A visit with Amy Lind at her studio in Savannah, GA
Text by Bonnie Gangelhoff, Photos by Adam Kuehl
Describe your studio. I lucked out when I found my studio—it was built specifically to be a painter’s studio, with tall ceilings and five north skylight windows. The main room is large enough that I can have several different areas within it. One wall houses a long set of bookshelves that holds art books, magazines, supplies, and potential still-life items. I have a small dining table with chairs for eating, stretching small canvases, or chatting with clients. I also have a nice seating area with a sofa and chair where I can sit with clients, pose models, read, or just take a moment to relax. Since I paint standing up, it’s nice to put my feet up every so often. I also have a long shelf above the sofa containing all the original paintings I did for the bestselling children’s book Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me.
Where did you get your furniture? Most of the furniture in my studio I either found in the trash or purchased secondhand. I love the history and character of old things, so I’m naturally attracted to vintage decor. If I wasn’t a painter, I think I’d be an interior decorator.
How does living in Savannah influence your work? I’m currently working on paintings that depict the figure in various rooms of an abandoned farmhouse. Savannah has a rich history and boasts one of the largest historical districts in the country. I’m fascinated by the juxtaposition of pristine old mansions next to dilapidated houses—a common site on the outskirts of town. The farmhouse that inspires my current paintings contains so much beauty in its state of deterioration. I much prefer the nostalgia of a place where many have lived, loved, and lost to a brand-new place.
What is your favorite subject matter? The figure is by far my favorite thing to paint. There is a natural harmony created by the human form as it moves, allowing for unlimited interesting shapes. But pleasing compositions aside, people are captivating. They hold so much emotion and personality within their eyes alone, not to mention the rest of their features.
What do you keep in your studio? For immediate inspiration, I have several framed prints by John Singer Sargent hanging beside a plaster cast of a Bernini sculpture that I brought back from Italy. A selection of wardrobe items to be worn by models hangs on the wall for easy access but mostly because they’re beautiful to look at. I have three of my own paintings displayed in my studio as examples for when prospective clients come to visit. My husband and I collect artwork by friends and young artists, but we display that in our house.
If your studio were on fire, what is the one thing you would save? My first painting. I studied briefly at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and it was there that I did my first real oil painting. My instructor Maureen Hyde came around every day and gave me invaluable input. An immense amount of growth took place while executing that painting, and her words of wisdom have stuck in my mind. Every time I look at the painting, I recall her advice.
When people come to visit, where do you take them? If a client has traveled from out of town, I have to take them to a good Southern restaurant and the bakery up the street that has the best cupcakes. Savannah is known as the “Hostess City of the South,” so I must make sure it lives up to its name.
What is the one place people will never find you? In bed before midnight. I’ve always been a night owl, and no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I’ll ever be a morning person.
Featured in the November 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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