Welcome to the 213th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. This week, artists store supplies in the nooks of a hotel room, explore new mediums during a summer residency, cleverly rig an attic workspace, and bid farewell to their first 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.
Joyce Thornburg, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
Since November 2022, I have been on a world travel adventure. Determined to continue doing my art, I set up a “temporary studio” wherever I am. This photo shows the patio adjacent to my hotel room in Oaxaca City in southern Mexico. The breeze-way wall design provided perfect compartments for my paints, markers, gesso, etc. The open-air concept was a plus in Oaxaca’s perfect winter weather. I completed three paintings in this space that have since been shipped back to my studio/gallery in Asheville, North Carolina.
Yang Wei Han, Valencia, California
This is my three-and-a-half-by-five-meter studio at the California Institute of the Arts. Since I already graduated, I can only keep it for one more month. I spend most of the time outside and in the lab to make photographs, thus the studio is more like a storage, and a place where I can see what the works look like when they are hung on the wall. The desk on the left is for reading and writing, and for trivial stuff like checking emails. Around the front, white desk are some prints and equipment. It used to be neat, yet two months ago everything was removed from my locker in the lab. The three wooden tables and most of the photographs on the wall were included in my past solo shows at CalArts. I set them up again like this for the open studio event. This is my first studio space. I will miss this small cube that witnessed my practice during the two years at the school.
Peggy Roalf, New York City, New York
My home studio is small with artificial light — a cave — so I was thrilled to earn a Carter Burden Network Studio Residency for three months. I had daily access to a generous space with north light. Its 12-foot magnet wall gave me something I’ve always wanted: a place to post my experiments in color and form, like a visual diary charting my progress. I was exploring the cross-pollination between painting and monotype printing through the subject of trees, a particular grove of which I’ve been drawing on and off for a couple of years. I was already attending the Center’s monotype printmaking workshop with Karin Bruckner and gell plate printing with Liz Curtin, so this was an ideal situation.
Working in acrylics, I refined a layered painting method I had developed, and moved from paper to linen in the process. I also developed a process for gell plate monotype printing directly onto linen panels. The gift of light, space, and time was a catalyst for experimentation: I now have several bodies of work to take to the next level.
Sally Pirie, Amherst, Massachusetts
In this picture, you can see most of my attic studio on the third floor of my house. I was trained as a cartoonist and illustrator, but I also work in collage, printmaking, and general mixed-media whimsy. So you can see the big printer that I use to make large digital pieces and posters, the drawings of my favorite object — the chair — on the walls, a mix of materials including but not limited to housepaint, roof tiles, glass jars, and string on the floors, and my printmaking table with my Japanese woodcarving tools laid out for sharpening tomorrow (the whetstone wasn’t whet enough today). I was born and grew up in Japan and these tools were a gift from Yoshio Hiyashi — master name Bizan. The massive white-on-white piece on the left is an anniversary gift for a friend. If you look closely you can see I am sewing some baby blanket fabric onto the canvas. I tend to think well while working so I pin ideas for projects and small studies to the walls and ceiling behind my easel. There is a bed in my studio so that friends can stay over, and so I can lay down and think while I work. As a single mother, I also share this space with my children and their various reliquaries.
Because this is a silent, high-up, space I can’t hear the front door (which is a blessing) and I rigged up an intercom system to communicate with my children downstairs. And wow, is it hot in the summer. This means winter is much more productive for me.
I have recently also started making toys, and you can see a few dolls and other creatures lurking around the studio. My father is also a toymaker. You can almost make out the massive hand-carved rocking horse he made sticking out from behind my easel.