The Loaded Trunk was founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.
inspired by nature
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As I entered Santa Fe-based artist Laura Wait’s light-filled studio, I was struck by light and space. The large windows on three walls framed the New Mexico landscape and the impending storm. Her husband built this inspiring structure for her, and she appears to use every inch to create her incredible works of art. Finished paintings hang on white walls and works in progress stand on benches and lie on tables, awaiting the words and symbols Laura will add.
Laura’s work is mixed media on wood panels. All of the years she spent honing her artistic skills in the areas of printmaking and bookbinding have led to the particular techniques she uses in her work today. She creates papers, often using printmaking techniques, which she then cuts into smaller pieces to attach to her panels. I was intrigued by the drawers full of beautiful papers that she has created to incorporate into her paintings. She also uses a form of printmaking using mylar, allowing her to transfer the marks to the panels with mediums, resulting in a super smooth paint quality. She utilizes a variety of materials and brushes, including beautiful handmade calligraphy brushes, art in and of themselves.
An intriguing facet to Laura’s work is her lifelong fascination with words, which has long influenced her work. While we moved about her studio, I wanted to learn more about what inspires Laura. She graciously answered my many questions and we had such an interesting and insightful visit. Below is an excerpt from my interview with Laura. To read the full interview in the Santa Fe issue of THE LOADED TRUNK join the Trunk Club free and receive the digital magazine in your inbox!
INTERVIEW WITH LAURA WAIT:
J – YOU HAVE A LOVE FOR WORDS AND SYMBOLS. HOW HAS THAT IMPACTED YOUR WORK?
L – I used to make artist books. I have always been interested in symbolism and my artist books contain much of it. I incorporated printmaking in my books. For example, I created a book about the letter X because I was always fascinated by this letter. It has an energy to it. I looked for every word I could find that started with X, and most have to do with danger, the four elements, sex, etc. In this book I experimented with lots of handwriting and letterpress. Creating this book is what led me to all the paintings I’m doing now.
J –HOW HAS YOUR WORK EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
L – I started painting landscapes in high school and off and on for many years, as well as painting people, primarily women and kitchens. Then I created a series of books about garden symbolism and that slowly evolved into the abstraction that I’m doing now. I had my first art exhibit in the late 90’s in Denver, where I showed books and paintings. Over time, I started using more marks. Now the marks are larger.
J – YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU “CREATE WALLS WITH SCRIBBLING AND WRITING” AND THEY LOOK AS IF THEY HAVE BEEN MADE OVER TIME. SO, YOU’RE IMAGINING THE WOOD PANEL AS A WALL?
L – Yes. There’s scribbling and there’s an impression of time and a slightly destroyed look. It’s one of the attributes of this idea. Once I put it on, if I don’t like it, I can sand it off. So, it’s slightly weathered and it’s something interesting, rather than just a flat surface.
Learn more about Laura and where to purchase her art here.
January 21, 2022
The Loaded Trunk is a travel and lifestyle magazine founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.