Writing by Bo Duncan
Photography by Chris Perez
Everyone has one: a place where they can get work done. A workspace serves as a place to focus and be productive, whether it’s a photo studio, a cozy cafe or a fully equipped kitchen. By looking at that space, one can learn a lot about a person’s tastes and lifestyle. This month, we’re focusing our lens on the studio of contemporary Southwest storyteller and landscape painter Sabine Zimmer.
Sabine Zimmer is a painter, mother and storyteller from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She lives in Dripping Springs, just past Jester King Brewery, with her husband, Scott, baby Cyrus, two cats, two parakeets and an unpredictable number of chickens.
Sabine’s home and studio are studded with shrines and artifacts she finds everywhere between Dripping Springs and her family’s vacation home in Mason. She is fascinated with the impermanence of our existence and leaves her artistic legacy upon nearly every surface she touches – rocks, walls, floors, car doors, furniture — thinking way outside the box of just a canvas.
As a storyteller, she keeps inspiration close at hand. In the shrine she worked on the day we visited, she has a handwritten quote from the book My Antonia, preserving a moment from the story where the little boy’s character is out in the pumpkin patch, reflecting on what it is to be happy, feeling like he is part of something whole. This theme echoes throughout Sabine’s landscape work. “I like to think of humans as part of landscapes,” she says. “We are alive for a moment, travelling through that landscape, and then, like an old pickup truck, our spirits rust into it.”
“I’ve always been a collector of things. Life is short, and rust reminds me of that. And so do bones. And rocks. They outlast us all. With each painting, I think of it as a shrine to something that is living or once was living.“
Besides painting, sculpting and collecting, Sabine teaches art classes in her home studio, a garage converted into a creative haven with swinging barn doors. Her latest endeavor is on September 24 in Marfa, where she is teaching a class on her papier mache headmounts at the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love at El Cosmico.
Her paintings are available on One Kings Lane, and she is currently seeking a permanent gallery to show her work in Austin. One of her best sellers and most requested commissions is of the Prada Marfa.
Making Art in Austin: Sabine’s Picks
Clayways Pottery Studio & Gallery
Clayways offers classes in wheel pottery and handbuilding for all ages, and the gallery showcases the works of over 40 Central Texas potters. Take a class and make whatever you want!
Armadillo Clay and Supplies
In East Austin, if you buy Armadillo’s clay, they’ll fire it for you, for free. They offer all the clay and sculpting tools you need for any level of sculpting.
The Contemporary’s art school offers classes in painting, drawing, wheel throwing (pottery), photography, Photoshop, collage, mosaics, watercolor, pastels, jewelry, glass, metal and more.
Writing: Bo Duncan
Photography: Chris Perez
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