Studio Space – Does it Matter?

Studio - Office
The David Hockney version of my studio/office in a cleaned up, but still half-painted, state.  (view larger image here.)

I love seeing other artists’ spaces, and got just such an opportunity when Farrell Brickhouse posted pics of his friends’ palettes on Facebook a while back.  They have now been reposted on Sharon L. Butler’s blog, Two Coats of Paint, so you can see them, too.

I’d love to have so much space.  Last weekend at the encaustic workshop at Majestic Ranch, I got to work in a large, airy well-lit studio, on a large table with plenty of space for all my tools, palette, painting panels, and miscellaneous extras.  It really helped my workflow.

Encaustic Studio-Left

encaustic-studio-right2

Back at home, as you can see from these two pics, things are a bit more crowded.  And this is just my space for drawing and working in encaustic.  I also have an easel or two for painting in oil and acrylic, a couple of taborets, storage space under my table, and loads of art supplies, tools, canvases and paintings, etc. shoved into the closet and various other locations in the house and garage.

When we bought our current house, I thought I could try working in the back half of the garage, but for various reasons — absence of heat in winter, cool in summer, air and light all year round, and only one electrical outlet; plus presence of mosquitoes and other bugs, a much too-low ceiling beam, and the occasional flash flood pouring across the hard cement floor — I gave up on that and moved my studio, bit by bit over time, into my office, where I also do my digital freelance work.

So I get half-a-room for art, which still isn’t too bad.

What is your studio like?  What challenges do you have to overcome to work in your space? Or, have you been able to build, buy or rent the perfect studio for you?

I’d love to see pictures, so please post a link!  Or if you’d like me to post yours here, send me your pics and I’ll post as many as I get sent.

7 Responses to Studio Space – Does it Matter?

  • Ann says:

    Half a room sounds wonderful! I have a drafting table and bookshelf in a corner of an already overused multi-purpose room. But I know what you mean, being able to spread out in a real studio space would be heavenly!

  • hi marilyn,

    great post! i also enjoy seeing other artists' work spaces. i think it gives insight into creative processes and provides organizational ideas. i have two studios and have provided links below.

    http://stephanieclayton.blogspot.com/2009/04/one-http://stephanieclayton.blogspot.com/2009/04/greahttp://stephanieclayton.blogspot.com/2008/11/impr

  • I think the kind and amount of studio space can make a big difference to the kind and size of work you do as well as how you feel about being in your studio. I’ve worked in encaustic before so I understand that it needs some room for all the materials – and good ventilation!

    I’d love to have a little more space – I’ve got my eye on the garage with dreams of adding drywall, insulation, air conditioning, and skylights.

  • Marilyn says:

    Stephanie,

    Thanks for sharing pics of your space. It actually looks pretty good to me. Great location!

    By the way, I love your work, esp. your block series, and your artist statement — I think we have similar concerns, only you articulated yours very well.

  • Marilyn says:

    Katherine,

    Yes, I absolutely believe the type and size of space really effects your work. I am working quite small these days, due to the compact space I have to work in. I dream of having a good size space with one blank wall on which I could paint on canvases that are 2 or 3 times bigger than me, so I could get lost in them — really enter the space of the painting.

    I hope you can make your garage space into a good studio, with all the space and light and air that you require!

  • Thanks for the post about my Album on fb. Seems many find it interesting and informative and fun, some thought it navel gazing too which created a lively dialogue. Nice site of yours too.

    • Marilyn says:

      Thanks, Farrell, for your original post on FB. I really love seeing how other artists work; their set-up and how they organize their palettes. And thanks, too, for the compliment.

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What could be more interesting, or in the end, more ecstatic, than in those rare moments when you see another person look at something you’ve made, and realize that they got it exactly, that your heart jumped to their heart with nothing in between.

— Robert Motherwell
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  • Very nice colors, not just the flowers, but the background as well. Beautiful Marilyn.
Gallery of Recent Paintings
Small Color Painting 2014-013 - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Untitled (2015-008) - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Small Color Painting 2014-012 - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Untitled 2015-023 - Oil on Canvas - 8 x 8 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn