by Lakshmi Rivera Amin
Welcome to the 205th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. In this edition, artists invite collaborators into their studios, watch morning light filter through their windows, contemplate cubicles, and wait for paint to dry.
Want to take part? Check out our submission guidelines and share a bit about your studio with us!
My current workplace is an artist-in-residence program, in which I am provided a partner office as a studio in the downtown LA law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. I will be producing work from this space until the end of December.
There is a beautiful view of the city, especially when the sun sets. I am inspired by the structural idea of the cubicle and its relationship to the square of a canvas.
I’m interested in expressing the modern issue of obsession with social media, and overexposure to an overload of information on the internet and how this affects the human psyche. I have been drawn to experimenting with new materials and techniques such as plastics, screen printing, masking, and transferring images to show the chaotic influx of symbols, impulses, and a mixture of emotions.
Dermot Hallahan, Dublin, Ireland
I paint in what was my garden shed, a space 14 feet by nine. All my paintings are currently oil on wooden panel, 20 by 24 inches. Someday I might work out why some paintings deserve to be big and others small.
I have only ever sold one artwork in my life back in 1995. So this is done for the love of it and because I have to do it. As I don’t actually make any money from it, I work in an office four days a week.
I make sure that I get two weeks’ holiday every year at Christmas time. I paint wet on dry, meaning that I have to wait for one layer to dry before I paint the next. And if you’re talking say Cadmium Red oil paint, that might take eight days. That’s what the nine panels in the photograph are for. I work on eight or nine paintings at the same time while waiting for paint to dry.
Why oil you might say? Why not acrylic which is so much faster? It’s like vinyl records and analogue 35 mm film; awkward, difficult, inconvenient but ultimately infinitely superior in quality. No contest.
Andrea Morganstern, Long Island City, New York
My studio is located in an industrial building in an industrial section of Long Island City, NY, and yet provides me with a calm and peaceful sanctuary to create my art. This is due to the wall of translucent glass through which beautiful natural light flows into the space.
In addition, the one window is high up on the wall and so when I look out, I see mostly sky. In my paintings I build abstract, biomorphic forms using dots as building blocks and I use dot-making tools to create the dots. This needs to be done on a horizontal surface so I work on the table. When I work on other sections of the paintings I use the wall as my easel. I sketch at my desk.
Sono Osato, Austin, Texas
My studio is large and open. When I moved in, I envisioned a permeable space that functioned both as my sanctuary and a community hearth. I came up with an exhibition series called Gutterblood on the Wall, in which every three months or so I invite a fellow artist in to take on a 12-foot-by-12-foot wall in the front half of my studio and throw a party.
I’ve shown six artists so far, with one coming up this winter.
Recently, I added a lively talk show with three top Austin art dealers to riff on how to turn tech people into art collectors. It was so fun and well received that we’re teaming on what comes next. The life of an artist is hard, and we make do with what we can as we roll through our vicissitudes.
I won’t have this studio forever, but as long as I do, being able to cultivate it into a living, breathing space is a gift that I can share. There’s something about arting out in the privacy of a working artist’s studio that’s warm and disarming, connecting people and ideas together in a way that’s tougher to unravel.