Articles

A View from the Easel

Peek inside artists’ studios in Georgia, Ottawa, New York City, and Washington, DC.

The 102nd 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.

Anne Marchand’s studio in Washington, DC (image courtesy the artist)

Anne Marchand, Washington, DC (site)

My studio space is in an old Victorian townhouse. The floor to ceiling windows let in lots of morning light. I have track lighting around areas that don’t get much direct sunlight. I like to have a clean slate when I begin a new series. This view of the studio has finished abstract paintings and a work in progress on the floor. Since my process is spontaneous and active, paint goes everywhere. I typically use acrylic paints on canvas with cardboard barriers to protect the floor and rug underneath. At the end of a painting day, I arrange all my materials and supplies so I can have a fresh start when I return. All of my studio furniture has wheels and can be reconfigured for different projects. I’ve just added a couple more rolling carts with tops so I can work on smaller pieces. My paints are stored in plastic containers on the metal shelves and my other resource materials are stacked into old cigar boxes that I use as bins and store them under the table. I love coming in and seeing all the vibrant colors waiting for discovery. It’s a kickstart to begin the creative process once again.

Michel Luc Bellemare’s studio in Ottawa, Canada (image courtesy the artist)

Michel Luc Bellemare, Ottawa, Canada (site)

As you can see from the image of my studio, I have large abstract artworks on the walls and some other artworks ready for delivery to clients. I have ample space to move around, industrial lighting, and a work station (in the corner of the image) that I built to organize my paints and art materials.

Randy Akers’s studio in Skidaway Island, Georgia (image courtesy the artist)

Randy Akers, Skidaway Island, Georgia (site)

My studio is really a converted two-car garage. The studio still houses construction and lawn care equipment, but is used daily for painting. There are a couple of roll-around worktables such as seen in the photo. Usually there are at least two to three pieces in progress on various tables, sawhorses, and easels. Lots of portable shop lights for drying and vision, but the lighting still leaves something to be desired. Drying and gravity are a big part of the process, with layers and layers of paint applications on panels over custom-made stretcher bars. Most paintings require about a month from prep to finish. Many times the paintings are painted over and over until the final is deemed finished. The paint is applied thin to thick from start to finish, with chisels and grinders used in the process to provide “construction” marks and scars. No matter how much the studio is cleaned, it always seems to be in disarray, and in “process.”

Sheila Lanham’s studio in Queens, New York (image courtesy the artist)

Sheila Lanham, Queens, New York (link)

My studio was once my living room in a one-bedroom apartment. Currently, I have a 35-hour per week job and get more work done having the studio at home — working at night and all day on weekends. The room is 20 by 22 feet with two windows that receive good southern light all day. I paint on the wall, and make drawings on one five by seven foot table. The other five by seven foot table holds oil paints, brushes, and is also where I produce monoprints. Bookshelves have shed their books and now hold art supplies. Two windows face south and provide ample daylight. Small canvases can be stretched here, but I must purchase larger ones. Plastic protects walls and the floor. While large paintings are drying, I draw and make hand-pressed monoprints.

Alexander Puz’s studio in Long Island City, New York (image courtesy the artist)

Alexander Puz, Long Island City, New York (site)

I have had the privilege of working in this studio as a sublet for the last few months. The building used to be a furniture factory and the space is warm with brick and wood. This wall gets a lot of light from Eastern Queens and really influences the bold colors of my painting as day shifts into evening. The rolling table holds my oil sticks and latex gloves. Things get messy when working in this visceral way so I cover the tabletop in plastic sheeting. I see my work as an ongoing pictorial conjugation so I hang finished pieces very close by and refer to them as I create each new painting. The other table has my stretching tools, notebooks, and drinking water. When I hit a block, I’ll often lay on the floor and stare at the rusty pipes on the ceiling or clouds out the window. I’ll be distressed when I have to move studios but working in this gorgeous space has been thoroughly energizing for my work.

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