Welcome to the 207th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. In this edition, artists draw figures from memory, bring their studios to the streets, get creative in the classroom, and rely on pet goldfish to remind them to set down their brushes and rest.
Want to take part? Check out our submission guidelines and share a bit about your studio with us! All mediums and workspaces are welcome, including your home studio.
Susana Aldanondo, Soho, Manhattan
I’m an abstract painter whose work is inspired by music and exploring the connection between music and memory, eliciting emotion. I paint from emotion. I take my painting out into the streets of New York City to connect with the city, its people, to engage in conversations that become part of my experience and my work, as I explore the ‘here and now,’ the process of making works of art through the emotion of being in the present and making memories for the future.
When I’m painting in the street, I’m aware of every moment, every person, I embrace them as part of a new memory I’m creating as I work to build my future’s past. I also seek to highlight the importance of recognizing Latin-American artists painting nonrepresentational work. I stretch my large canvases on walls I find throughout the city; however, there is this one wall in Soho, which has become my ‘studio,’ my wall. It is the wall you see in this photograph. The works I paint in the street are part of a project I started some years ago, in which I turn the city into my studio, titled City As Studio. Networking with the public is important to me, engaging in conversations and finding a place that exists beyond the walls of a studio is so important to me. I thrive when I paint in the here and now, in the streets of the city I love.
Adamary Gonzalez Montemayor, Mission, Texas
My everyday studio is in my high school art teacher’s classroom, Mr. Peña’s classroom. His classroom is just such a welcoming place to enter and express your creativity and everywhere you look is filled with art in different mediums and made by different students. In my daily process in his classroom lately, I’ve been working on my art piece for the VASE art competition. Every day I will put on my apron and get my supplies, but every day is a new day on what I’m working within the piece itself so it’s never the same thing over and over. Which relates to our daily lives. We will never experience the same routine every day. Even though this is a classroom I consider it to be a studio that I work in and where most of my creative thinking comes from. I am thankful to have such a wonderful art teacher who helps me along the way and inspires me in so many ways. Without Mr. Peña, I wouldn’t be working on this piece and wouldn’t have this place to express myself freely.
Michael Workman, Chicago, Illinois
My work space is in the front of my third-floor walkup apartment in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood. Almost everything in the space is a rescue: Most of the furniture is trash-picked, and my plants (out of frame) are often too. It’s important to be able to walk out of this room and turn off studio mode, but I do love this space, with all its elements of salvage and disarray.
It gets (almost too much) sun daytime, but I also need these session lights for when the days get dark very early. I edit, design and layout Bridge publications, write grants, draw and watercolor sitting in the corner at the end of my big Danish table. Writing and drawing are both rooted in mark-making, on paper, canvas, on a printed page.
Much of the rest of the open space in my studio is taken up with the requisite comfy, overstuffed chair where I sit for sometimes 10 or 12 hours on end, often working on three different canvases (S, M, L, basically) at once. It’s nice to have my tank of adult comet goldfish to remind me it’s bedtime by angrily splashing me when the lights are on too late.
Hildos, Brooklyn, New York
My studio is located in my apartment in Brooklyn. I live in NYC and renting art studios is very expensive. I love having my studio at home; it’s very convenient as it gives me the space to work at anytime and not to travel on bad weather days. I am a positive body image activist, painter, and food photographer. Most of my artwork is figurative, which I draw from memory. Even though it’s not that large, my studio is enough and a great space to sketch different poses and explore different ideas. I can sketch on the floor or on the table, and use the wall or the easel to paint. I love being around other artists, but I prefer working with no distractions so this is the perfect setting. On another note, it’s helpful that the kitchen is near and I am able to take pictures of the food I cook and style in the studio. My apartment is my art gallery. I use all the walls to hang my work easier for art collectors’ and curators’ visits.