By Gussie Fauntleroy
There was a time, early in their marriage, when Barry McCuan might look over Lynne Windsor’s shoulder as she stood at her easel and say something like, “You know, there’s just one thing … ” about the painting on which she was working. For maintaining harmony in the relationship, it was not the best approach. Now, after 18 years of marriage during which the couple has shared a studio and both have become established, widely collected artists, they’ve reached a clear understanding: no critiquing the other’s art unless asked.
“We’ve really got into a very nice way of supporting each other,” Windsor relates. That support may be in the artistic realm or it may be more mundane, as when one takes on a greater share of the household chores while the other is especially busy preparing for a show. They try to avoid having solo shows at the same time, yet when both are working hard in the studio, they share a strong belief in the priority of art. “It’s really a joy to be with somebody who understands,” Windsor says. “If we want to keep working, it doesn’t matter if there is no one to lay on special food. We’re happy to make do.”
McCuan, whose warm, expressive landscapes reflect a lifelong love of the Southwest, spent time in the Provence region of France in late summer, painting en plein air for an upcoming show. English-born Windsor draws on memory and imagination to produce richly hued, soft-edged landscapes with a quiet, ethereal feel. She also creates delicate imagery of birds, eggs, and nests in both etchings and oils, and recently she was accepted into a master of arts program in printmaking at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England.
When Windsor and McCuan aren’t traveling or working abroad, they live in an old adobe home just north of Santa Fe. One thing people might find surprising, they suggest, is how hard a pair of artists needs to work. McCuan jokes that they “could use a couple of clones” to take care of home repairs and everyday tasks while he and Windsor make art.
What is not surprising is the equanimity required to rejoice in each other’s successes while keeping any feeling of envy tucked away, as when one receives an invitation to a prominent show and the other doesn’t. “It could be difficult,” Windsor admits. “But we’re just lucky. Barry is so easygoing, and I’ve learned that it balances itself out.”
Ventana Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Walden Fine Art, Taos, NM; Galerie du Soleil, Naples, FL; www.barrymccuan.com.
Ventana Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Walden Fine Art, Taos, NM; Newbury Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Blackheath Gallery, London, England; www.lynnewindsor.com.
Featured in November 2011.