Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Pulse: Studio Shots 2

Welcome to the third edition of The Pulse: an artist survey. This collaborative project aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals. For links to the sites of the participating artists, please click here.

Today's question: Where does the magic happen? Tell us about the studio, room, corner, desk, table, floor, or wall where you make art and show us one photograph which somehow captures your creative space or a work in progress. The following is the second of four posts to answer this question.

Shona Cole It is in a room next to the kitchen (in another life it would have been the breakfast room). I have floor to ceiling shelves for art supplies. My art table with end shelves full of craft books, magazines and poetry books sits in the middle of the room, beside the window on the other side of the room there is a table upon which my laptop, printer & more books sit.


Ingrid Dijkers I have several "work stations" that are intended for specific purposes but I seem to work in the same one area all the time. I periodically clean it off, but have come to realize that I feel most comfortable working in the mess left over from the previous project. A bit of the old project seeps into the current one, making it all seem like a continuous flow, at least from my perspective.


Kristy Christopherson Basically I "Share" a room with my young daughter. I did have a dedicated room, but gave it up to my son :( My art space takes up half of my daughter's room, with iris carts stacked to the ceiling. When I do my art, there is plenty of room for my daughter to create as well, so it makes it fun for both of us! When working on canvas', however, I use my dining area/library space.


Mary Buek Good grief, I don't think I can even show you my studio space right now. It's horrible, because I've been working on painting furniture in the garage, and my studio in the basement hasn't been touched in days. I love that I have a whole basement to call my own, and I can walk away from the mess and still have a fairly neat liveable space upstairs. Even cleaning up the mess can be inspirational.


Jen Bradford I have a great studio just a couple of blocks from my apartment. I love to listen to music (and sing pretty loudly when possible), so fortunately for me the building is often empty on nights and weekends. Here's a set of photos taken in the space. There are a few work zones - one big wall, an adjacent table (that I sometimes haul outside), and a big drafting table for "clean" projects.


Gwen Buchanan When I finally had my first real studio, I couldn't believe how freeing it was... no stress about spreading out my work and leaving it, to think about the next move ... my work was always there, ready for me any time I got the urge or time... now no matter what, I will always keep a room for an art studio... it is not a selfish thing; it is necessary..

My studio is on the second floor of the home we built 8 years ago...The beams are pretty ancient and we used much, much, much salvaged and scrounged materials to create it..and that includes all the studio furniture...and that makes me feel at home. I don't have to be fussy here.. I can be free here.... the floors are hardwood..the walls extend to 13' on one side of the room. the height frees my mind... the walls are white. it is 26' x 15'... plenty of good daytime lighting, task lights and lots of windows ... lots of reference books to stimulate and inspire, my computer, life link with the world is in a corner not shown... a sink with a copper counter top we made is to the left of the photo.. my painting corner is to the right-hand side, my son, 14 who we unschool, apprentices with us,...that is his table in the center... my jewelry table is to the dogs are there... I love it up here and I am here most of the time... The best part of the whole studio is what is not in the studio... the view that looks out over the Bay of Fundy's dramatic tides and fog and sun... changing by the minutes... sometimes it is hard to get my work done!!


Nina Bagley magic for me happens everywhere: in the studio, the front deck, out in the woods and on the side steps where a lot of flowers grow and butterflies/moths reside. the sky, the trees, the ground - all of it is magic and very very inspirational for me! photo of my studio is enclosed - one where i've strung up tiny little white lights (back in late fall when the natural lighting of that north-facing, tiny room was limiting and even a bit depressing).


Denise Lombardozzi my studio. a hodge podge of supplies and cast off bits carefully edited in bins, boxes and drawers. a sacred ground for my special brand of creativity. a bright room on the second floor with worn cherry floors a big closet and a lot of table space to spread out. perfect.


