From a Blank Canvas: An Inside Look at Creating a Custom Art Studio
When visual artist and writer Ingrid Ludt sought to create a private studio, two things came to mind: a lovely, secluded spot in her backyard and a strong desire to work with a local construction company who could capture her long-term vision and balance it with the functionality required of a busy wife and mother of three.
“I was inspired to build a studio in the woods after visiting a fellow artist in upstate New York who had one,” says Ludt, who moved to Sherborn two years ago. “I wanted a separate, sacred space to serve as a natural and constant source of contemplation and inspiration.”
After interviewing three different construction companies in Boston, Ingrid and her husband chose JM Construction for the project. “We have high standards,” said Ludt. “And we felt confident in JMC’s ability to produce and complete the exceptional work we were looking for in a timely manner.”
Much of Ingrid Ludt’s artwork depicts objects in groups, in relationship to each other. They are pieces that make a whole. This collection was inspired by a tree root system that captured her attention.
Uncovering a contemporary design rooted in nature
Ingrid began her career in the performing arts when she trained to be a professional dancer. Her formal education shifted to visual arts, receiving a BFA in design and an MFA in painting. She’s quick to note that her relationship with nature has taught her as much if not more than her formal education: “Maintaining a relationship with nature is vital to my practice as it nurtures my wonder and curiosity.”
The sliding doors allow Ingrid to move large pieces in and out of her studio with ease. There’s also plenty of storage for her art supplies, works in progress, and finished work.
To design the studio, Ingrid brainstormed with JM Construction’s in-house design team. With a firm grasp on Ingrid’s goals and priorities, they bounced ideas off each other until together they created a solid plan that required very few changes. The focal feature—large sliding doors on the north side of the studio—not only serve as a critical, immersive element to the space, but also as a practical component. “My artwork keeps getting bigger these days, so it was important to have a way to move large canvases in and out,” she states. “And, just as importantly, facing north while I meditate and practice yoga gives me profound clarity, grounding, and inspiration, not only for my art, but also for my life.”
Ingrid’s studio reflects her contemporary, naturally minimalist style with its rustic wood, metal features, a large blank white wall to display her pieces, a modern storage loft, and contemporary fixtures throughout.
Inspiration within walking distance
Ingrid loves stepping out of her house and up the stone path to her studio. When she first moved to Massachusetts, she had a studio in Holliston and felt frustrated with her productivity because it was so hard to get there. This wasn’t her most challenging studio experience, however. She laughs as she admits, “I’ve shared studio space with a rock band in the crumbling basement of a brownstone. I’ve used a spare bedroom, a corner, a closet. Artists have to be adaptable!”
“It’s so nice to have a very personal space where I enter and work in what I call ‘creative time,’” she adds. “A space where on any given day, color, shape, and line form a painting or characters and words jump off my pages into scripts. Above all else, the studio is where I find peace and joy in the great mystery of life.”
Having her own art studio just steps away from her house allows Ingrid to have a calm, quiet place to not only work on her art and writing, but meditate as well.
Painting the bigger picture
In addition to building the studio, the couple contracted with JM Construction to renovate her home’s kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, porch, and mudroom. “When you commit to a project this large, you really get to know and care about the people who are bringing it to life,” she said, noting that the project took about a year to finish. “Despite the inevitable surprises that come with opening up old walls and ceilings and delays with products and materials, things were fairly seamless. Renovations are always an inconvenience, but the team’s competency, sense of humor, and high standards of workmanship won out. They were always super conscious on how they left the workspace at the end of the week, and did a good job communicating the who-what-when on any given day.”
Now that the project is complete, Ingrid has launched an online business that focuses on her originals and prints, and she plans to host events at her home and studio where residential clients can see her work in a setting similar to their own.
More studio pictures and details can be seen in our recent blog, A Sherborn Artist’s Get-Away: A She Shed Just for Her.
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