The Artist Life

Please Step Inside My Studio

Please Step Inside My Studio

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Amy Mann converted the living room in her Virginia home
into a studio with generous shelving for her still life props.

I remember the first time an artist invited me into his studio. It was truly a reflection of his personality and experiences—full of memorabilia from his travels in and around his childhood hometown in the Deep South, and neat as a pin, just like him.

Organizing your studio space so that it fosters creativity and enables you to make the most of your time can be a challenge. Although the solutions will vary for each of us, there are a few savvy tips and interesting approaches—similar to those youll find from practicing artists who have gone through the same process and are featured in the new Studios CD Collectionthat I wanted to share with you.

Sheila Delimont has space to work
and display her pastel paintings
in her Monterey, California studio.

Lighting should take precedence above all other concerns. Skylights and/or windows may provide adequate lighting during the day, but think about what kind of artificial light youll want to include for those nighttime work sessions. This could be overhead lights, spotlights, or a combination of several options.

When sharing your studio, whether because space is at a premium or there is more than one artist at work, be mindful of your essentials. Ask yourself how you work optimally, what supplies you cant do without, what needs to be within reach and what can be stored away.

Denis Dohenys garage studio features
objects that resonate and reflect
his personal interests.

Think about how your studio can be used in multiple ways: perhaps as a workspace and a gallery where collectors can see your work displayed in a professional manner, as Sheila Delimont does with her pastel paintings in her studio. To this end, paint your studio walls in a neutral color that doesnt distract or clash with your paintings, and have a section of wall dedicated to displaying finished works for the occasions when collectors visit. If you are more interested in a painting studio combined with an instruction area where students can work alongside you, think about worktables and equipment that are lightweight and moveable, not stationary.

Howard Friedland and Susan Blackwoods
work room provides storage for canvases
and space to accomplish tasks side by side.

Your studio should accommodate your working process. As you decide on what to include in your studio, keep in mind that youll want the space to accommodate your process from beginning to end, which includes preparing canvases, storage space for still life objects and props, as well as places to hang and store finished works, such as elevated storage racks and wall space.

To plan and create a workable studio space takes thoughtful planning and execution. The newest Studios CD Collection is a prime resource for this kind of project—there is practical advice on studio essentials as well as peeks into some unique and inspiring workspaces of fellow artists. With this resource guide, youre one step closer to the artists studio youve always envisioned.

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