This is the 199th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? Please submit your studio! Just check out the submission guidelines.
Tommy Fitzpatrick, New Braunfels, Texas
My 600-square-foot studio was originally set to be demolished in our small town, that my wife and I discovered on a walk. Built in 1882, it was a bartender’s house that sat behind a Texas saloon. We went on a limb, asked if we could save it, and the owners sold it to us for $10. We moved it across two separate rivers into the backyard of our house. We spent months rehabilitating the structure, little did we know that within a few short months the pandemic would arrive and make having a studio in the backyard a true refuge from the outside world. My process changed quite a bit, I’ve started utilizing the computer to create virtual imagery, rather than going into large cities to photograph its architecture. I’ve opened my painting process a lot because of the pandemic, I’m in the studio more, so I’m seeing the work more, so I’m asking questions more — and I ended up throwing out so many rules I used to give myself. It’s strange, because so many restrictions in the outside world have been implemented to protect everyone’s safety, that I’ve learned to not restrict my art making process.
Adjoa Burrowes, Herndon, Virginia
My studio was my sanctuary during quarantine and provided a quiet place to reflect, cry, and brood during those unsettling times. It also was a space of energy and possibility where my creative ideas could percolate, unfold, and manifest. I was grateful for the time to immerse myself so fully in my art, and to use the materials at hand for printing and collaging. I was led to create a series of 8 x 10” gelatin prints “We Can’t Wait” that reflected Black people’s plight in America, and the demonstrations against police brutality exploding across the nation. The stark, abstract black and white prints grew from my need to DO something. I also found myself returning to sculpture made from reclaimed cardboard, a material I gravitated to because of its association with the disenfranchised, and created new works torn and peeled from boxes already in my studio. These works I’m hoping will challenge us to envision a new way of being for ourselves and our world. These were the worst of times with so much death from Covid-19, racial violence, and hate, but somehow a wellspring of creative energy emerged for me, that seemed to make the imagined possible.
Kristy Gordon, New York City, New York
This is my cute new studio which is basically the living room in my one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. I have a little nook by the window with my desk and my easel. I’ve recently started a new large-scale painting that will hang like a tapestry which occupies the entire height of my nine-foo-tall ceilings. I love to have coffee in the morning and read about art on the loveseat sofa to the right, where I sit and look at what I’m working on, then I start painting either at the easel or on the wall-hanging painting.
Amelia Currier, Ortonville, Michigan
My studio was once the hayloft of a barn, built in 1890, on a small creek in Michigan. After clearing away the raccoon nests, adding a new floor and two large windows, my studio become my most precious sanctuary, especially during Covid, when being creative was a much needed antidote to isolation. I am in a perfect setting in rural Michigan as I have access to the woods right out my window and the creek below, which offer me moments of repose, inspiration and meditation. It is also a perfect setting to work on my current series of assemblages, which you can see on the far wall. Their components are often local found objects, barn wood, or forest detritus.
In the manner of a sanctuary, I keep some areas pristine and cleared of visual stimulus, to keep my inner workings flowing and give my eyes a place to rest. During the time of Covid my work has become more naked and honest, because I have the safe harbor of my studio.