Welcome to the 211th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. This week, artists move their easel to a community garden, draw inspiration from discarded Art Journal editions, ponder mourning and memorial as they create, and redefine the term “home studio.”

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 (however you define it).

Charles Becker, Pomona College, Claremont, California

This is my senior studio space at Pomona College. Here, I work on collages and assembling my larger sculptural works. While working, I like to be surrounded by lots of inspiration, so what you see on the wall are images which have been inspiring me these past few months (current favorites include those by Sunil Gupta, Kojo Griffin, Adrian Piper, and Robert Mapplethorpe). Some of them are images I have made, some of them are handouts from classes, and the majority of them come from old Art Journal volumes which I had been lucky to find discarded in a box at the beginning of the semester. This space takes up a section in a large room in which I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside many highly talented and inspirational peers. It has provided a compact space for production inside a charged atmosphere which sustains creative vigor.

Brianna Hernández, Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Long Island, New York

Aside from the brilliant light from the south-facing windows, my favorite part of my studio is the vibrant turquoise-painted floor which I often use as a work surface. Resting on the ground are some finished and partially finished sculptures of burial shrouds and casket designs using natural materials such as moss, sand, seaweed, and corn husks. Similarly on my center work table are in-process soap and beeswax urns, all part of my series, Aquí Descansamos, which explores creative alternatives to memorials and burial practices through ephemeral and living sculpture. My practice focuses on end-of-life care, grief, and mourning rituals and I find natural materials bring fresh energy to these often taboo topics.

My studio is on the third-floor space of Ma’s House, a BIPOC artist residency and communal art space on the Shinnecock Nation founded by my partner, Jeremy Dennis. This live-work space we co-manage was converted from his grandparent’s home and this room in particular was built by Jeremy’s uncle David and was his grandmother’s (Ma’s) bedroom, so it has a warm and welcoming feeling all around while I create.

Emilie Fantuz and Mike Fantuz, Vancouver, Canada

This is our shared live/work artist loft in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We designed our studio to function as both a workspace and space where we are able to exhibit our art. Our “living space” is upstairs and downstairs is primarily our studio. We enjoy working on large canvases and are grateful for the large bright space to work. We are also street-level and have the opportunity to show our work in the front window as well. We prefer working in an uncluttered space and have built-in canvas storage tucked into a movable wall and an art table for works on paper and other mediums. We find it helpful to be able to live with our art after creating it so we can reflect, analyze, and see new bodies of work coming together for the exhibitions we are working towards. We spend a lot of our evenings looking back on the progress that we made that day and spend a lot of time discussing our work together. The concept of this space was to have a studio with a home inside versus a home with a studio.

Alex Roediger, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

After painting in a studio for many years, I’ve transitioned to painting a lot more outdoors, specifically at Red Shed Community Garden in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Getting to be a part of the community garden has been such a great way to make new friends, feel connected to the community and of course to grow and enjoy fresh food. I’ve also found that the garden is a great place for me to paint nature from real life. I’ll bring my easel, backpack and lunch in the morning and then I will work as fast as I can to finish my painting before the sun goes down. The time constraints of painting outdoors create an adrenaline rush, and I think helps me produce paintings that are as fun to look at as they are to make. 

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Lakshmi Rivera Amin

Lakshmi Rivera Amin (she/her) is a writer and artist based in New York City. She currently works as Hyperallergic's editorial coordinator.

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