Recently, I received a request asking if I would share photos of my art studio. I’ll have more details on that in a future post. As I set my camera up, I began thinking more about the artist studio.
I have always had a longtime interest in the studios of artists. Over the years I have inspected many art books looking for photos of the artists’ studio. In these I am always looking for clues to their lives. What book is that on the table behind the brushes? Is that Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in progress on the back wall? What wine is that? Did they paint all of those works at the same time? Where is the light coming from? Are they painting with an easel, on the wall, on the floor? How many cigarettes did they smoke? Did they just come off an art bender? Did they just come off a different kind of bender? And the questions go on. It is an interesting side of art that can easily be overlooked, but reveals a lot about a time, place, and artist.
There are many aspects of an art studio. It’s a place to work and create, but isn’t always about brushes and paints. The location of a studio can be just as important to the art made. Are you near a coffee shop, a liquor store, a busy street or a sprawling countryside? Do you sneak into your space, or do you walk through someone else’s living room, or do you live there? Do you share your space with other artists, your muse, a partner or maybe a combination? What ideas are triggered on your way to the studio and how will it affect what you do? All of these experiences are part of the studio. This is the life that inspires the art.
I have had a lot of studios. From a floor in a living room, to couches in New York City. Kitchen floors, walk-in closets, bedrooms, studio apartments, other peoples’ studio apartments, maintenance room in the Hollywood Hills, illegal live work loft inside an art gallery, an office room above a bar in an old bank building, a quarter of a living room divided by a curtain, and, most recently, a private space with perfect north light at the Compound Gallery and Studios. Each one unique and inspiring. Each one marks a period of time that reminds me that I have always been making art. From the humblest and trying times to better days, I have never stopped dreaming and making art.
Out of all my different and unique spaces that I have had, there is one common thread.
Every time I secured my space I thought to myself, “This is the best studio ever.”
I guess I am always in the best studio.