Gillian McMurry I do not have a dedicated area for making art. A few years ago I rather stupidly got rid of my big desk and replaced it with a very stylish drop leaf bureau. Looks nice but totally impractical for art. So I often use my bed with a large drawing board placed on top of it to make it into a desk surface. I don't have a table big enough to take my mess. I also have a couple of sets of drawers that hold my paints, papers, and other art materials. As no one will want to see my bed I have photographed my desk and surrounding book shelves. The photo actually sums me up quite nicely - torn between academia and artistry. My ancient history books sit beside my paints and brushes and they seem to get on quite well. Just about every available surface has something arty sitting on it. My soldering iron is sitting on my book shelf, pastels on top of my drawers, pencils next to the TV and sticky tape next to my computer. The photo also shows my favourite art books on top of the bookcase. There are plenty more in all the other bookcases in the house. One day I hope to have a proper studio. One day.


Cynthia Gaub Although hot in the summer and cold in the winter, it is my own space where no other animals or family members can invade. I work in my attic. The previous owners had finished the small attic space, adding carpet, lighting and even Internet, but the only access if via a pull down ladder in the hallway ceiling. Which does make moving artwork and supplies a little difficult. I recently repainted the space in my favorite colors.

The studio is divided into 3 main work areas. I have one small side that is all fiber. My sewing machines, fabric stashes and ironing board are all in this area. A short wall keeps you from falling down the ladder hole and allows for some cool mason jars filled with buttons, trim and all kinds of little art supplies. The other larger side has my computer desk area and my paper collage desk and storage. There is no sink or water sources up there so I have to haul up water if I am going to do anything messy. Another reason that I have shifted my focus to sewing and fabric related work.


Jonna Barnett Our front room is my studio. Which can be bad as I am not a very organized person so it probably should be called the chaos room instead of a studio.


Robyn Gordon Because carving is so messy, I work out in the courtyard. Sometimes it's too hot or it's raining but there are many more pluses to working outside. I can hear the stream while I work and they say the sound of water is very good for creativity. I enjoy working in the fresh air and I feel closer to nature there. Monkeys visit my garden daily as do the birds. It is truly inspiring to work with the sounds of nature all around me.


Kim Logan I don’t yet have a studio unfortunately, I have to take over our dining room..!!...One day I hope to have a space to call my own and more importantly a room to leave everything out till ‘the next time’.....but for now this is how it has to be.


Megan BarronWork generally happens on a table; I can’t draw standing up at an easel! I live in a bungalow by the water that receives gorgeous light & am amazed every day by the art show going on right outside my window. If I could be one-thousandth as creative as nature, that would be spectacular indeed.


Marie Otero My studio - for now - is two converted connecting bedrooms on the main floor of our house. One room is dedicated to all my mixed media and 'messy' stuff. The other room houses my computers, printers, scanners and most of the things related to the digital side of my life. It also holds two sets of big map drawers that store artwork, paper and more rubber stamps than I care to admit owning :-)


Kathy McCreedy I am fortunate enough to have my own studio space... it's nothing fancy, in fact, it's sort of the utility room. We live in a 1957 ranch, with no basement, so there's a big room on the back of the garage that serves as laundry room and utility room. I took over the utility part of the room in a big way. I share that space with the kittie's litter box just to keep me really grounded!


Sarah "Flo" Harris Don't know about magic, but I can tell you where the mess happens. The ground floor of my house is mainly open plan - with a lounge, kitchen and dining area all joined together. I used to keep all of my art and craft materials in cupboards in the lounge, and I would work either sitting on the floor in front of the TV, or at the dining table. As I got more stuff, however, and tarted to spend more time making things (which ruled out the sitting on the floor unless I wanted an evil bad back), I pretty much took over the dining room altogether. I now have a lovely wall of storage and the dining table itself is permanently covered in layers of work in progress, paints, inkpads, stamps, papers, tools..... a skilled archaeologist can tell what I was working on three months ago by carefully drilling through the strata.


Dawn Sokol Since my art form is mainly journaling, I can do it anywhere. I tend to journal in my living room a lot as well. But my studio is where I mess with paints on my pages...(Photos included: one of my desk and the other with my art table—both very messy at the time)...I moved into this studio last year. I was sharing an office with my husband's home computer, so I had one-half of the room and had really outgrown it. My art room was down the hall and I found that I was running back and forth between the two since my work life and art life were melding together more and more. I realized I needed to combine the rooms, so I did. It has allowed those two lives to become one! It also forced me to rid myself of all the items I wasn't using and focus on what I really wanted to do.


