4. Studio: Sanctuary and Prison.

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My current studio, St Petersburg, FL, May 16, 2017, 24 x 26 feet. (Scroll down to see images of past studios.)

If you look at the center of the above photo you may be able to make out an easel and the back of a chair. That's where I work. Well, more precisely, that's where I paint. The rest of the 624 square foot space serves as office, photography studio, gallery/showroom, art library, packing and shipping station, entertainment facility, framing depot, and napping alcove (very important).

I guess this is how the place looks most of the time although, in my mind, it's usually a lot neater. All aspects of it are constantly in motion. Paintings coming and going, constantly being taken down and rehung. Supplies being brought out of storage and put away again. Giant 5x9 foot sheets of cardboard being cut up, folded, glued, and taped to make shipping boxes. Camera and tripod set up and windows darkened to provide required blackness for photographing paintings. New canvases being stretched and prepared. It never seems to end.

As often as the arrangement of the room changes, so does my psychological attitude when working in it. Thankfully, most often it feels like a delightful, life-sustaining oasis. Yet, other days, it can feel like a threatening waste land. It all depends on a volatile mix of inspiration, sales (or lack thereof), stress, creative flow, schedule, and a hundred other factors.

Like many other artists, I'm basically an introverted loner who loves spending time by myself. Since childhood, solitary art-making has been my primary means of entertainment. I thrive on it. Going on vacation away from the studio for any length of time must carefully be planned to include some sort of art activity, typically a visit to a museum, or else I get the jitters.

Over the years, I've had a wide variety of shapes and sizes to work in. Only once did I rent a commercial space separate from where I lived. Needless, to say, each has felt like a home away from home. And, like most, homes, each had its share of joy and drama.

Below are photos of some previous studios (inside and out) I've had the pleasure of working in over the years.

My studio, Warwick, NY, 2011, approx 20 x 30 feet.

My studio, Warwick, NY, 2011, approx 20 x 30 feet.

Exterior of my studio in Warwick, NY located in the church annex on the left.

Exterior of my studio in Warwick, NY located in the church annex on the left.

My studio, Flint Hill, VA, 2007, approx 10 x 12 feet.

My studio, Flint Hill, VA, 2007, approx 10 x 12 feet.

Exterior of my studio in Flint Hill, VA. It was on the top floor of this 100-year old farm house. The studio ceiling was just over 6 feet high.

Exterior of my studio in Flint Hill, VA. It was on the top floor of this 100-year old farm house. The studio ceiling was just over 6 feet high.

My studio, Little Washington, VA, 2005, 22 x 24 feet.

My studio, Little Washington, VA, 2005, 22 x 24 feet.

Exterior of my studio in Little Washington, VA. It was originally a garage. I had just finished staining the exterior which explains the respirator.

Exterior of my studio in Little Washington, VA. It was originally a garage. I had just finished staining the exterior which explains the respirator.

And, finally, some other artists in their studios ...

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter

Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt van Rijn

website: www.stevenkenny.com
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