Articles

A View from the Easel

CHICAGO — The 26th 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.

Stewart Bremner, Edinburgh, Scotland (site)

I have my studio in the living room of my flat in the Leith area of Edinburgh. It’s an affordable solution in a busy and expensive city. Leith is particularly vibrant and there is a lot of life going on around here. The flat is on the first floor (that’s the one above the ground floor) of a late Victorian tenement, three floors high, and stone-built. The windows are big and south-facing and with only a one floor timber yard across the street, the room is very bright.

I work at an architect’s drawing board that gives me a good solid support for my work. My materials are on a table and work bench to either side, all within easy reach. It keeps things compact and stops my workspace from taking over too much of my living space.

The walls and floor are covered in bubble wrap, to protect them from my sometimes over-enthusiastically applied paint. When the wind blows at the right angle through an open window, the sheets wave and rustle gently. At the times when I really need to concentrate, I put some bubble wrap over the windows as well, so that the activity in the street outside doesn’t catch my attention. I listen to music on headphones as well, for the same reason.

Carolyn Curtis, Albuquerque, New Mexico (site)

My space was an old workshop on the side of our apartment built in the mid-50s. One wall is lined with the old insides of a walk in cooler for me to be able to more easily hang things than on the old brick.

Since starting my 366 mail art project I enter here every morning coffee in hand to sit at my desk and create a 4×5 card. This is where having a space and a screen printing press comes in handy to be able to make my own prints, cards, shirts, experiment, and play. Another reason I never spent a lot of time building my studio out into a gallery room is I make messes. Be it painting, printing, collage, paper mache, making masonite cutouts or designing tanks I am making a mess.

I take each day as it comes as to what I want to dabble in that day and it all happens here. MY concrete cave of creativity. It may not be much to look at, but it is mine.

Kirsten Simonsen, Honolulu, Hawaii (site)

I work on raw wood panel which involves a lot of drawing on a flat surface. Because I work in my home and have a small bird (cockatiel), I switched entirely to acrylics for health reasons (Golden is best in my opinion). I work on raw wood and let the wood grain dictate the atmosphere of the piece. I prepare the wood with clear gesso and draw the images in graphite. When I want to add paint, I pull out the large easel on the left, and put it back when I am done. I glaze the images slowly with acrylic glazing medium, and refine with graphite and colored pencils as the final step.

The finished work functions more as a drawing than a painting, despite the fact that I use paint. Hawaii has many different climates, some quite wet. I choose to live in a dry area of the island because I work on wood.

Geoffrey Stein, New York City (site)

This is the painting wall in my studio. I am a recovering lawyer and paint almost every day. I usually have the piece I’m working on in the center of the wall. Above are a series of small collages I made this summer, a departure from my usual figurative painting practice. To the sides are collections of images I am interested in – reference photos, exhibit cards, magazine clippings, and photos I have taken while walking around the city. I use these changing collages to think about visual ideas and for inspiration.

Hazel Ang, Munich, Germany (site)

I take up one half of the living room in the apartment I share with my partner. Since I am a full-time vector artist, I have to have a pretty hi-tech set up both in my work office and also in my space at home. In this photo, I am currently set up for traditional work: starting a new portrait with acrylics on Bristol cardboard.

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