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A View From the Easel

This week, artist studios in Nova Scotia, Maine, New York, and California.

The 149th 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.

Kathy Sandel, Calabasas, California

Two pics of my studio, from different angles. There is a skylight over my drawing table and French sliders that look out to a terrace and a small man-made lake. Really just a puddle, but still, ambrosia for a painting location. The main light source is north. When I turned my office into a painting studio I took up the carpet and decided to paint the floor. Odd how I rarely spill anything significant on the floor. I covered it with two coats of varathane, so I can wipe up spills just in case. It’s been about 10 years now. The other wall has a bookcase the length of the room and most of my supplies for silk painting. That is an empty frame for my silk work laying on the drafting table. I generally rotate between silk painting and acrylic on canvas. Mostly abstract. Of course, is one ever completely satisfied? I wish the room was larger so I could have a huge, deep table for a workspace. On the other hand, I am grateful most of the time.

Wayne Boucher, Nova Scotia, Canada

My beautiful studio is located in the colorful fishing village of Parker’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. I have had the studio since 2004. The studio is a former classroom in a 1950s school building. My studio view overlooks the brightly colored fishing sheds, seafood plant, and the ever-changing atmosphere and environs of the Bay of Fundy and the world’s highest tides. The atmosphere, light, and its ambience affect the sensibilities in my painted work.

The studio is a large open space with light coming from the north. The wall with the large green paintings is my primary painting wall with the best light. Since the studio was once a classroom, that is the wall where the blackboard used to be, and I have kept the chalk and eraser-rail which acts as an easel in supporting smaller works. The wall to the right of the green painting with the large blue and red paintings are stretched and stapled to a portable wall on pulleys, which can be raised and lowered to paint on it. The works you are seeing in the studio are about to go out to solo exhibits entitled To Catch the Wind and A Gathering of Angels.

Petra Nimtz, Woodstock, New York

My studio is in Woodstock, two hours north of New York City in the Hudson Valley. It was transformed from a garage into an Atelier in 2010 when I had moved here from Canada. It is a sacred space to me that I love walking into every day. The table has all the paints and art materials on it and is accessible from all sides. I think it is obvious that I love the color red and I enjoy sitting in the different chairs and the stool to look at the work. My images are personal reflections of emotions, being surrounded by nature and daily experiences. I work entirely from my imagination without having a concept in my mind.

Sandra Stanton, Maine

My studio is in the house we built ourselves over 25 years ago in the woods of Maine. A vast array of wildlife passes by the windows, often too rapidly to take a decent photo for future reference. Once in awhile, they pause.

A large part of my practice is devoted to painting directly from the model, alongside other figurative artists, in weekly life drawing groups. In the studio, I work out the composition and often return to the session the following week to add another model to the canvas, trying to match the light from the week before. Time is limited so I work out gestures in the studio. The mirror on the right is marked off in quadrants to check proportions. The small scale skeleton on the left is also helpful for checking anatomy and figuring out gestures.

The backgrounds in the paintings are informed by plein air studies from various places along the Maine coast. Since some of the work is done outside the studio, my tools need to be mobile enough to transport easily. It is simpler to have a separate tote for plein air and another for working from the model. These are ready to go with brushes, paints, etc. and are accompanied by either a pochade box or a French easel. The tools in the studio remain there so nothing gets lost along the way.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified the artist Petra Nimtz. The post has been updated.

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