A View From the Easel

Welcome to the 222nd installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. This week, artists craft watercolor rugs, structure compositions around the “bones” of their garden, venture into printmaking, and deconstruct materials in hopes of creating something new.

Want to take part? Check out our submission guidelines and share a bit about your studio with us! All mediums and workspaces are welcome, including your home studio.

Sommer Roman, San Luis Obispo, California

Here’s my little cabin-like studio that sits amid a small grove of eucalyptus trees. Natural light sneaks through the trees, shining light on the many piles of post-consumer clothing and fabric discards organized in 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, rocks, feathers, thistles, paper-clay, colored pencils, small drawn studies for future works, and of course, thoughts & works-in-progress. Bits of fabric scraps are littered throughout on most surfaces as my process involves a continual deconstruction and REconstruction of the materials. I work with craft-based mundane materials associated with home, land, and body. Through intuitive & laborious hand-made processes the materials are manipulated, broken down, cut, twisted, bound, braided, sewn, glued, folded, built up, and transformed into surprising new forms. This space is my creative sanctuary for laborious made-by-hand kind of art making. Through evocative color, organic forms, 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 aliveness.

Marguerite Ogden, Brooklyn, New York

After living in Maine for nearly 50 years I moved to New York in 2021 and rented my first-ever studio I make monotypes but I don’t think of myself as a printer but rather a painter using a press. Applying ink to the plate with a brayer is very much like brushing paint onto canvas. 

Like a painting, each print is a unique creation and not repeatable. 

For the first time, I finally have a dedicated space for my tools, which includes my new 48-inch-wide, 72-inch-long Conrad Machine Co.press. It is geared so well that pulling a print is extremely easy. This is very helpful, for my prints are very layered and need many passes through the press.

Beneath the tool board, I have a table for mixing my inks. The larger table is for applying ink to my plexiglass plates. Steel bars and magnets allow me to view my prints as they dry and make changes if needed. 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!

Mary King, Chicago, Illinois

Here you see my plan for an upcoming exhibition at Boundary, a home gallery in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. The piano and the little statue from the Ivory Coast 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 polymer mediums with watercolor additions. They are simultaneously playful and disturbing, showing a wall and a partially destroyed building while appearing cheerful and pretty. The watercolor rug was painted at the residency Mother’s Milk in Kansas and shows the shadows cast by an unidentified antique farm implement.

Camille Kouyoumdjian, Fairfax, Virginia

In the heart of my creative sanctuary lies my art studio, a space where imagination takes flight and the canvas becomes a portal to my inner world. The studio, bathed in the soft hues 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 seasons and the vibrant symphony of nature.

The connection to my garden is profound, as it breathes life into my artistic endeavors. From the lush and messy butterfly garden to the carefully arranged vegetable beds, a living tableau evolves with each passing day. In winter, the “bones” of the garden lend structure to my compositions. The windows act as a seamless 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. Morning rays illuminate the space with a gentle warmth, casting long shadows that morph into dynamic shapes. Afternoons bring a cascade of sunlight, dappling the studio floor with a mosaic of golden hues. As the day bids adieu, the twilight filters through, painting the room in a soft, contemplative glow.

This ever-changing interplay of light and nature serves as a catalyst for my creativity, compelling me to adapt and evolve with the shifting ambiance. 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 that lies at the intersection of creativity and the natural world.

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