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Inside the Artist's Studio

Studio Sketch
Felt tip pen, c. 1960s

Ben Solowey’s surrounding environment was his hunting ground. He felt that there was a landscape to paint out of every window. Many of his floral still lifes painted in Bucks county were culled from his own garden. His portraits of Rae provide ample evidence that he did not have to go far to be inspired.

His studio was a work of art, and was frequently included in his pictures. Often seen only in the background, Ben occasionally made his workspace the focus of his drawing or painting. He found beauty in his interiors, almost as much as his did in his landscapes.

Walnut Street Studio Interior
Pencil, ink, & watercolor on paper, 1954

These three works give us a glimpse inside his studio over three decades. The image at left provides a glimpse of a corner of his temporary Walnut Street studio in Philadelphia, a studio he kept for only eight months in 1954. while the drawing is primarily in pencil, Ben added a hint of watercolor to add texture to the work. The unmade bed suggests Delacroix's well known work of an unmade bed in his studio.

The work above and below show the studio in the final two decades of Ben's career. the sketch above was created using a relatively new media of the period: the felt tip pen. Ben's pen was a refillable type with multiple head, and he used in a variety of sketches of the period.

Woman In Windsor Chair
Ink and wash on paper
Woman in a Windsor Chair shows Rae in the studio. here the studio is only a background for this figurative sketch, but it shows how little has changed in the atmosphere of the studio. The rubber tree at center left continues to hover over the studio. The full length mirror still resides in the corner of the studio. The Windsor chair remains in the studio. While Rae (1906 - 1990) is no longer with us, her presence pervades the studio and she can be seen in numerous drawing, paintings, and sculptures.

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