Overlooking his garden, the studio also features a vintage cinema chair, which Jon has had for 30 years and has travelled with him to every studio. While painting, he listens to music and audiobooks. His favourite medium is oil paint, and he always uses three layers of varnish – applying heat to control the drying times of each layer. Every morning before starting work, he takes his dogs for a walk to figure out what he would like to achieve that day. Jon adds: “I try to take one day at a time; I may have a fantastic painting day one day, and not the next. Most days are fairly normal – the crazy studio days are over!”
The Bisaillon Brothers aren’t the only artists to have designed their own studio! After the first COVID-19 lockdown, Birmingham-based painter Jon Jones was inspired to build a studio in his back garden. As has been the case for many of us, transitioning to working from home was a new challenge for the artist, who has previously set up studio in pubs, cellars and garages. He explains: “I spend most of my time in the studio, so it has to be comfortable and a place I feel relaxed and want to be in. I was quite concerned in the early days that it would make me lazy, that I’d be finishing early and treating it like a hobby. But I still treat it like work and set my alarm clock. When I leave the house, my mindset is that I’m going to do a day’s graft.”
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We also have a music wall with a CD shelf – we are old school – and we like to listen to the Beastie Boys, the Beatles, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. There is a couch adjacent to the painting area so we can sit and really get a feel for the art.” To create their Pop Art inspired original pieces, the brothers use a wide selection of tools and materials. Jeffrey prefers to paint with spatulas and squirt bottles on a vertical space, with his collection of large spatulas accrued during his time decorating wedding cakes – something he says “is an art form of its own”. In contrast, Michael spatters paint with the outer caps of spray paint cans and paints horizontally, sometimes on the floor.
Also boasting a spectacular view is the commute of American brothers Jeffrey and Michael Bisaillon, whose drive to their studio in Amsterdam, New York, takes them along a 12-mile stretch of the Mohawk River, past historic buildings and waterways. The huge state-of-the-art space covers an impressive 5000 sq ft, which has been specially designed by the duo to include separate sections for each step of their artistic process. These include a design room, woodworking area, painting area, resin and finishing room, and an art production studio. Jeffrey says: “Our criteria for picking the studio was space, more space, and then additional space!
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88 FINE ART COLLECTOR SPRING/SUMMER 2021
FINE ART COLLECTOR SPRING/SUMMER 2021 89
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