Articles

A View from the Easel

CHICAGO — The 23 installment of a series (Part 123456789101112,  131415161718192021, 22) in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace.

Want to take part? You can peruse the submission guidelines here.

Leigh Tarentino, Providence, Rhode Island (site)

This is a view of my faculty studio in the Visual Art department at Brown University. It is about 400 square feet, with a 24’ ceiling and skylights. I am very fortunate to have such a beautiful and spacious studio. In this view, you can see a wall of shelving in the middle of the room that divides the space into two sections.

At the bottom of the photo is the entryway. It has an area where I meet with students and do office work. To the right of that is a clean area with a flatfile for storing artwork. There is a large wall visible on the right where I display finished work that can be seen from the entryway and office.

At the top of the photo is my work area. It is not visible from the office or entryway. Although this is one of the best studio spaces I’ve ever had, when school is in session it can be difficult to tune out the busy surroundings and stay focused on my own work here.

I recently rearranged the room to create a “backstage” area. It provides a more private space within the room where I can concentrate on work in progress.

Pancho Panoptes, Chicago, Illinois (site)

My workspace, when I’m not there, exists in the corner of my room. When I’m present, it becomes the center of it. The vanilla color of the walls presents me with the sensation of either a sunset or a sunrise. I have yet to decide on which one.

The cobwebs of the walls by now have trapped dozens of thoughts, reminders, useful information, useless information and subtle contradictions. I have a mirror in front of my desk to show me who I am, who I’m not, and to remind me that I’m both. My current endeavors, exemplified by the provided mage, are shaped in the form of writing and selling love-letters to strangers.

Cathy McIntire, Newborn, Georgia (site)

My studio is supposed to be a garage, but has never held a car within its walls. When my husband and I built this house we included the garage, but ran heating, air and water into the space. After having smaller spaces with carpeting, I was happy to finally have cement floors with no more worries about paint spills, and to have running water. I have enough space to “designate” work areas for painting, framing, paperwork, painting storage, etc.

My easel and palette table, with associated storage drawers, hold my most used supplies and are the heart of my studio. In an attempt at order, I made curtains to cover up the storage bins below the counter and added roll-up shades to the shelving above. This allows me to cover up some of the look of clutter when I need to. It also helps keep dust off my paintings and books. Not shown in the picture is my office area, which is a lower counter with shelving above it. This area is the brain of the studio, where I plan painting compositions, create records of completed work and handle computer work for marketing and social media tasks. I have a radio, but no television. The kitchen is just inside the house, so it’s easy to keep the coffee coming.

Having a studio at home feels like such a luxury to me, even though I’ve been here twelve years. I always had a work area at home, but nothing like this. Over time I’ve pretty much filled the storage space, and I am working on shrinking my work space with more and more art supplies. I work in my studio every day and never feel lonely or isolated. It is the place where I feel the most comfortable.

James Gasowski, San Francisco, California (site)

Tools of the trade: self-made color charts, a wall mounted easel/shelf, tools for building, cutting, sawing, stretching. A floor I don’t have to worry about getting paint on. An ART STUDIO should be the creators nest: things found and arranged to provide absolute comfort and freedom to give birth in.

Ryan Coleman, Atlanta, Georgia (site)

Right now I’m fortunate to have a pretty big space. It’s a converted building of loft-style offices, but has a very industrial feel. I love the concrete floors, high ceilings and natural light.

I like to have a lot of tables in my studio, and generally like to keep things rather organized – I’m pretty sure the “chaos in your environment creates chaos in your mind” theory applies to my mode of thinking.

I mainly work in oil paint on canvas, paper, and wood panel, and for the most part like to paint standing up with the piece hung on the wall. I also work on smaller gouache and watercolor drawings on paper, and I usually sit while creating these works.

I love having plenty of art books and reference material around, and try and keep new blank surfaces rotating to keep it fresh.

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