Still in the Studio: Wendi Schneider

Posted on Feb 3, 2021

Catherine Couturier Gallery presents Still in the Studio, the 2021 edition of Safe in the Studioa blog series launched in spring 2020 in response to the pandemic. With each blog post, works will be highlighted and discounted 20% for one week following the post’s publishing date.

This week, the gallery is pleased to present the following post by gallery artist Wendi Schneider: 

It has been a year of more and less. More appreciation, compassion, loss, recognition, reflection, solitude, and work. Less travel, interaction, and concern about unimportant things. Even mundane tasks have developed into more meditative moments. I am acutely aware of the passage of time and of my emotions, which seem to resonate more deeply. And as usual, but perhaps more than ever, I have turned to my art for serenity and respite, as making art to celebrate beauty has always been my personal refuge.

It has been an adjustment to adapt to our new virtual world. I have missed teaching my in-person gilding workshops, but I was honored to give my first online presentation for Emily Belz’s Advanced Atelier class at the Griffin Museum of Photography. This presentation inspired an upcoming March webinar for the Los Angeles Center of Photography – "Process as a Search for Serenity" – where I’ll discuss the path that has led me to my chosen form of photography and print-making.

I travelled only once this past year - to forest bathe and to be with my sister in the mountains of North Carolina. In this year of sheltering in place, it’s been amazing to have so much uninterrupted studio time, which I have taken full advantage of. 

I am grateful to have a studio in a home that I love. My studio is located in what was once the exterior porch of our 1935 Tudor. It’s not a large room, but it has four skylights and windows on three sides. Over the course of the pandemic, I restructured the last of the spaces I needed to reconfigure. I finally had one of the brick walls smoothed over. For years I contemplated what would be the best way to do it - I eventually went with drywall as it will be easy to patch and paint. Without the distractions and difficulties of hanging on brick, it will make a lovely wall for studying work and hanging installations. I now have more storage space and a place for my palette and the oils that I hope to get back to next to my mother’s easel, which has traveled with me from Memphis to New Orleans to New York and to Denver. 

Wendi Schneider's Studio, Still in the Studio, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Wendi Schneider's Studio 

I have spent the majority of the past year working on my Patina Collection, a series of gilded prints placed in antique frames from my collection. I find great pleasure in choosing and creating the perfect print for each frame. As usual, I often vary the colors and textures of images within the editions.

Color is such an important part of my work: it’s the colors as much as the composition and gilding that I find so evocative - many of the colors are reminiscent of old paintings I so admire. Each pairing is unique and as the prints are made specifically to work with the chosen frames, there is much experimentation involved.

I often print multiple variations of each image, sometimes on both vellum and kozo, with each test requiring modifications. I use a great deal of ink and paper, but I don’t feel it’s wasted. When making the prints, I seek harmony and balance between the color of the image and the leafing material, so the color and contrast are modified to bring out the warmth of white gold, the coolness of silver, the rosy glow of moon gold, or the intensity of 24k. 

The Wisdom of Trees, Wendi Schneider, Patina Collection, Colorado, Catherine Couturier Gallery

The Wisdom of Trees, Denver, CO, 2019
Patina Collection Frame

The Wisdom of Trees was photographed on one of my walks at dusk, which remains my favorite time of day. While the image dates from 2019, the print was made during the pandemic. I am so easily distracted by the beauty of trees. They have been my primary subject over the past few years – especially during the pandemic. Twisted branches draw me to their imagined histories. What lovers swooned beneath these boughs? Which birds taught broods to spread their wings? What wisdom can we glean merely by being near? This gilded kozo version is presented in an antique Arts & Crafts frame. 

Wendi Schneider, Inner Sanctum, 2016, Catherine Couturier Gallery 
Inner Sanctum, Denver, CO, 2016

This image of the recesses of a tulip dates to 2016. It seems a most sacred, private place, perhaps influenced by Georgia O’Keeffe’s investigations into the inner world of botanicals. One of my assignments while studying painting at Newcomb College in the ‘70s involved cutting a two-inch square from a magazine page and enlarging it in oils. In the same period, I discovered a book on photomicrography, which contributed to my fascination with the details of the ordinary, for it is there I find the essence of the subject and the extraordinary. 

Last month I was commissioned to make a large version of this image, which up until that time, I had only printed in a smaller size. I made many prints to find the right exposures and colors. Making small test prints for a larger print might be helpful at the beginning, but I generally go for it and experiment using the size of the final print. The feel is quite different as the sizes change – in the details and in the colors.

Wendi Schneider, An Evening with the Moon, 2018

An Evening with the Moon, Denver, CO, 2018

In the autumn of 2018, I was walking at dusk and photographing the moon above a neighbor’s home, heartsick about the state of the US and the world and the growing division between people. My response to my exasperation was that, despite our differences, we all live under the same moon. I was preparing for an exhibit to be held in Boulder the following year and chose the title "Evenings with the Moon". 

This is the photograph I made that night that inspired the collection, and this particular print was made during the pandemic. The exhibition includes poetry and music. You can hear the soundtrack here (I continue to tweak it from time to time). The poem that accompanies this image was written by a Texas poet.  

Endearing is the moon tonight and through its silver glow,
She whispers secrets of the things
that only she could know. 

Of lover's trysts on summer nights
of kisses ‘neath her smile,
Of secret murmurs begging “friends” to stay a little while. 

Of sweet caresses cherished in the fog of memories,
Of moonlit walks in arbors sweet
'neath swaying groves of trees,

Of shadows cast by clasping hands of
hearts that feel desire, and unrequited love that feels like
death from friendly fire. 

Of promises in passion made, with no chance to fulfill, the longest would be a son
Of loneliness, of happiness, of parting's bitter pill, 

She whispers of the romance, of the love that's hot and cold, Like love that loses passion but sustains us getting old.

She passes in the evening sky and frolics with the stars,
And leaves this mortal on the porch
to mend life’s wounded scars. 

Yet, never does she realize, the secrets that she'd shared,
Are common knowledge here on earth,
where love has all ensnared. 

— Cné


The following pieces are available to purchase with a 20% discount for the next week. The discount will no longer be applicable on orders made after Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 11:59PM


The Wisdom of Trees, Wendi Schneider, Patina Collection, Colorado, Catherine Couturier Gallery

The Wisdom of Trees, Denver, CO, 2019
pigment ink over white gold leaf on kozo
11 x 7 inches, edition of 10
Patina Collection Frame


Wendi Schneider, Inner Sanctum, 2016, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Inner Sanctum, Denver, CO, 2016
pigment ink over white gold leaf on kozo
15 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches, edition of 5 
 $2,000 ($2,500)


Wendi Schneider, An Evening with the Moon, 2018

An Evening with the Moon, Denver, CO, 2018
pigment ink on kozo over white gold leaf
15 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches, edition of 5
$1,200 ($1,500)


To read Wendi Schneider's original Safe in the Studio post, click here. To learn more about Wendi Schneider and see more of her work, please visit her Artist Page.
For purchases or further inquiries, email us at

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