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A View From the Easel

This week, artist studios in New York, Pennsylvania, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

The 135th 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.

Michelle Silver, Brooklyn, NY

My studio is in a spare bedroom of my apartment, mostly for convenience so that I can work at weird hours and in short spurts (I’m a new mom — note the baby monitor in the corner of the shot!) I create fast, messy charcoal sketches in a very stream-of-consciousness fashion, and use them as inspiration for my paintings.

I have a few palette surfaces, depending on the size of the painting I’m working on, and a drawing table in front of the big window that faces the easel. I also have two large workshop lights affixed to the wall for nighttime painting, a bookshelf with art books, vintage magazines, and mediums, and a desk with a laptop, monitor, and printer for my graphic design projects. Although the space is smaller than my previous studios, I feel so lucky to have a place to focus and create alongside the more domestic parts of my life.

Lauren Braun, Pittsburgh, PA

This is part of my studio space located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. There are five artist studios on one floor of a building that is otherwise used as a car garage for the apartment building next door. It feels like a secret hideaway each time I arrive to work at my studio, as the entrance is on a residential side street next to the garbage collection. You enter through a door marked “Refuse,” walk down a long, dim hallway and up a set of stairs into a common area filled with art and plants.

I create works on paper using drawing materials like soft pastels, pencils, charcoal, and collaged paper. Most of my work is created while sitting at the work table in the center of the photograph. I take occasional breaks to look out the large windows at the busy intersection below. My studio, with its industrial feel and outside city noise, provides me with a great deal of inspiration for my work, which references the rust belt city and imagined architectural spaces.

Magdalena Karpińska, Warsaw, Poland

The main wall in my studio is the place where I hang paintings to see them when I’m preparing an exhibition, or when I have a studio visit. That’s why the view is constantly changing. The space is not big, and I keep it organized, so I could work in several techniques at once (I use egg tempera on canvas, and I work with textiles, like paint on silk).

Julie Umerle, London, UK

My studio is a converted fire house in East London, in an industrial part of the city near to the former Olympic Site. It is a large, square space (around 550 square feet). The light in my studio is a constant source of inspiration. There is a skylight in the roof as well as a wall of windows. For an abstract artist, this is a very clean, clear space to work in and the best studio I have ever had.

I’ve painted the concrete floors with gray industrial paint; the walls — made of breeze blocks, bricks and concrete — have been painted white. I have constructed a large store in one corner of the studio where I can keep my paintings, and I have a plan chest to store my works on paper, so I try to keep the wall areas clear for me to paint on. I don’t use an easel but pin canvases to the wall directly and often work on more than one piece at the same time. I have a large table to work on in the middle of the studio. My work has become increasingly minimal since I moved into this studio some 15 years ago.

Joe Bloch, Brooklyn, NY

I’m working from a small space behind an elevator in Dumbo, Brooklyn. It has natural light and a view of the area from the fifth floor. Many artists work in the building. It’s about 6  by 9 feet, so it is kind of an art closet, studio space, storage, and tiny gallery. It has a glass window and door so people may look in when I’m not here.

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