Articles

A View from the Easel

Peek inside artists’ studios in California, Boston, Brooklyn, Louisiana, and Australia.

The 103rd 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.

 

Lee Anne Dollison, Santa Barbara, California (site)

My studio is a very small room in our house — just 80 square feet — but the wall is eight feet wide, and that’s all I need to work. I work in pastels and mixed media on paper, and sometimes my work can get fairly large. I keep all the storage in front of the wall as low to the floor as possible so it doesn’t impede. I also need space to step back from my drawings as I’m working, and though the studio is too small for that, it has a door to the outside on the right where I move my drawings and tack them up in our courtyard to look at them. The studio also has a window through which I took this photo and which I also use to get some distance. The table in the foreground is just a door set on top of my flat files. The space is very economical, and set up just for work. I’d love to have a cushy chair somewhere and maybe a bookcase for my art books — but that will have to wait for another studio.

My husband loves this wall as an artwork in its own right. If we ever move, he wants to take it with us. I can’t imagine how he might do that, but he’s an engineer and he’s probably got a plan.

Renée Caouette, Boston, Massachussetts, (site)

 

The photo shows the general work space I use for creating oil paintings. There is a tower of books for all my referential and inspirational needs. Underneath the desk is full of supplies such as drawing materials, oil paints, mirrors, etc. (and neatly stored, may I add).

I hang paintings on the walls so they do not take up so much space on the floor, and to simultaneously decorate the room. There are lamps and lighting at the ready, and chairs: one is from ikea, and my other painting chair is an 1830 antique from France, which I believe influences my creative juices in some way.

James Greco, Brooklyn, New York (site)

I moved into my studio in Sunset Park over 20 years ago. One of the first things I did was to mount two sheets of plywood to the wall, creating an eight-foot square of space which I could anchor to and hang heavy paintings from. Then I built a trough below to catch excess paint and water that gets used throughout the process. This wall — created so early on — holds a blank panel that for all intents and purposes is nothing that then gets hit with paint and becomes something until it feels like everything. The process has been repeated many times over the years with various degrees of loathing and accomplishment.

Amy Guidry, Lafayette, Louisiana (site)

My studio is located upstairs, in my home. It’s fairly small in size and painted “Soulful Blue.” My work is also small in size, though I like to think of them as big paintings on a small scale. I live in a quiet neighborhood and my studio is a quiet space void of a computer or other distractions, though I do share it with my rescue cats. Aside from my easel, desk, and bookshelves, there are a plethora of beds for the cats and many toys. They spend their time sleeping while I paint and listen to NPR. The bookshelves are stocked with books ranging from favorite artists to poetry for inspiration. There is a huge pecan tree outside my window that is frequently visited by squirrels and various birds. The cats and the wildlife outdoors are inspiring as well, since my work focuses on our relationship with nature.

James Murnane, Melbourne, Australia (site)

My studio is in an inner-city warehouse along with 20 or 30 other artists. Most often I will have multiple paintings on the go. Some begin with a fixed purpose, whilst others unfold as playful gambles with leftover paint.

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