Shira Toren – My Bushwick studio is on the fourth floor of an old manufacturing building: 56 Bogart street is well known art hub where gallerists, artists and art lovers are in dialogue and cross paths daily. This is my art community.
Through my window I can see rooftops, cement plants, metal and wood workshops, and intricate murals. This view is so often the inspiration for my Graphite works.
I primarily work on thick canvas, upon which a process of applying many layers of gesso and Venetian plaster transforms the canvas into a hard but malleable surface. The canvas is mounted on the studio wall, then set flat on the floor. I make Graphite marks, brush ink, and rub-in fields of graphite powder. If weather permits, I roll my canvas and take it outdoors, where I sand, cut or will occasionally wash it, all to accomplish a process of excavating the under-layers. The final step is mounting it on a wooden frame as I stretch the painting, while elsewhere in the studio there is already a new canvas getting prepped.