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Walter Foster Studio

In the Studio

Painter Jim McConlogue

Meet talented oil painter, Jim McConlogue--one of the contributers to The Art of Basic Oil Painting--and get a glimpse into his dedicated, creative workspace!


Where do you create?

I create in both my home studio and the great outdoors! As a plein air artist, I can set up and paint anywhere in my beautiful coastal town. I've created a small studio space that is part of our home's third car garage. I share the space with my children's bicycles, volleyballs, baseball bats, and a few gardening tools. It may not be the studio of my dreams, but it is a place that is dedicated to art, and one where I can begin to paint within minutes. The busy lives we all lead can cut into your time to create, so it is important to have your supplies at-the-ready when inspiration hits! I have multiple sizes of linen canvas mounted to hard board, and an old chest of drawers that holds larger tubes of paint, assorted books and reference images. When it is time to paint, I can be working within a minute or two. The confines of my space may seem a bit tight, but with an easel, palette, stool and plenty of lighting, anyone can make do! Once I become famous and wealthy, I'll build a big, beautiful studio...and then probably sneak back into my garage to really create!

What inspires you when you're working in the studio?

The inspiration I feel comes from the desire to create and the challenge to render an image in oil paint. Of course being comfortable in your studio and having everything you needclose at hand is very important, but the real inspiration comes from the work to be done. With that said though, I like to have music playing (usually low volume and just something casual...beach music, classical, light jazz, etc.) If I'm working from reference photos or smaller plein air studies, I will tape them to the easel or have them close by. Occasionally I will prop up an iPad next to the easel and work from images I've taken in the field. Inspiration can also come from some of my past work, so I hang a number of my paintings on the wall behind my easel.

What's your favorite thing about your studio?

I suppose it is the convenience and ease with which I can get to work. To be honest though, the real "favorite thing" is the realization and excitement that you are going to paint. The joy and challenge to create a beautiful scene is being given to you in this place you call a studio. It could be outdoors in plein air, in a huge north-lit studio space, or as in my case, a portion of your garage! The studio provides the space to create and the painting provides the inspiration.

Images provided by Jim McConlogue

Jim McConlogue lives in Encinitas, California. He paints with oil, both in plein-air and out of his home studio. Jim has studied life drawing, painting, and illustration through the Corcoran School of Art and U.C.S.D. extension courses, The Athenaeum School of the Arts, St. Mary's College, and a number of plein-air workshops. Jim is currently working on commissioned paintings, and his original oils are being shown at the Leucadia Art Gallery and Corner Frame Shop in Leucadia, CA, the Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in La Jolla, CA and its affiliated venue called Wall Street Art in Framing, La Jolla, CA. Visit to see more of his work.

Olivia Bartz

Olivia is the Marketing Intern for Quarto Publishing Group USA and is excited to graduate from UC Irvine this June with a B.A. in English. She is happiest when reading a good book or writing about her adventures abroad, and continues to be inspired by all things outdoors. Olivia loves to try out new art mediums and techniques but has yet to be disappointed by a pencil and sketchpad.   

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The object of Art is to give life a shape.

William Shakespeare

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