The studio I work in is located In Chester, Connecticut, a little more than two hours north and east of New York City. It’s quite rural, which I like—sometimes I can hear a neighbor’s rooster crowing its heart out. We’ve got red-tailed hawks and deer and all the mice—country mice, mind you—you could ever want. A few years ago some birds hammered into the side of the house and installed a nest. After they were chased out, some large grey squirrels tore a hole through the roof and tried to evict me. I’ve been here since 1994, which is long enough to wax nostalgic for a time when there was less traffic than there is today. I think the building was once part of a farm, later converted to a loft and artist’s work space. It has a cast-iron wood stove that I used a lot the first winter, until I got tired of dealing with firewood.
It’s a wonderful space, with a peaked ceiling to accommodate a bank of high north-facing windows. The trouble is I like to work fairly large, and have accumulated an inventory in the course of the last eighteen years that has left little working room. There’s now just enough space to set up a model on the couch and maneuver my easel into place nearby. Still, there’s nothing but trees and sky when I look up at the windows, and it’s hard to knock that.
In the studio. Photo: Bettina Archer