In the Artist’s Studio – A Photo Essay

A. Laura Brody

My studio is my dining room. It has wonderful light and room for a great big (and already very full) worktable. A day in the studio varies, depending on what other work I’m doing. If I’m on set for a show, the studio is a weekend and evening practice. I bring more portable projects on set to work on in my down time, since there are long periods in between flurries of work.
When I work from home, my day starts after exercising, dog walking, food, and emails- this can be anywhere from 10 AM to 1 PM. I am a definite project juggler. Right now, I’m designing and building costumes for an adaptive dance troupe, forming the torso of a large sculpture of Melusine, prepping for an indie film design, creating online courses, and making video tutorials. I also have a fair bit of writing to do- project proposals, statements for an arts advocacy program, and art submissions.
Multiple stacks and folders of various projects are out at any given time. If I keep things each in their own pile (and return them to their piles when I’m done with one section and moving on to the next) this works for me. I also leave myself a lot of notes. If I have things around and visible, I don’t forget them, so important reminders and personal inspiration boosts are pinned to a big corkboard next to my standing desk.
Truthfully, a full wall of corkboard would not be too much.
I just started renting a studio space downtown, since my latest big sculpture is already threatening to take over the studio, and I will need more space for upcoming video tutorials. This will be another juggling act, but I think I can manage it two-three times a month?

Alison Hyman

I try to get into the studio around 9am, after tidying house, walking dog etc. unless I am playing pickle ball, then I arrive around 10. The studio is above stores in a gallery district in Palm Desert, about 20 minutes from home. I work on multiple paintings at one time, some have been on the easel for over a year. I have a constant rotation of work that I have started but not finished, and usually work in a variety of techniques, depending on the image. Most of my work is relatively large, (the largest is an 11ft x 5 ft canvas that I am trying to complete by mid April to be shipped to an exhibition early May.) Around 40″ x 60″ or slightly larger is my comfort zone. Some other works are extremely small, around 6×6 or 8″ x8 ” but they get completed pretty quickly in a week or two, as I use multiple layers both of paint, writing, gel images and collaged objects, and each layer needs to dry. I have a number of playlists and always have music going. I usually bring a large salad into studio, and eat lunch there then leave around 2pm, I work really intensely for short periods, then need time to rest. Basically my output is variable. Extremely productive very quickly, then way longer to recharge and consider the next step. I don’t pre plan the paintings so each mark made changes the dynamic. I also like to use really strong intense colors that reflect how I feel about life and the world. I have one life, I have put my creative life on pause for years nurturing family and now I say f-k it, and absolutely go for it, full steam ahead!

Ariana Page Russell

The studio is small, but I make it work. My desk is a door on folding horses so I can easily take it down and put it aside for a photoshoot or studio visit. Everything in the space is movable in case I need to rearrange it.

There’s a great window so I use natural light for shooting. My desktop also doubles as a giant reflector to cast even more light on my subject (which is usually me because I do a lot of self-referential work).

My desk is large enough to spread out on, so I use it for printing, research, administrative work, etc. Even with its large size, it still helps me focus because I keep it clean and clear. There’s also plenty of wall space to hang work and help me visualize how it all goes together. It’s helpful to get the image off of the camera/computer and into my physical space.

I’m a full-time mom so can only spend about one day per week at the studio. I arrive around noon and stay about 5 hours. Because my time is so limited, I am super efficient and get a lot done!

I’ve always got lots of things I’m working on: writing, printing, photographing, researching, etc., but it all revolves around the same basic project–art and writing inspired by my skin condition dermatographia.

Betsy Enzensberger

I’m a resin sculptor living and working in Palm Springs, CA. I work in my studio every single day – not because I have to but because I NEED to. I literally can’t stop creating. I wake up daily around 4:30 am with all these sparkly, colorful ideas that I simply must turn into reality.
Normally, I work about 4-5 hours each morning. First thing I do when I get to my studio is pack up anything that needs to be shipped out as well as take photographs of work that is newly finished. The reason I do this first is because I like to package things without my respirator on. Once I begin working, no matter what it is, I have to be protected with an organic vapor respiration. Not only do I work with materials that emit toxic fumes, but I do a ton of sanding that creates dust that should not be inhaled. All of this sounds kind of awful, but there is a sense of peace that I get when I’m sanding a sculpture. It’s me and the art, doing a sort of “dance.” I cradle and sand each piece, while bringing the art to life. These peaceful moments are usually interrupted with arm cramps or cut hands. On a day when I am doing a lot of sanding, I usually work until my hands start to cramp and then I have to go home to shower and rest.
Before I leave the studio, I grab my SD card so I can look at the pictures I took of my new work when I get home. Afternoons are reserved for imaging and adding art to my website. This is also the time that I prepare for upcoming shows, do my accounting, marketing, etc.
For so many years, I did all of this and worked full time jobs managing galleries. However, for the last two years I have been doing only art. You may have also noticed a big jump in the quality of the artwork I’m producing. I’ve got a lot more time to do what I love and I feel it shows in my sculptures.
One thing to take note of is that I have no assistants, so I do ALL of this myself …and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.

