I recently read about how having a bit of a hectic office or studio can sometimes trigger creativity. Something about your mind feeling more free to make connections that it may not otherwise make in a perfectly pristine workspace. If that is in fact the case, then painter Lauchie Reid has no shortage of creative synapses to work with. The studio where he crafts his intricate paintings is one-part workshop, one-part magical dungeon. Some spaces are so heavy with history from the sheer number of creative occurrences that you can just about read the story left-to-right along the walls, floors and ceilings. And that makes perfect sense. Lauchie* has spent the last 12 years using this ground floor of a 100 year old munitions factory (later a yarn factory) in Toronto's west end cultivating a thorough and dedicated practice, first with the extremely prolific low-brow art collective Team Macho, and now as a wizardly painter in his own right. Taking cues from the old masters (including prepping his own lead-primed surfaces, because, you know, it lasts 500 years) Lauchie has also taken to constructing his own costumes and armour, such as the cyclops mask in Princeps which he 'forged' with welder Hilling Ezack. I went deep diving with Lauchie in his studio one spring morn...
*Pronounced Lock-y, in case you were wondering.
There is no shortage of reference material here, as every corner is rammed with rich and storied items. Some relevant, like Lauchie's collection of masks (above) and some not-so-much, like the pile of 10 year old Vice magazines in the corner. Either way, it makes for a fascinating place to whirl around the creative juices. There are finished and unfinished studies, experiments and alchemical musings covering almost every surface, and interesting inventions to better serve the larger process. For instance, Lauchie's deep appreciation for materials is reflected in the way he treats them. A hand-made paint rack that Lauchie put together (gallery below) to keep his tubes of oils upright and keep the oil from settling in the bottom is one pretty ingenious example that comes to mind.