Behind the Scenes: Artists' Studios

7 Sep 2009

My office is also a conference room on the third floor of a building on 46th Street in Midtown New York City. The desk and file cabinets are pushed against the east wall of what was once a library, and a large conference table and eight chairs are arranged in front of nonworking fireplace on the west side of the room. A few weeks ago, the entire space was transformed into an artist’s studio by our art director, Jamie Bogner, and a professional photographer, Nathan Kraxberger

The two men turned the conference table on its side and shoved it against my desk so there would be enough floor space to arrange a collection of studio furniture. Their purpose was to photograph products provided by the sponsors of our special Studios magazine in a simulated work environment that would show readers how they might use the products in their studios. Those included Artograph Open Studio furniture, a Blick H-Frame Studio II easel,  Gamblin oil paints and mediums, Faber-Castell colored pencils, Da Vinci paints, Royal & Langnickel brushes, and Blick canvases and paint sets.

Artist Claudia Seymour, who was profiled in a cover story of the September 2009 issue of American Artist, agreed to be the model in this studio setting, and she brought in examples of her stunning oil and pastel paintings, along with her own art supplies, to lend authenticity to the photographs. Some of my plein air landscapes were placed on shelves as additional props; and I bought a floral arrangement, fruit, and fabrics to simulate one of Claudia’s still life setups. Viewed through the lens of the camera, the entire set up really did look like an artist’s studio because the electrical chords, messy desk, upturned table, and bright lights were out of range.

Jamie, Nathan, and Claudia spent four hours setting up and shooting the one wide photograph and several detail shots that demonstrate what magic can be performed with careful art direction and skillful photography. Those informative photographs are included in the special Studios magazine that is available in bookstores and here in the Interweave Online Store. Jamie and Nathan also orchestrated the cover photograph of Dianne B. Bernhard in her National Arts Club studio, and that is a stunning image of an artist in her dream studio environment.

We’re all very excited about this special magazine and hope you will find it to be helpful, entertaining, and informative.

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on 9 Sep 2009 6:53 AM

Thank you for posting this article. It was helpful in getting me motivated to clean up my studio!

cara marris wrote
on 10 Sep 2009 11:16 AM

In the article,  "Safety in the Studio,"  you discuss Nox-Out Molecular Absorber.  I have not been able to find a supplier on the internet.  Can you tell me where I can obtain this.  


Joe Sweeney wrote
on 11 Sep 2009 9:20 AM

Steve, I think this is a great idea for a magazine.

I have been working on ideas for the past 20 years on how to make my studio more efficient.

I'll by this addition to see if I can find some new ideas.

Will there be any blueprints?

on 17 Jan 2010 6:14 PM

Hello, I am new to this format, but would like to sing the praises of your STUDIOS MAGAZINE!!!  I loved this style of new media surprises and was VERY INSPIRED by it; and  I CONTINUE to reread the short descriptions with artists' photos and their snapshot studio areas!! This is indeed "QUITE COZY" reading that is a SWELL COMPANION to AMERICAN ARTISTS MAGAZINE.  Do you plan to publish more of these STUDIO MAGAZINE "treasures"?????- Makes the artists appear to BE MORE REAL, I imagine.  THANK YOU!!!