Debbie Overton At this time, my magic happens all over our home, but mostly in a small studio area thanks to a very large dinning room that we rarely use. I have a pine hutch that I keep my most inspirational things displayed on and the base is perfect for working on the smaller canvases that I usually do. When working in large formats I will use a bigger table that was bought just for my paint splatters. The area is all open to our family room, kitchen, and breakfast area and filled with windows all around me. I have drawn up my studio plans over and over and the contractor has been paid a retainer fee, I just need to make my final draft so he can start but I keep having those what if I put this here and that there. My husband keeps thinking the kids will graduate from college and to keep them from moving back home he wants to knock out the walls between their bedrooms and make me a studio. It would be huge and perfect. But I think one of them plans to be a professional student!


Gail Pierce I like to say that I have a wet space in the garage, but it’s merely a workbench that is always so cluttered that I can’t find the surface. There is a sink in the garage that has taken on the patina of rust from the rust dyeing I’ve done for the last year or so. I live in the desert just east of Palm Springs where the temps are presently around 110 and will remain there for at least another month, though, last year the AC was still on until Thanksgiving. So, my time in the wet studio is limited to what I can tolerate with 4 fans on; I haven’t been able to work in the wet studio for three weeks causing a bout of crankiness.

I also like to say that I have a dry studio which is basically a corner in my bedroom, a desk in front of a window, where I can sew, felt with an embellisher, and work on metal. I spent 21 years living and working in a living room where I also slept and a tiny, tiny kitchen, so having two spaces is a luxury, but they aren’t photogenic. The supplies and tools reside on shelves in the garage and in the walk-in closet in my bedroom which is the larger of two closets. The smaller closet is the perfect size for my pitiful wardrobe.

The photos: top one is the wet studio with a shelf dedicated to the birdhouses my father built and that I repainted after his death. Dad, ever frugal, didn’t seal them and the paint had flaked off. The birdhouses are precious and wouldn’t last long in the intense desert heat. The bottom photo was taken when there was a little space on the workbench.


Jennifer Gordon My studio is in my home, which is a 100 year old house which I absolutely love. My studio is the room that should be the master bedroom as it is the largest room upstairs, but we decided it made more sense to be a studio for myself and my husband. Sadly I take up the majority of the space with my "mess" and his corner seems to get smaller by the day, I am guilt stricken over it yet I have not brought myself to tidy up my things yet.


James Michael Starr This photo is a down-shot on one of my work tables. This one's located in what my artist wife and I, believe it or not, call the "clean studio," so named because it's separate from the much dirtier downstairs studio reserved for sculpture. As much as I fantasize about having everything organized and orderly, most of my work areas look almost exactly like this. And it's almost impossible to change, because when I finally decide I absolutely have to clean it all up, I'll uncover some beautiful object that's been buried for months, and next thing I'll be working on a new piece and creating yet another strata layer of junk.

The larger, sepia-toned book page in the middle is a portrait of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the figure whose assassination is said to have triggered World War I. (I think it's telling that a Google Search of his name initially turns up more results for the rock band.) This print ended up being used in an assemblage piece in my latest show, one titled "Three Kings." In that finished piece, Franz is the king on the left. The torn images of eyes below him were also candidates, but in the end I opted for three pages, including Franz's, from a large pictorial history of World War I, despite the fact that war and politics have nothing to do with the meaning of the 3-part assemblage piece itself. The doll torso and yellow ball (by the jug of Elmer's) were themselves a work in progress at one point, but this image was made in mid-February, when my work was going through a dramatic transition, from small and medium sized pieces that mostly involved the human figure in one way or another, to much larger, more minimal pieces that put more emphasis on sculptural form.


Angela Rockett For just over a year now the "magic" has been happening in my studio space, which happens to be in a room under my church that had gone unused for about a year before I moved in.


Kelsey O'Mullane I am fortunate enough to have a studio for my work. It is a separate building in my back garden that is 15’ x 20’ (4.5m x 6m) with large windows, plenty of lighting and it’s all mine! Currently my shelves are still full of fabric in boxes from my previous profession as a costume designer/maker. Once I have moved them into another home, I will be able to fit all of my art supplies into the shelving that have managed to cover all the other surfaces in the room. I do have a large table 8’ x 4’ (2.5m x 1.2m) to work on and this is piled high with products while I’m working on something, but then cleaned off at the end of each project in preparation for the beginning of another. That’s the theory anyway!


