Inside the Artist’s Studio is Artful Living’s exclusive look into the innovative, intimate lifestyles of creatives. The studio is a place of curating, of inspiring, of creating. These distinctive spaces play an essential role in the artist’s process and are a direct reflection of the personality and attention to detail that go into each work of art.

Known for her large, strikingly colorful paintings, prolific abstract artist Heidi McKeown believes in pushing the limits when it comes to her work and herself. Her creations reflect the pure energy that she puts into each piece.

How would you describe your studio?

My studio is a bit unexpected! It’s on the mezzanine level of a manufacturing plant. It is quite a contrast from the industrial machines and noises. I get a kick out of seeing people’s expressions when they enter my space. My studio is filled with music, light, vivid color, pattern, warmth and texture.

How long have you been in this space?

I’ve been in my space almost two years. I expanded after the first year.

What are your studio must-haves?

Music. Lots of my favorite paint colors. A good variety of canvases and sizes. Art books. And a space to relax and visit.

twin cities artist heidi mckeown

How does this space foster creativity?

My studio is the one place I can go where the concept of “making a mistake” does not exist! From the start, I’ve told myself that I’m here to learn, and learning for me means there are no mistakes. I’m here to push myself and to push my medium, which is acrylic paint. I’m very intentional and serious about my art; however, I make huge messes. I’m really loud. I dance. I throw paint. I drip paint. I paint horizontally with large hardware-store scrapers. My studio is filled with all my lessons, and I gain energy from them and learn from them.

My studio is a place of great joy and comfort. It is a very personal expression of myself. Another unique aspect of my studio is a corner storage area where my great grandparents’ and great uncle’s family memorabilia is stored. When I moved in, I didn’t realize what was all there. They were very creative, accomplished people, and having their presence in my studio feels like a spiritual blessing.

What’s the best part of having a studio in the Twin Cities?

The people! The art collectors, the frame shops, the scanners, the galleries, the designers, the art reps — “Minnesota nice” abounds in the art community! I feel very fortunate to be part of such a lovely community of such extremely talented and passionate people.

heidi mckeown abstract artist studio