Editor’s Letter | Surroundings

Taking a look at the environments we work in

By Kristin Hoerth

C.W. Mundy’s studio, photographed by Tony Vilainis.

C.W. Mundy’s studio, photographed by Tony Vilainis.

This story was featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Over the past month or so, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my surroundings, my daily environment. It started when we moved our editorial offices to a different suite in the same office building in suburban Denver. Many things about the new space are similar to the old one, but in my particular office, the square footage is smaller while the furniture is larger and darker—which really changes the feel of the room. Much more so than in the past, I felt a strong desire to break up the rectangularity by adding more leafy plants and to relieve the stark palette (white walls, brown desk) with the color and texture of artwork.

In the midst of our move, the editorial team has been working on this month’s special feature, Inside the Artist’s Studio, which begins on page 86. So I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to the places where artists do their creative work. Painter C.W. Mundy started by choosing a historic building for his studio, then he modeled its interior after turn-of-the-century studios like John Singer Sargent’s. The Old World feel inspires his traditional-yet-modern work. Cydney Springer, on the other hand, chose a place where she can see the Rocky Mountains that she’s wanted to paint since she was a child. “Being a landscape artist in the most beautiful mountains in the world is a very strong influence,” she says.

Then there’s Sean Diediker, who’s taken this idea to a whole other level. For months now he’s been traveling the world, setting up temporary studios in a string of cities in Europe and South America. We caught up with him in Bali, where he’s surrounded by lush tropical foliage and ancient culture. In each place he lands, he paints the people and things that inspire his curiosity.

Extending the concept even further, the two artists profiled this month are equally influenced by what surrounds them: For Mark Boedges (page 76), it’s the landscapes of rural Vermont, which he paints on location four days a week. For K. Henderson (page 82), it’s a studio filled with old toys, games, and other vintage items she’s collected, which provide endless fodder for her still-life set-ups. “I collect,” Henderson says simply. “I’m going to have to live to be 400 years old to paint everything I want to paint.” I hope you find it enlightening, as I do, to learn about the environments in which these talented artists do their work.

Featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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