Curtis Ripley

I work almost daily in my studio, with no fixed schedule. A typical day would be to arrive in my studio at 10 in the morning. It’s about a 30 second walk from our house. I take breaks to exercise, shop, have lunch, read…By 7 pm I’m a big mess and there are lots ofd brushes to clean. There are always have several projects underway. I often need to let the oil paint surface dry to the touch before I go to the next step. I work on smaller works on paper while paintings on canvas are in progress. I’m fortunate to be able to work on my paintings full-time.

David Evans

I sorta go with the creative flow … no hour is off limits nor set aside for creation. I seem to spend a lot of time in thought and then, I GO ! I like to do multiples at once of the same style or even different projects …. I like the early and lates hours 🤩

Emily Maddigan

This image is one area of the studio. I’ve never been able to keep the studio separate form any other living room, kitchen, etc. I work on many projects at once and the methodical, at times tedious, process is easier for me to shift from one to the other, or I might need to collect more of one material to complete a work and need to move on just because I’m using found materials. I work full time and don’t keep a set schedule on working. There are times when the process requires hunting for materials, and others for hours of pinning materials to a form, and different moods often times dictates what gets worked on.

Glenn Brooks

As a kid I was labeled a ‘daydreamer’ as my mind has a tendency to wander. I am not very disciplined and so I have to use tricks in order to keep my self working. I’ve found the best way to help keep my focus and momentum (when it comes to my work) is to make a checklist. This does two things, 1: it keeps me working and 2: it gives me some sort of mental satisfaction when I finish a group of tasks. I don’t work a job, anymore, and there is no set time that I’m in the “studio” ( although in the winter months I work at the kitchen table and not my formal space). I generally have up to 6 pieces going on at one time which works well as some mediums require wait times other pieces require thought time and, for the most part my short attention span requires me to just walk away from a project for awhile every once in a while.

Hugo Garcia

I use my studio to paint canvases, spray paint art, charcoal on paper, and to deploy virtual art.

Jeff Musser

After I have finished my morning routine of meditation, yoga, and coffee, I read my goals for the year. Then I move onto emails and all the admin stuff of being an artist. Once that is done, I turn off the Wi-Fi on my phone, put on some music or a lecture or a podcast in the background, and I work for a solid, uninterrupted two hours. Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t answer my phone or even answer the door. It’s my time to work. Once the two hours are up, I take a thirty-minute break and I completely step away from the studio. I will take a walk, watch something on Netflix, stretch, answer emails, etc. Once the thirty-minute alarm goes off, I go back for another two hours and repeat the process. A twelve to fourteen hour studio day is much more manageable and productive if I break up into smaller chunks. I usually have three or four paintings/collages/drawings going on at once, in various stages of completion. If one gives me trouble or if a layer needs to dry, I can put it aside and work on something else.

Julia Edith Rigby

My studio practice takes place in the field, from trash dumps to wildfire burn zones. I am researching sound art and the acoustic ecologies of fire-scarred trees. My studio practice and presence is ephemeral. I scavenge for found materials on site, sculpt with those materials, and dismantle the work before leaving. These days my studio is a patch of burnt forest in Oregon where I am temporarily transforming decomposing trees into cellos.

Julie O’Sullivan

Welcome to my Creative Reprieve (studio). It is where I follow my dreams and express all of the intense emotions that artists feel. My studio day usually begins when I get home from work and after a long day of navigating nonsense I can finally relax and find my zen in the chaos that is my studio. I try to paint everyday and if I am not in the mood, I work on miniatures until I am. It usually doesn’t take long for me to grab onto an idea and run with it. I love what I do and if I could, I would do it 24-7. I have about 5 different series’ I am working on at the same time. If I am feeling one of them I go there. I like to throw down a background and let it simmer for a while until the canvas shows me what it wants. I had a friend catch me staring at and reading the texture of the canvas with my fingertips like brail and thought it was funny but it is my process. I wait until I see what should be there then make it happen. Because I am waiting, I tend to have a few projects going at the same time. The most important part of any studio is a cat. My muse, my critic, my alarm clock. This is the life of an abstract artist.

