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CHICAGO — In the last two years I have interviewed more than thirty artists, writers and other creative people for my own blog, Praeterita. The creative process was a part of every discussion, so I thought I would invite these interviewees to submit a photo and a short description of their workspace to an ongoing series called A View from the Easel. These are their images and their words.
It is not the materials, it is the thinking, the materials are nonexistent without thinking, without the tender stirring of compulsion, the synapse bridged by slender threads of being; taut, quivering, to burst from inside, tremors of indecision, of small tendrils building, dreaming of the day’s nightmares. Here lays the evidence of guilt, the materials of excuses of a thousand seasons.
When setting up the studio to begin a new work, I arrange the materials by color type and order of use. An early morning start, coffee while sifting through note poems and other writing I pin to the wall. After loosely tacking the canvas to the wall to make the initial marks, I set up a recent work nearby as a visual reference for the next one. Keeping a note book of sorts on a small table allows me to write as I work. And so it begins, the poet and the painter converse. Due to the nature of my work and process I am a nomad working primarily from my East Village studio. I often work in temporary spaces simultaneously.
My studio practice has included computers for several decades. Some of what I do originates and remains in traditional media, while much of it is either created in or transformed by digital processing.
I work on many simultaneous projects. These will typically include several drawings, paintings and digital works in various media. There are seven machines on the network here. Some projects start on one OS and end up in another. What’s not at hand is available from the cloud.
I like to organize my paints in letterpress boxes, and use one corner of a glass table for mixing and painting with one color at a time. My studio is much like my work, organized chaos.
I am lucky enough to have a terrific space to work in, but find myself gravitating to the corner. As I often work with transparent supports, I either need to work on a wall or have a white background, hence the board on my easel, which has evolved into a handy testing strip as well.