Articles

A View from the Easel

CHICAGO — The 28th 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.

Kevin Ledo, Montreal, Canada (site)

My studio is located in the Plateau neighborhood of Montreal. In this picture you can see the pegboard wall that I hang my paintings on to paint. I have a few of my more recent pieces on the wall. I almost always paint standing as my work usually exceeds three feet in height. My studio space is in a corner section of an industrial building with half the room being windows, flooding the area with natural light. I share my space with a few other artists, which is great for a number of reasons. I have all the space I need and great people around to share resources, talk to, and bounce ideas off of.

Martin Webb, Albany, California (site)

My studio is a bit ramshackle but it works for me. I’m not sure if my methods have evolved around it, or it evolved around them. A converted garage behind my East Bay house serves as a “clean” workspace and office, plus there’s the small workshop you see in the picture where I keep all the messy stuff. The door opens out onto a bare concrete outdoor area which is where I do most of my work.

I use a mixture of cement based materials, acrylic, and various pigments, layering and sanding, layering and sanding, until I’m happy with the image. The in-progress pieces in the photo will all change a lot. I put panels on sawhorses in the outdoor space and pour, paint or squeegee materials on them, then wet-sand them and hose them down. An indoor studio would become a swamp in no time. I always work on multiple pieces at once and have them propped up to dry around the backyard. I’m from England originally so I have to make use of that California sun.

Francisco Flores, Chicago, Illinois (link)

I have my studio set up like a sound engineer behind the consoles. My easel sits in the middle of the room with my computer to the left of me that I use to pull up references or inspiration online. To the right of my easel is my drafting table that I use when I’m drawing or sketching out ideas.

I also have a homemade light box with a peg bar taped to it for when I work on 2D animations, though lately I’ve been using the animation feature in Photoshop. Next to the drafting table is a bookcase that holds all my art and technique books. I have two other small tables that hold all of my painting and drawing supplies. Being surrounded by everything makes it easy for me to go back and forth as I work on more than one project at a time.

Rob Tarbell, Crozet, Virginia (site)

My studio is a walkout basement of my house. It was originally a dungeon of sorts complete with functioning ferret habitrail,but I have since renovated it so that it is a nice workspace with lots of wall space and movable walls attached to workbenches. After having countless studios open to the elements, this one is climate controlled and has easy access to loading in or out. It also has a door that does pretty well keeping the real world at bay or it can function as a glorious gateway to a sandwich. Nice.

The photo shows finished work and work in progress after a stint at VCCA Auvillar, a residency in France. Being abroad for a residency proved how few materials I needed to create. All possible fancy art materials were reduced to 2 ounce Higgins bottles, tiny cups, and an extravagant bag of scrap t-shirt rags. So when I got home, that is what I stuck with, although the scale grew to being larger than a suitcase.

Max Rubenacker, Denver, Colorado (site)

Seen here: my desk (Ikea, $74.90) handmade lamp (Colorado College woodshop, about $8 in parts: poplar, speaker wire, plug & type A lamp base, 5700K CFL bulb, some glue and nuts and bolts), 15in mid-2010 MacBook Pro with upgraded high-res display ($????.??), G-Tech 2TB external drive loading up some photos into Lightroom, various prints, and assorted doodads.

I try to keep my tools minimal enough to carry easily in a backpack, a habit I came to after working out of coffee shops for many years. It’s given me a sort of nomadic sensibility in my rig. My work could be 3D, photography, design, writing, code. All I need is software and a decent computer system, some storage, and an internet connection. The home station is special because I have more real art supplies like pigments and papers, scraps of cardboard, random electronics. I made several of these articulated wooden lamps so I try to keep one at all of my semi-permanent outposts. I need to start some sort of calendar whiteboard/sketches/inspiration wall next.

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