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Studio Sunday: Elizabeth Peyton

A close-up photo of Elizabeth Peyton's desk in her studio


It’s Studio Sunday! Let’s take a look inside the cute studio of Elizabeth Peyton. Peyton is an American artist, best known for painting portraits of friends and family members as well as celebrities and European royalty. Her small studio is located in New York.


The artist’s work desk is furnished with paintbrush holders, a tiny easel and a record player. Having a record player right next to one’s work desk like this seems like the ideal way to produce art! Also visible are a few works in progress and photos taped to the wall above the desk. While large, warehouse studio spaces are really interesting, Peyton’s modest desk is a refreshing change of pace. I see a mirror on the desk in the photo here, too. I wonder if the artist uses it for self-portraits, or perhaps to paint her own face for warm-up studies.


We have many artists at Artist Run Website that produce a range of portraiture, from the tiny, pop-culture portraits of Amber Petersen to the photorealistic paintings of Judith Elsasser. Peyton’s style lies somewhere in between realistic and cartoonish. She often works from photographs, tending to focus more on the subject than the composition. The photos she works from are candid, sometimes blurry or slightly off-kilter. I can see a few of these types of photos tape to the wall in the upper right-hand corner above the artist’s desk. The paintings that result have a similar casual appeal to them.


While Peyton’s celebrity subjects include a number of high profile musicians, she rarely paints her subjects creating music, preferring instead to portray them reclining and even sleeping. 

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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