Saturday, March 22, 2014

Studios I Have Known

This week I've been going through old photographs in order to prepare for an artist talk, and in doing so I've come across, among other things, pictures of my various studio spaces over the years. Seeing them revealed a lot to me about my creative process and the ways in which my work has changed over the years. It's striking to realize what a critical impact your studio has on your art! Here are my three favorite spaces.

This was my studio when I was a graduate student at UMass Dartmouth. It was located in a former gymnasium on Purchase Street in New Bedford (before the Star Store was renovated to accommodate UMD's art program). There were large windows and expansive walls, so I was able to spread out and make bigger works than I had before. (You can see my tiny easel abandoned against the wall.) It was also the former space of my friend Domenic who had graduated before me, and whose work I greatly admired, so I think he left me good vibes floating around the space as well!

New Bedford studio, 1995-7
After graduate school, I was told by fellow artists about studios available in the various mill buildings in Fall River, left vacant when the textile industry moved to the southern states and finally overseas. I contacted the realty office at the King Philip Mill on Kilburn Street, who offered me the space pictured below. "One hundred and fifty dollars a month," the office manager said, and I quickly filled out the first month's check before she realized what I was sure had been a mistake.

The space looked out over a calming pond, and sunlight streamed through the north-facing windows. I was able to work on an even larger scale here, as you can tell by the painting leaning against one of the columns, and my imagery quickly expanded in reflection of the change. (This view shows only half of the space!)

Fall River studio, 1997-2002
Five years later, I moved to the Framingham, Massachusetts, area. It took several tries to find the right studio, but once I did, I've stayed for 10 years (and counting). This space is smaller than the behemoths I worked in before, but it is still sizable. Best of all, it's located right in my home, so I can paint any time of day, even 3 AM (more often than not!). I still have the light of bright windows overlooking nature, plus a big sink and many built-in storage racks. It works so well for me!

Holliston studio, 2004 to present

One day, I expect, life events will propel me along to a new studio. But I'll always look back fondly at these three locations where I was so productive and happy!


Thombeau said...

How cool! What is that large piece in the New Bedford studio? Is it a triptych? I really like it!

Catherine Carter said...

Thank you, Thom - yes, I started with a squarish painting, and when I realized how much wall space I had, I just added more canvases to the left!