Maya Kuvaja loves how she can experience nature from her home-based studio in the Lakes Region of western Maine. Through a single window in a two-hundred-square-foot room, she gazes out on acres of pine and oak forests and visiting animals. The varying light shining through the room influences her artwork. “Bright orange summer afternoons, pale blue winter mornings, deep violet autumn evenings all filter in and inform the atmosphere and mood of my work,” says Kuvaja. “My studio feels like a part of my natural surroundings. It is a space where I am lost in abstract thoughts and tuned in to nature.”
Fiber artist Jo Stealey is thrilled to enter a new phase in her life. On September 1, she’ll retire from the University of Missouri as director of the university’s School of Visual Studies. This fall, she’ll be able to devote more of her day to her art instead of only early mornings or evenings. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to explore where the work can go when more time is devoted to working in the studio,” said Stealey. “Up until now, I have maintained a two- to four-hour daily practice scheduled around my position at MU.”
Catherine Eaton Skinner feels fortunate to have two extraordinary studios to create her mixed-media works. In her Seattle studio, she completes more paintings, taking advantage of the city’s energy, while in her secondary studio in Santa Fe, she does more thinking and planning. She divides her time between the two studios, both built fifteen years ago.
In 2007, Krista Harris renovated her log cabin studio in Bayfield, Colorado. Her 16′ x 32′ studio could not accommodate her large acrylic paintings nor the materials she needed—she was in an experimental phase that suited her. “This was a great investment in myself and my work, giving me validation and freedom,” says Harris. To finance the renovation, she sold her car.
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design last year, Bo Kyung Kim was looking for a studio in Providence. She wanted a studio near her home or work since she didn’t have a car and winters in that area can be quite cold. None met these requirements, so she decided to set up a studio at home. She’s pleased that in her home-based studio, she can easily do the technique of layering and sealing using Hanji, traditional Korean paper. “Hanji appears most beautifully under sunlight,” said Kyung Kim. “Warmth and sunlight coming through a big window creates a peaceful moment for me to meditate, which leads to the biggest inspiration of my work.”
For the past thirty years, Bette Ridgeway has worked full-time as an artist, painting colorful canvases in large and small studios. Most recently, she converted a 14′ x 14′, light-filled bedroom in her Santa Fe home into a working studio. She removed doors from a long closet and put in three large metal bookcases to store art supplies. This allows her to preserve floor space so that she can create paintings as long as 130 inches. For large commissions, she also has access to a big warehouse with a 13′ ceiling.
Nancy McTague-Stock has worked in various studios, both here and abroad, including in an old castle in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France last October. She received the Denis Diderot grant, which funded part of her stay, in a tiny village surrounded by green fields and forests. There, working in a small studio, she was inspired to work on small photographic pieces and works on paper instead of large paintings as she would back in her Connecticut studio.