The cover for this week’s issue is the fifth by Gayle Kabaker, who grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in the Berkshires. Kabaker’s work often studies fashion or the landscape; here she takes on both, presenting a serene image of winter poise. We recently talked to the artist about the cover and her relationship to the cold.
Is your painting inspired by a specific place or experience, or is it more wishful thinking?
I am inspired by both what I see and what I imagine. Sometimes it’s a combination. I’m happiest and most productive painting when I stay close to home. I go out, look around, and take photos, and then I come back and paint for hours.
You’ve said that you don’t particularly like winter, and are “not at all inspired by cold or snow.” How do you conjure ideas and images for a season you hate?
I don’t hate winter—I just hate the cold! I believe one can find beauty anywhere, and snow is quite beautiful. But I did just get back from a painting retreat in Bali, and I’m much more inspired by the lush greens of the tropics and summer. Eighty-five degrees feels like my “soul” temperature.
Some paintings from Kabaker’s recent trip to Bali.
Do you get outdoors much when it’s cold? Do you ski?
I used to ski. Not anymore. I spin and do hot yoga—that’s what gets me through the winter.
How important are dogs in getting you out of the house?
I walk my dog, Charlie. He loves winter, loves the snow, and never seems to get cold. We usually go out first thing every morning, and then at the end of the day we go down to get the mail, which is about a ten-minute walk. We live in the country, away from most roads, so he’s in and out all day on his own. He “knocks” on the window when he wants to come back in.
For more covers celebrating the joys of winter, see below:
“Winter Tails,” by Philippe Petit-Roulet
“Winter Getaway,” by Floc’h
“A Walk in the Snow,” by Mark Ulriksen