Sarah Fishburn For years I had a raised worktable in the corner of the living room. I loved it, but it became problematic; everyone was irresistibly drawn to the space, especially people under the age of 5, and those with precariously balanced cosmos. Now I have a small (probably 10 or 11 x 10 or 11) room in the back of the house. Haphazardly organized, I could def. use a lottery win to at least finance some decent storage! Or a renovation/reality show. Or maybe just a swift kick to the seat of my pants. The best thing about the room, besides the fact my grandson named it the Art Garfunk Room (ART for short), is my big-screen mac, especially now that I'm working on a fair amount of digital deconstruction. The second best thing? Art fills ART. Worst thing? It has to double as a bedroom relatively (there's wordplay in your eye) often.


Lisa Call I just sold my large suburban home and along with it my 600 sq ft studio. I'm now living in a 900 sq ft house with 2 teenagers and am in the process of designing an addition to the house that will include another 600 sq ft studio. In the meantime I'm combining my bedroom with my studio and my office in a 10'x12' space. The magic still happens - I just have less room to move around in. Although I believe I can make art anywhere, I am sure my environment greatly effects the resulting artwork. It will be interesting to look back at the work created in this small space and compare it to my larger body of work that comes from my larger studio.


Maralena Howard Nine out of twelve months – I paint and create out in our screened patio/sunroom. I practically live out there. Three walls are entirely picture windowed/screened – with a full view of our back yard. The other three months when it is too cold to work out there without the help of a space heater – I work in my basement studio. It used to be a small area – but now that my work has expanded – I have ¾ of the basement with ¼ used as a guest quarters. One side of the studio warehouses my “one day soon” gallery furniture and supplies and a long table for my private art projects like art journals, small mixed media, small projects – etc. The other side hosts my main painting area, easel and painting supplies. Around the basement studio walls I hang some of my artwork, my inspiration board and my more raw art experiments and pieces. I am most excited about reclaiming our upstairs guest room and turning it into a small home gallery. There is where I hang “Salon Style” my various paintings for potential buyers or commissions to view. So, the magic is spread out.



I love seeing where everyone creates!!

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

This is most certainly my favourite part of the Pulse. I love peeking into other people's studios.

Ingrid Dijkers said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have really enjoyed looking at and reading about everyones work space.
This is my favorite Pulse entry so far.

Unknown said...

I love these posts. [I love the whole blog, actually!] It's great to see other people's work places, even though mine at the moment tends to be on the beach or in the middle of a field. Writing seems to have pushed my other interests to the back of the line at the moment, but looking at these posts is just what I need to get my paints out again. Thanks.

sf said...

Ooooh I WISH my studio was the beach!!!!!
sarah f.

Laurie said...

Wow, this is so timely for me. I just posted a whiny blog this past Sunday about the condition my art space is in. Thank you Seth for gathering all this inspiration and encouragement together in one place. Thanks also to all the artists who participated and contributed.

Jazz said...

I love seeing these pictures. And, as someone who does my thing either standing in front of a bureau or at the kitchen table, I really envy those who can actually sit somewhere and make a mess!

Chris said...

Okay, after loving on all your banners, I have read all the entries. Can you BELIEVE all these fabulous spaces?! I especially like it that so many of us have studios that flow out into the rest of our homes, making tangible the fact that art is our lives and our lives art.

Of course, if Kelsey O'Mullane wants to give me her dedicated studio, I'll try to make do...

sarahelizabeth said...

It was nice seeing everybody's studios. I'm just about to move to a place where I'm going to have a dedicated studio, so this gave me some inspiration :)

ginny said...

Seth, I am really enjoying the Pulse. It is interesting, thought provoking and inspiring. What work for you, though! Thank you for including me.

Anonymous said...

I looove this! Real people making amazing art with the space thy have. Brings us all a bit closer nd more human to see these spces... not dolled up for the camera, but totally WYSIWYG.

MrCachet said...

My Lord... I thought I was the only artist who had a workspace that looks like mine!