Welcome to the 222nd installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. This week, artists make watercolor rugs, structure compositions around the “bones” of their garden, venture into printmaking, and deconstruct materials in the hopes of creating something new.
Do you want to participate? Check out our submission guidelines and share a little about your study with us! All mediums and workspaces are welcome, including your home studio.
Sommer Roman, San Luis Obispo, California
Here is my little cabin-like studio that sits in the middle of a small eucalyptus grove. Natural light streams through the trees, illuminating the numerous piles of post-consumer clothing and fabric discards organized into color families. Additionally, the studio houses my special glue gun, hundreds of glue sticks, a pair of Gingher scissors, faux fur, a sewing machine, thread, stones, feathers, thistles, paper-clay, colored pencils, small drawn studies for future works, and of course, thoughts and works in progress. On most surfaces there are pieces of fabric scattered, as my process involves a continuous deconstruction and reconstruction of the materials. I work with mundane materials based on crafts associated with home, land, and body. Through intuitive and laborious handmade processes, materials are manipulated, broken down, cut, twisted, joined, braided, sewn, glued, folded, constructed and transformed into surprising new shapes. This space is my creative sanctuary for handmade artwork. Through evocative colors, organic shapes, materiality, the universal circular form and unabashed exuberance, my work invites viewers back to the realm of interconnectedness, play, the wild feminine, and the body as potent sites of wisdom and innate vitality.
Marguerite Ogden, Brooklyn, New York
After living in Maine for almost 50 years, I moved to New York in 2021 and rented my first studio. I make monotypes, but I don’t consider myself a printer, but rather a painter who uses a press. Applying ink to the plate with a brayer is very similar to applying paint with a brush to a canvas.
Like a painting, each print is a unique and non-repeatable creation.
For the first time, I finally have a dedicated space for my tools, including my new 48-inch wide, 72-inch long Conrad Machine Co.press. It is so well equipped that taking a print is extremely easy. This is very useful, because my prints have many layers and require many passes through the press.
Under the tool board, I have a table to mix my inks. The largest table is for applying ink to my plexiglass plates. The steel bars and magnets allow me to watch my prints as they dry and make changes if necessary. My relocation has allowed me to finally live my dream as an artist in New York. This studio space has allowed me great freedom and redefined my work. What a gift!
Maria Rey, Chicago, Illinois
Here you can see my plan for an upcoming exhibition at Boundary, a gallery in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. The piano and the small Ivory Coast statue will not be included, but you see them here because every part of my apartment can be used for art. The sculptures on hand-built pedestals are made of paper, styrofoam and polymeric supports with watercolor additions. They are both playful and disturbing, showing a partially destroyed wall and building and at the same time looking cheerful and pretty. The watercolor rug was painted at the Mother’s Milk residence in Kansas and shows the shadows cast by an unidentified ancient farm implement.
Camille Kouyoumdjian, Fairfax, Virginia
At the heart of my creative sanctuary is my art studio, a space where imagination flies and the canvas becomes a portal to my inner world. The studio, bathed in the soft tones of natural light, offers a panoramic view of my garden through the seasons. As I immerse myself in the artistic process, the floor-to-ceiling windows serve as living frames, capturing the ever-changing dance of the seasons and the vibrant symphony of nature.
The connection to my garden runs deep, as it gives life to my artistic endeavors. From the lush, messy butterfly garden to the carefully arranged orchards, a living tableau evolves with each passing day. In winter, the “bones” of the garden give structure to my compositions. The windows act as a perfect bridge between my studio and the outside world, allowing the rhythms of nature to seep into each new painting.
The play of light transforms the studio throughout the day. The morning rays illuminate the space with a soft warmth, casting long shadows that transform into dynamic shapes. The evenings bring a cascade of sunlight that splashes the studio floor with a mosaic of golden tones. As the day bids farewell, twilight filters in, painting the room with a soft, contemplative glow.
This ever-changing interplay of light and nature serves as a catalyst for my creativity, forcing me to adapt and evolve with the changing environment. The windows, like timekeepers, prompt me to alter my perspective, embracing the ephemerality of both art and life. In this harmonious dance between my studio, the garden and the ever-changing light, my artistic journey unfolds, a testament to the beauty found at the intersection of creativity and the natural world.