Karen Ruth Karlsson

Until I retired from my day job last year, studio time was mostly limited to weekends. Years of a challenging career conditioned me to get started with my day early, a habit that I maintain with my studio practice. It is really hard for me to begin working in the afternoon. I try to get into the studio every day, even if it is just to read or clean up. I tend to work on one piece at a time, rarely having multiple works in process at one time, even in the same series. I am very linear and enjoy the sense of completion before moving on to the next piece.

Leonard Greco

My studio day begins post “civilian” duties (walking my pug Viola, breaking the fast, some sort of exercise …), arriving to my studio around 9 or 10 am most days. My studio is in of itself an oddity, it is on the 10th floor of a professional office building, a suite of rooms I share with my psychoanalyst husband David. We, and the patients , think the marriage art and analysis a perfect fit, especially as my work is symbolically Jungian. We both work late, generally leaving the office at 9pm; David seeing patients, myself at the work table. I am frequently, when in the studio, in a cloud, whimsically referring to my studio aerie as my ivory tower. There is from my perspective a fairy tale element to art making , working in near complete isolation , spending long, arduous hours, drawing, painting or stitching work that is completely unbidden, unsought; seeking that alchemical miracle of dross to gold. One at some point might question the logic of such fanciful endeavors, but I can imagine no other path more gratifying or enlightening; it is my psychotherapy. I rarely work on more than one project at a time, aside from a daily drawing practice, my focus is pretty myopic. I’ve admired artists able to jump about but I haven’t that temperament. I am fortunate to have studio work as my primary occupation, after twenty five years as a commissioned decorative painter, I retired and turned my attentions to studio work. Decorative work was a straightforward endeavor, I faced a task at hand, a commission from an interior designer with his or her own vision, in which , with the spirit of collaboration, creativity, art history and project budget , I created a product, one I like to believe was artistic, but nonetheless transactional. With my studio work I set out to please no one but myself, I do not consider the response my work will receive . I simply make, satisfying my vision, crafting my world. In fact, for all of my preparatory pondering, once pencil is in hand, my frequently harsh super ego exits the studio.

Nadine Allan

I spend my weekdays in the art studio from about 11am-5pm. It’s in a historic building right next to a large park. I often forage for my own colors from natural sources, so the location of my studio is important as I walk through the park to gather colors for my art-making. In the studio, I have multiple “zones” for different types of projects that I have going on all at once; “The lab” where I create colors, “the installation zone” where I create multimedia projects, and “the empty wall zone” where I hang my paintings or sculptures.

Nina Camplin

I am a mural artist, which means I am often working away from my studio. But the past few years I have had to stop that kind of work, partly because of lockdown and partly due to suffering with arthritis in my hips. So I have been confined to my studio with no work coming in and no real direction for my art. I have loved it, the freedom to just play and experiment means that in the past 2 years I have produced some of the work that I have been most proud of in my entire career!
The whole pandemic situation felt surreal and I wanted to use my art to try and document as much as possible, so much of my work was inspired by national and international events over the last 2 years.
I have had to take on the occasional commissioned dog portrait and do weekly sessions of online art sessions to provide a small income, but outside of that I have loved being in my studio, digging out different mediums to try and using up old paints that had the lids dried on. Many canvasses were painted over, many times!

Rebecca Potts Aguirre

I find studio time between mothering, my day job designing K-12 art curricula, and my passion projects Teaching Artist Podcast and Play+Inspire Gallery. It varies a lot, but I usually carve out time in the evening after my child goes to bed and on some weekends alongside her. I work on several projects at once, usually at different stages. While I’m conceptualizing new work, I’ll piece together a clay painting little by little and stop to do finishing tasks (mounting, sanding) on recently completed work.

