I've been thinking about how I like to work and the place I work in that suits, or would suit, me best, basically my perfect studio! This is in the forefront of my mind because I have to move studios soon and not really sure where to yet... I currently have a small room, the light is quite good and I have a lot of stuff. I am quite a messy artist and like to set my paints, brushes etc. out, go through little rituals like making some tea and putting on my painty shirt before starting work. Then I will generally make some quick paintings or drawings to 'get in the zone'. I like peace and quite, occasionally having the radio on. I like to work on more than one painting at a time.
This got me thinking about other artists that I am inspired and influenced by and where they made their work. There are some amazing studios out there, these are a few of the ones I most covert.
This studio belonged to Emily Mason, its in New York in the iconic Flat Iron district, 32-34 West 20th Street. It is 4000 square feet of loveliness, very light, very white with loads of wall space and zoned for different activities. She died in 2019 but her work spaces have been kept as they were when she worked there. This is a dream space.
Georgia O'Keefe in her studio in Northern New Mexico, she lived here from 1943 and the setting provided the inspiration for her epic landscapes and skull paintings. Again big windows with lots of light, a specific desert light. The building is a traditional adobe house that keeps cool in the hot desert sun, mostly all that can be heard is the wind and the wildlife, a fairly solitary existence but one that enables focus and time to work. She had 2 seperate spaces in Mexico, one for Summer and one for winter, they now form a museum open to the public at certain times of the year.
Barbra Hepworth lived and worked in St Ives, Cornwall. Her Studio merged with her garden, her garden becoming her sculpture gallery. It is a simple space, not excessive, lots of natural west coast light bouncing off the white walls. The house, studio and garden is surrounded by a high wall so it is a private, sheltered sanctuary but still in the centre of bustling St Ives. I have visited several times and it has such a lovely energy, I particularly enjoy the inside/outside connection and sitting in the garden looking at some of her scultures nestling amongst the foliage. Would love to work here!
Andrew Wyeth had his studio in Chadds Ford Township, Pennsylvania, United States. It has a spare, natural vibe, big windows, wooden floors, plain plastered walls. This studio definately shows the character of the artist. The feeling is of serious work going on, nothing frivolous, when you enter this room it is to work. The studio and his work seem interconected, the colours reflected in each other. He was a realist artist focussed on the land and its people, his work is stunning, as is his studio.
So those are just a few of my favourites, the list could go on and on! The necessary themes emerging from my rummage around artists work spaces are light, space, peace and nature. That, apart from all the boring things like heat, water and sanitation, are what my next studio needs to have....