Articles

A View from the Easel, Part 12

CHICAGO — The twelfth installment of a series (Part 12345678910, 11) in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? You can peruse the guidelines for submissions here.

Sean Anderson, Santa Barbara, California (site)

This is part of my studio in a converted 1940s garage space. It smells like motor oil (and now oil paint). I make paintings in oil, fluorescent enamel, spraypaint and other unconventional materials. I also make sculptures with found wood, plaster and fluorescent Plexiglas. You can see here in the paper plates turmeric, cayenne pepper and dirt that I have been experimenting with recently to make new paintings and drawings.

I reference quite a few books, old photos and other material, but find nature to be the most inspiring to the work. My studio is about five minutes to the beach and about the same to the mountains, so after a full day of work, or a lull in inspiration, I like to drop myself in nature to change perspective. Also present: hard work, hot coffee, contemplation, gestation and a place to sit.

Sabine Tress, Cologne, Germany (site)

This is a view of my working space at the Kunstwerk in Cologne, Germany. My dog Gonzo is always with me, and so is my iPod.

I work on several paintings simultaneously. My studio is on the upper floor of a huge artist studio building. It’s full of light and I can see the sky. My floor is covered with paint. I like my space best when it is packed with half-finished work because there is so much energy and possibilities. I have no preconceived idea when I start working. The paintings evolve throughout the working process. I often paint over the bit I just painted until it is right.

Ross Ford, Durham, North Carolina (site)

The table in my studio has my current palette in plastic containers. Each color has a high and low saturation mixture sharing a brush and water cup. The square containers on the edge are the four major colors in the painting while the minor colors are in the round containers in the middle of the table. A sketch with color tests is under the open paint container.

The plastic drawers are filled with paint, tools and random stuff. Behind the drawers in the corner are two rolls of canvas and my other easel. The two high school bleacher seat cushions are for kneeling on when working on details at the bottom of the canvas. The salted peanuts are a necessary studio snack.

Katy Sidwell, Brewster, Massachussetts (site)

The corner of the studio is filled with work being done for a collaborative show at the Cape Cod Museum of Art next December. The work on my part is conceptual, a lot of it about the connection between ourselves and the life giving and also destructive force of the ocean.

I use found objects, recyclables, matrix on luan boards to create this abstract idea of the vast life under the water. Materials in the studio include Rives BFK paper, cardboard, tissue paper, Dorlands Wax, oil ink, oil paint, burnt plate oil, paint thinner, gel medium, modeling paste, paper mache, twigs, you name it. I am trying to create a poetic allegory of scientific, mythological and esoteric ideas about the ocean.

Josh Fay, St. Cloud, Minnesota (site)

This is my space.  I go to school for art and I am allotted a studio, which I share with one other person.

Between classes, work and a two-year old I’m left to find scraps of time tucked in between breaks and weekends, in which to paint.

This studio shot was taken late at night during spring break. The campus and the art building are empty and I’m feeling lazy, which is why everything is on the floor. The iPad is my portable life station. It provides for me everything that I might need in the studio. The materials on the ground represent the majority of my current supplies. Everything can be fit into a small bag, or if I’m feeling fancy I put it in a small plastic tool box.

Usually everything in my life has to be small and portable. If I had to leave my house in the middle of the night, I could fit most everything I own in one backpack. These paintings in the studios are anomalies to my work, which is most often small enough to be able to be carried onto a public bus. They are remodeling near where I work and they’ve thrown out these 6′ x 4′ sections of walls which as you see, I’ve turned into paintings. I carry them across town, in various states of completion, from found place in alley, to home to school and sometimes back to home.

I gave away my car, and choose to carry these large, awkward pieces of wood around, not only to hold impromptu art exhibitions at crosswalks while waiting for lights, but also to add to the artist’s mythos. This studio space is second home, temple, storage and so much more when thought of in the grander scheme of artists and their work spaces.

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