Articles

A View From the Easel

This week, artist studios in England, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York.

The 138th 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.

Sarah Dineen, New York, NY

This is my studio at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in Midtown Manhattan. It’s situated in a corner at the back of the building, so it’s fairly quiet. There are 90 studios in the building and 12 of us on my floor. I realized a couple studios ago that painting my floor white helps to see large-scale work more clearly and creates a calming vibe in a crowded space. The large rolling work table/paint storage sits in the center of the room and is home base for everything I work on.

In the corner, sitting on my great grandmother’s metal kitchen cabinet (used now for art materials), is a coffeemaker/toaster oven combo. The mini-fridge, usually stocked with bagels, coffee, and water, sits on a small flat file I inherited from a former grad school teacher. Comfortable seating is a necessity for chipping away at administrative tasks like applying for grants and other artist opportunities (I am not a fan of sitting at a desk). It also serves as a lounging area to visit with studio guests. This is the best workspace I’ve had in NYC, with its high ceilings, huge windows, and vibrant community.

Lisa V. Robinson, Wakefield, England

I’ve been in my current studio for nearly 10 years, as perhaps clear from all the paint that covers every inch of the room; it’s one of the most common remarks when people visit. My work is based on the process of painting, such as brush strokes, color, and shapes. I use various sources for inspiration for the composition. Currently I’m focusing on interiors, but inspiration can come from anywhere; for example, films, reflections and architecture. As I work with oils, I tend to work on more than one painting at a time, so it gives a chance for the other works to dry and be studied. Recently, I’ve been using alkyds, enabling me to add more layers to my work. I used to paint on a large scale, but recently I’ve been using smaller canvases to try and save space!

I paint in the mornings as the natural light is better. I have a lovely arched sash window. Unfortunately, the view isn’t very inspiring: a brick wall, belonging to the local Subway fast food restaurant. I enjoy listening to music whilst I paint, usually something melancholic like post punk — a stark contrast to my bright work!

Nick Peterson-Davis, Boston, MA

My art studio is located in an artist neighborhood in Boston’s South End (SoWA). It’s a cool, fun city neighborhood with Victorian buildings, great restaurants, and shops. It has energy. Not only is my art studio beautiful with huge windows, gorgeous floors, and lighting, but there is a wise old spirit to the space that grounds and lifts me. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have this place.

Every month SoWa artists open up their studios for art lovers to come through. The open studio forces me to interact directly with folks as they check out my art. It’s intimidating but also exciting. I also sell paintings, which pays the rent! My work space is located at the far end of the studio in front of the windows, but I can wheel my taboret around the entire room and work on paintings throughout. I suspend my canvases on the wall and paint. There is very little clutter. I’m a prolific painter and work on several pieces at a time. Each weekday I work hard for three to four hours in the morning, then lunch, then one to three hours in the afternoon. Then I’m exhausted — but happy.

Nicholas Battis, Brooklyn, NY

I am fortunate to have a Brooklyn studio with a garden right outside. My process involves a bit of gardening mixed with art making — digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, then laying out canvas on the floor and pouring washes of paint. The two activities inform one another. Note the big orange rocker, always the “rock star” of my studio shots.

Deb Sovinee, Lake Worth, FL

My temporary studio has been in Lake Worth, Florida, on the porch. In between taking care of some things for my mother, I have found refuge in my painting. The light and color down here has been extraordinary, and inspiring, and a relief from the gray of New England winters. I looked up from what I was doing one evening, at the end of a stressful day, and my paints and brushes and paper laid out across the table gave me such joy. I’ve just left them there outside, and it’s where I’m painting for a bit.

comments (0)