Sunday, August 8, 2010

art studios.

I'm in a great studio right now. With fewer students on the course, we've been able to stretch out in a way that wasn't possible during the year. It's a cube, 4 big walls, huge windows - from which to keep tabs on the fickle weather patterns of edinburgh - tall ceilings, a giant table for my oils and paints, a clear table for my drawings, a kettle station, and three lovely girls to share the room with. It's a 5th floor walk up, so it keeps me fit!



I started thinking about studios past.

It's unfortunate that I don't have photos because my first studio was great. My parents helped me outfit our basement with everything. The centerpiece was this big metal gas tank that we painted to look like a Holstein. I spent plenty of time down there preparing my portfolio for undergrad, and making Christmas presents.

In undergrad I had a drawing studio and a painting studio, as our program was divided into different classes. The spaces were good, but working in 2 rooms created a rift in my drawings and paintings. The works were never able to relate to one another without me lugging canvases down the hallway.

Me and Janet Sorenson, Skidmore Painting studio 2005

Skidmore Drawing studio, 2004

I graduated and stayed living in Upstate New York with 2 artists. One sacrificed a bedroom and slept on the couch all year so that we could use the extra space as a painting studio. I loved the light, the hardwood floors, and the crown molding on this one. And also the view from the balcony onto what I think was voted "The Most Picturesque American Main Street" (shown below).

Our old doggie Petey hanging out amidst paintings

View from studio windows

Shortly after this I found myself painting outside of Asheville, North Carolina at a residency called Wildacres. I had an entire log cabin in the woods to myself, no phone line, internet or neighbors for a mile, and yes, it was as scary as it sounds. NPR and the excellent local bluegrass station kept me company as I painted the landscape. On the table they kept a journal of all the artists from years past. I read every entry.


Then there was Los Angeles. My apartment was absolutely tiny, but I managed to sleep, eat, draw and paint in the same room. The lovely California weather encouraged this because I could leave the door open most of the day, and eat meals out on the porch. My collages developed a lot during these years as they were not as obtrusive to make as large oil paintings.


Finally, the start of the year at ECA. I was in the same studio as now, but a different corner. Not bad, but I had clear view of the door. It was hard not to chat with every person who came in, or even if we didn't chat, just the acknowledgement could prove a distraction. Also there were only 2 walls so my poor paintings ended up in stacks.


I'm happy to say that I've consistently had some form of studio for going on ten years now.

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