Colleen White

Portland, Maine
Someday Im going to have a larger studio. Not one of those industrial warehouse-size studios like Gerhard Richter, with 2 or 3 assistants and huge spaces for massive paintings. Definitely not one like Lucian Freud had which was a dark room with piles of paint-soaked rags all over the place and messy walls where hed wipe off his brushes. Because really, who needs to be like that? And although I love the focused minimalism and huge window overlooking the impressive New Mexico vista, Georgia OKeefes studio was more isolated than I want to be. Currently, my studio is a small room in our 100 year old house and its fine for now. Its my oasis. It does get cramped and I tend to reorganize every 6 months or so. I separate out all my brushes by size and shape, then place them in glass jars. That way they look really nice, which encourages me to buy more. Because really, you never have enough brushes. Or for that matter, enough paint. I do like the photos Ive seen of the studios of John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet. They had 19th century homes with high ceilings hung with gorgeous work. Mostly their own. They both had a big room where they painted on large easels. It doesnt look like they were much concerned about too many paint brushes. I have 2 good-sized windows and I stare out of them a lot. I get to see what the neighbors are up to while I decide which blue paint to use - cobalt or ultramarine. I dont wipe my brushes on the walls and my assistants tend to be the feline type. Because really, when it comes right down to it, I just need a place to get to work.