Articles

A View From the Easel

This week, artist studios in Oregon, Brooklyn, Washington, and Michigan.

The 146th 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.

Christina Massey, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York

My studio within the Chashama spaces at the Brooklyn Army Terminal is a room without a view. With no exterior notifications of what is going on in the outside world, time gets lost, weather is of no distraction, and in an old concrete building, cell service can’t even interrupt me. I pop on my headphones to block the buzz of the fluorescent lights above, turn on my clamp lights and get to work. The environment while it isn’t the most picturesque, is very conducive to getting work done.

My work is very labor intensive, so I work on multiple pieces at once to allow my body the breaks that it needs. I transition between the meditative processes of simply preparing the materials, to my desk or the floor where I form the materials that become the body of the work, to working on the walls, where most of the final touches are made. That can consist of anything from cutting open aluminum craft beer cans that get repurposed into my work, to hand-cutting fine art prints that will go into collages or masking off patterns onto hand-blown glass before I sandblast the surfaces.

Nathanael Moss, Portland, Oregon

This is my workspace at the North Coast Seed Building in Portland, Oregon.
It’s located in an industrial area between the Willamette River and the train tracks. I’ve been working in this studio with a few other artists for over seven years now. It is where I come to clear my head and focus energy on my studio practice and process.

John Dempsey, Flint, Michigan

I have maintained a studio for over 30 years, in the same building, in downtown Flint, Michigan.  Currently, I work on large-scale, contemporary landscape paintings in a well lit, second floor space. The streets, the alley, the bars, the construction have all contributed to making it noisy and interesting times. Not the heart of the art world but it has heart and being remote allows me to focus on the landscape paintings rather than on the real estate.

James Isherwood, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The 36-square-foot painting studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is off a bedroom in my apartment. A Mission style desk from the early 1900s is the main work table. Paintings are made horizontally, so surface area is a premium in this tight space. The largest size I can work on is 36 inches x 48inches. A modern tall work table is for smaller works on paper, paints and various tools of the trade. Display shelving is on two walls to spread out works of all sizes that get shuffled around as things are drying. A large street facing window provides natural light and spectacular sunsets. Despite its size limitations, I get a lot of work done in here. I’m anxiously looking forward to a square foot upgrade in the very near future!

Rachel Brumer, Lopez Island, Washington

This is a snapshot of my studio on Lopez Island, Washington. It’s a few steps away from the main house through a path of trees. Since I’ve been working here my work has been about imagined landscapes. In the summer months I dry dyed fabric outside and in the winter months hang it near the wood stove. This place is quiet and nature surrounds me.

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