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A View from the Easel

This week, artist studios in Louisiana, Nevada, New York, and North Carolina.

The 109th 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.

Suzanne Acosta, Las Vegas, NV (no site)

This photo of my painting studio was done by my daughter, Anna Acosta, a high school student studying photography. The assignment was “Multiplicity,” which involves repeating a figure at least seven times. She used my chaotic studio for her Photoshop project, and she captured me in the studio perfectly.

My studio is a separate shed we had built that is attached to the side of our 1970s house. It has three leaking sky lights and a swamp cooler because the summers are intense in Las Vegas. The studio is crammed with random props such as plastic dinosaurs, a cement mixer, ball and chains, etc. because I have been an adjunct professor for 34 years, teaching painting and drawing at various colleges. My studio has the accumulation of more than 50 years of creating art, and it is an unrecognized archive. It has given me much happiness, and it is a place in which I reflect on the past and nurture the future. It is where I struggle with the demands of teaching and continue to strive to create meaningful art.

Millicent Young, Kingston, NY (site)

I relocated to this live/work space in the Hudson Valley a year ago. My studio is on the street level of a store building built in 1890. Behind me in the photograph are the storefront windows and entrance. At the far end is the doorway to the back workroom. I mounted black pipe in six rows on the ceiling for creating suspended work. I resurfaced the long plaster walls with ¾ plywood. The floor is original. Too thin and wavy to sand, I buffed and coated it with polyurethane. The place was rough when I arrived. Bats came in through openings around the windows, and the filth was thick.

I made the center worktables from two solid core doors seven feet long, and I built the frames to roll on casters. I cover the surface with blue fabric when I am working with hair to see the strands more easily and to assemble very long strands with thread (spools in foreground). With no local storage space yet, I’m housing some of my larger work here, seen in the right half of the image. Because of the space limitations, I’ve been working on wall-mounted lead pieces, seen on the left.

Heather Ryan Kelley, Lake Charles, LA (site)

My studio is located centrally in my house, in what should be the dining room. Instead of an easel, I use two solid core doors positioned against a wall. Large canvases are leaned against the doors. For smaller ones I hammer in a couple of nails and hang the canvas stretchers upon them. The doors have gradually accumulated many key chains, a few mirrors, notes and drawings, found objects, lead weights, rulers, and a line-up of tchotchkes. These objects often become part of the subject matter of my paintings and drawings.

Jeff Kraus, Brooklyn, NY (site)

Here is my 250-square-foot studio in Brooklyn, NY. I recently moved from Michigan to New York back in August and knew I was going to need a studio right away. I had to learn very quickly how to make a small space work for me. I brought a handful of tools and art making materials with me, along with the rolling table. I found the saw horses in the hallway, along with the board to make a temporary table. I also found a broken printer that was used to print out the green images that have been transferred onto the canvas works hanging on the wall. Hallways in studio buildings seem to be a great resource for studio materials. I like to work many surfaces at a time and hang them in proximity to each other so I can see how they relate.

My studio setup is constantly in flux, depending on if I am building panels, spray painting plastic, or stretching canvas. Being able to collapse the saw horses allows me to clean up and de-clutter the space for studio visits.

Anne Lemanski, Spruce Pine, NC (site)

This is the “clean” work area of my studio, which is next to my house on my property in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. The studio space seen here is constructed of two 8 x 40 feet shipping containers that sit atop a “dirty” work space below. This space gets great natural light all day long and is surrounded by nature, which is the biggest influence on my work.

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