We are so excited to have April Sanders in our Well + Wonder line up! April was born and raised in Houston, Texas where her mother and grandmother are self-taught artists who introduced her to the paintbrush at a young age. It wasn’t until her time in college at Texas A&M that she developed a true love for painting. She moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2014 where she and her husband settled into a charming old home in a quiet neighborhood. More spare time and an attic studio allowed her to enjoy the process of learning and experimenting with various themes and media. Wonderfully simple things have provided her inspiration- crinkled linen duvets, dilapidated floral arrangements, and conversations with friends over coffee. After five wonderful years on the east coast, she is heading back to Texas this summer with her husband and baby boy. We recently stepped inside April’s sunny studio and we were so inspired! She was also gracious enough to let us fire off our Pardon Me rapid fire questionnaire. She talks all things life, art and home, and how she finds inspiration. After browsing her release, get to know April better by reading her responses then shop all 25 of her latest works now live in the Well + Wonder collection!
What is currently on your nightstand?
Real talk, by nightstand do you mean TV tray? Great. A dusty alarm clock that I’m pretty sure came from my husband’s college dorm room, ice water, a burp cloth, and a pacifier. How’s that for a first impression?
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
Definitely my mom (shout out @jamiesawickiartandinteriors !!!)- she never stops creating and pushing through what can be such a physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding career. She teaches me new tips and tricks all the time, and I credit so much of who I am as an artist to her.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
A few different childhood memories pop into my head. I loved spending time at my grandparent’s house. My grandma would take me to her watercolor, line dancing, and tap dancing classes (#grandmagoals). Summers at Frontier Camp in East Texas were also a highlight. I learned to ski, enjoyed shaving cream slides, and met my husband there years later!
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
GREEN GOLD FOR LIFE. I put it on everything.
What is your favorite room in your house?
Describe it. I’m going to have to go with my baby boy’s nursery. I love every detail of that simple but sweet room- the comfiest glider, a kilim rug from Round Top, the crib I used as a baby, and artwork from my baby’s cousins, aunt, nonnie, and mama.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
Purchasing art, especially online, can definitely feel intimidating. I would say start small, slowly get to know artists, and when something feels right just go for it. I will forever cherish my first “adult” art purchase- a tiny Lulie Wallace floral. One benefit of buying through a collective is the exposure you’ll get to so many new artists. After discovering Lulie, I learned about her then studio mate, Teil Duncan, and so on! There is a feeling of support and camaraderie within a collective art community that makes you want to support them all.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
Hands down, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston- the site of the largest art heist in history that is still unsolved. The artwork that was stolen was literally cut out of the frames so you walk around and there are empty frames where Rembrandts, Manets, and more once hung. It is both eerie and fascinating. The museum was Isabella’s home so it is warm and inviting, no fluorescent lighting or uncomfortable benches. John Singer Sargent also did a residency there and he was good friends with Isabella. I would love to go back in time and join them at their weekly lunches.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
Zero George in Charleston. My husband and I splurged and treated ourselves to a couple of nights here when he was interviewing for residency. The owners also own one of our favorite places to go in Charlottesville- Pippin Hill Farm.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Burts Bees is all I need
I can never get on a plane without….
Snacks, mags, the usual!
How did you get into the world of art?
It’s in the fam!
What do you do to relax?
I own four robes, so let’s just say relaxing is my strong suit. All things fluffy and comfy, a sofa, a movie…perfection. I also love sitting around a fire pit with some jams.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
Usually after being outdoors. Or after flipping through a great magazine.
Prediction for the Color of 2019?
How many times can I use the answer “Green Gold”?
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
See above about relaxing. My husband and I are homebodies to the max.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
It is a painting called “Gossamer” that I made a few years ago and showed at my first exhibit in Charlottesville. One of those rare pieces that just came naturally and was so enjoyable to create. I am honored that it ended up in a sweet friend’s home (@laureldenise …. she’s an amazing creator herself!) who will treasure it the way I do.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Go with your gut. Don’t worry about it matching. Don’t worry about where it will go. A sweet woman from Charleston once purchased a painting of mine at a show while she was visiting Charlottesville for the weekend. I remember her telling me “I don’t know where I am going to put it, but I just feel happy when I look at it”.
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