Welcome to the 214th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. This week, artists are accompanied by lovable huskies, respond to leaves changing color for autumn, transform old sculptures, and storyboard comic pages on magic and justice.
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.
June Kim, Mount Desert, Maine
This is the south-facing part of my studio where I do most of my work. I have two tables that I work from — the one on the right holds works in progress, notebooks, sketch pads, and basically anything that is currently being utilized. The table ahead is what I call the “creation station,” where I’m making the actual work, whether it’s painting, cutting, collaging, photo/video editing. The wall in front of the table is a collage installation I’m working on. I like to look at work on a wall which gives me a better perspective and good distance. The opposite wall (not shown) is my shooting wall. Along the window ledge are plants and non-toxic candles which make my working environment more inviting. It is important to my practice to have light and nature accessible as it provides nourishment and a meditative state that allows the creative process to flow easier. In the foreground is one of my three huskies, Noor, which means “light” in Arabic. (The huskies always accompany me to the studio.) On the left is a bookcase that holds books and magazines about art, animals, and magic.
Patricia Dahlman, Newark, New Jersey
My studio is at Project for Empty Space in Newark, New Jersey. Recently I have been reworking old forms to make new sculptures. The old forms are made from canvas and stuffing, usually wired and sewn together. I rework these forms, cover them with bright colors of fabric, and then sew the different forms together. A finished sculpture may have gone through many incarnations.
The smaller works in the foreground represent a home under construction. Dad is talking on his cell phone, Mom is relaxing on the couch, a gay pride flag flies outside, a child is sleeping in a different room and a cat strides through the house amidst works of art. All of these pieces can be wrapped up and snapped together within the white rectangle they are placed on, to make it a traveling home.
The canvas rectangles with drawings, that are hung on the wall, are sewn drawings that I am working on. I take photographs from my home neighborhood or of downtown Newark and work from the photographs to make drawings on the canvas. I then use both pencil and thread to complete these sewn drawings. These sewn works are a slow process and may take weeks to complete.
Julie McNiel, Eureka, California
Located in a former bus parking lot compound, on Wiyot land, my art studio is currently plastered wall to wall with comic book pages in progress. Previously, I’d used the space to make large paintings, but when COVID-19 turned the neighborhood into a ghost town, I turned to something more accessible: producing comix, zines, and art cards. Themes include restorative justice, symbiotic nature, and magic. Earthquakes and the power of the ocean are also prominent influences. The studio sits a few feet away from the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Angelita Surmon, Portland, Oregon
You are seeing a view from my 400-square-foot second-story studio in my home. The studio was added to my house, and it is filled with natural north-facing light. It works for me to commute up the stairs and I enjoy seeing bits and pieces of the neighborhood through the windows as I work in both paintings and glass. My work is informed by the landscape, and seeing the seasonal changes in foliage and weather from the rooftops connects me to the outside world as I work.