Seda Saar

I work daily on my art practice including digital art which then translates into NFTs or models translating into sculptures, or concept designs for events- I also shoot video of my artworks for marketing or as assets for a presentation. I spend at least 12-18 hrs daily minus meeting and visits to fabricators and clients. I definitely work on multiple projects unless I am painting and can’t stop! Some projects include 3d modelling and since my studio is at my home I juggle with cooking and cleaning-

Stephanie Vosper

I’m up at or before 8am and once I’ve got my dailys done (tongue scraping, dry body-brushing, yoga/meditation, Duolingo, emails) I get to work.
I’m busy all day every day till 11ish bedtime.
My studio is a one-level long 1300 sq foot rectangle and it needs to be an artist’s studio, a gallery and a living space all in one!
When I came here 4 years ago I designed and built another level which encompasses 70 sq feet of storage, my sleeping area on top and it does triple duty as a beautiful curved blank wall to hang art as shown.
I’m happy with how I’ve managed to combine so many purposes in one 1300 space.
Come to think of it my space does quadruple duty as a home spa. I have my Relax FIR Sauna, which I adore and use at least twice a week.
The opposite end of my studio is the business end where I do the majority of my work. My kitchen is also in the business end and it is fully used and appreciated as I love to cook.
I have two other part-time jobs that I love (yoga teacher, art assistant) and I’m always working on several projects at once. My art work is joy! It’s my soul art.

Tatyana Pshenychny

In the Artist’s Studio
My typical day
• 5 AM: Wake up, shower, and make coffee
• 5:30 AM – 7 AM: Write at my desk, and watch the sunrise, listen to my secret stash of birds chirping outside my window
• 7 AM – 3 PM: Work as a Support Engineer
• 3 PM – ?: Disappear into my imagination and completely lose touch with reality. Am I even typing this right now? Is this real?
I usually create and paint in the evenings and on the weekends. I start creating a painting by lightly drawing out the illustration on watercolor paper with a mechanical pencil, then apply watercolor washes, then mask out certain areas, then add more layers of watercolor, and finally draw and paint with pen or ink on a paintbrush. I typically spend 5 – 50 hours on creating a painting. This is a very big range but the length of time for each painting depends on several factors:
• Size of painting
• Which techniques I’m using
• Switching between mediums and drying time between several watercolor layers, masking fluid, and ink (For example, I can use a hot fan to dry watercolor and ink, but not liquid masks so that takes a long time to dry)
• And whether or not I’m recording a video of the painting process because I make painting process and comedy videos –
When painting, I get into a state of flow and become hyper focused on my work. If it’s a smaller painting, sometimes I sometimes complete it in one sitting. Example:
When I’m working on smaller art, I tend to work on several pieces at once. When I’m working on a larger painting, I focus on one large painting at a time from start to finish. I get so many ideas in my head, that I even started a series called Pieces so I don’t get stuck on how I’d like to illustrate a painting and can keep creating new work. And since I refer to my artwork as Razorberries, that makes these “Razorberries Pieces”.
“Pieces” are smaller version studies of my ideas that I create in larger formats in the future. I draw and paint my ideas on a 5×7 sheet of watercolor paper, and then number + date them. For example, one week, in my head I was planning out my next painting. I’ve been trying to figure out how to express a feeling and planned out how I will paint it – not on a surface but only in my mind. I couldn’t figure out how to portray a feeling. Then, one morning, I went for a walk and saw a red heart-shaped mylar balloon floating into the clear blue sky and I just had to paint it, but in my style and my palette. So I painted a small version of that heart-shaped balloon on a 5×7 sheet of paper on 03.06.2022 and now that’s Piece #35. I usually frame and sell Pieces on my website at
Next, I’m painting it as a 16×20 size, but now that I’ve worked out the idea in the smaller format, I’ve learned things during that process and came up with new ideas to add, and again, now I’m painting o

Todd Westover

I work on one painting at a time. I get obsessed with it. I want to see it first thing in the morning and have it be the last thing I see before I close my eyes at night. I even look at it in the dark. I will often put it near my bed so I can see it from there. I get familiar with the spacial relationships, the colors, darks, lights, the overall composition. I turn it upside down and sideways. I also need some space from it at times. A period where I don’t look at and come back to it with fresh eyes. After all this, sometimes it takes months, I get a sense that It is done. Only then do I start thinking about what’s next. The light in my studio is amazing. Late afternoon is particularly spectacular. There are those photos of Picasso painting in his underwear in this huge room with canvases everywhere and the room is lit with a magical perfection. Sometimes I look around and I notice that I am dong the same thing in the same light.


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