A View From the Easel

Rain Worthington, Nassau, New York

How long have you been working in this space?

In 2023, expanding from my years as a composer of concert music, I re-embraced an earlier passion for sculptural spaces. My creative workspace has now evolved into two spaces: my music studio of 20 years and a new sculptural studio. The music studio is a small room on the main floor of the house, while the sculptural studio is in a partially finished lower basement level. It has windows, a low ceiling, exposed pipes, heating ducts, and its own entrance.

Describe an average day in your studio.

I don’t follow a set routine. I work on several projects, moving between my music studio and sculptural studio. I often change into work boots and a loose t-shirt and work in silence, while creating small-scale concept mockups for large-size installations. These are documented with photographs and/or videos, which can be set to an audio excerpt from an original orchestral or chamber composition. Through the documentation I try to convey an emotional sense of spatial immersion and realization scale.

How does the space affect your work?

In creating installation models, I become completely absorbed in a small-scale focus. Within this mindset, the size of my studio doesn’t influence the work itself. The aspect of the studio that most emotionally influences the start of my work process is the illumination of the space. Entering the studio, my ritual is to transform the space by turning on all the lights.

How do you interact with the environment outside your studio?

In 2003, I moved from the urban density of NYC, where I had lived for several decades, to a house in a rural area upstate. I’m often outside working on the land, driving a lawn tractor, tending the vegetable garden, or watching the many birds and animals that also make the land their home. In 2023, I was accepted to participate in the Critical Forum program at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. With art philosopher and theorist Taliesin Thomas and a terrific cohort of area artists, this turned out to be a life-changing, nurturing induction into the vibrant upstate arts scene.

What do you love about your studio?

I love the brightness of the studio with the yellow walls and abundance of lights, lamps, tracing light bases, and the afternoon glow coming from a west-facing window.

What do you wish were different?

My only wish would be for more cabinets, drawers, and shelves for organizing materials in my studio, and storage space.

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