquettes, combining photographs, swatches of color, painted fragments, bits of drawing, or anything else I find works in building an image into a unified visual whole.

I have 4’ x 8’ plywood boards placed on horses to lay out my collages, easels for my various paintings in progress and a pigment mixing table in front of a swivel chair and a moveable rack with all of my oil pigments. I have brushes, paper towels, palette knives, and turpenoid on tabourets. I can move my work area all around the space depending on the time of year, light source, and painting I am working on.

Kristin Osgood Lamelas, Mantua, New Jersey (site)

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Since having a child, my studio space is now half of what it once was. My husband shares the other half as his office. It’s pretty small, but it works.

My computer is on a desk that I deconstructed and added hardware to the back so the table top will tilt up when I need it to. Around the desk are inspiration and goals, supplies, my microscope, plus some small scale painting sketches —my experiments.

On the bookcases, you can see long strips of wood that can be mounted to a wall. Holes are drilled into the wood on an angle at regular intervals and dowels can be moved around and work hung on them. It’s really helped create an extra “wall” to work on over my bookcases. The space behind and under the bookcase is used to store small pieces. I also frequently work on the floor — it’s an inexpensive pergo floor so we don’t worry too much about the paint.

I’ve been experimenting with less toxic materials lately to cut down on fumes with a child in the house. To the left, and out of sight, is a small closet that is filled with shelves of supplies and paper. The opening of my attic was expanded to be able to store larger paintings up there. I love having this space in my home because, with time so limited, I can get here very quickly and work during the pockets of time I can carve out.

Wini Brewer, Los Angeles, California (site)

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I have moved three times in 18 months. Searching for a day studio space became a process of trying them on to find the perfect fit. Too small, too dark, up stairs, windowless, I tried and discarded and tried again. This one works!

There’s a window and two skylights, plus I painted the floor a reflective white. It’s light and bright all day. I realized that more than anything I need natural light. Opposite the wall shown here is my storage wall — mostly under the stairs. It’s a bit neater than usual, set up for a small tour group about to visit.

I share this downtown LA loft with four other wonderful artists. I plan to stay put for while.

Christopher Hickey, Atlanta, Georgia (site)

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The studio is in a converted 1941 two-car garage. It is detached from the house, which helps create a sense that it serves as an actual working space. When we bought the property the original ceiling of the studio was only about 7-feet high. We had a carpenter create a vault effect adding two skylights that really opened the room and magically transformed it into an artist’s space

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