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Walter Foster Studio

In the Studio

Oil Painter Vanessa Rothe

Meet talented oil painter Vanessa Rothe—author of The Art School Approach: Still Lifes & Florals—and get a glimpse into her painting studio! 

Vanessa Rothe

Photo credit: Eric Stoner Photography

Where do you create?

In a 1920s Laguna Beach, California, cottage with one main room, a small library, and a tiny bar/kitchenette! Outside is a blue French table on the patio area, which looks like a French cafe. I've decorated with a French and classic Atelier theme. The doormat even says Bonjour, and there are French street signs all over. The studio also doubles as a fine art gallery, showcasing my works and a set of Russian Impressionist works from a painting group that I am a part of called Realism Without Borders (

Vanessa Roth, oil painting studio

Photo credit: Eric Stoner Photography

What inspires you when you're working in your studio?

I am always listening to Mozart, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and other classical music. It's usually blasting through the street, and you can hear it as you pass by. I also like to listen to lively French music. I have a nice Espresso machine in the kitchen and often have a cappuccino next to me, and the smell of coffee wafting through the studio. Having the studio decorated like one of my paintings also inspires me.

Vanessa Rothe, oil painting studio, Laguna Beach studio

Photo credit: Eric Stoner Photography

What's your favorite thing about your studio?

I love everything about my studio—it's enchanting… You feel like you are in Europe. But I'd say the location. It's right on 418 Ocean Avenue, so it's only five doors down from the art store. Across the street is Peter Blake Gallery, and four doors down on both sides are the two top eateries in Orange County. So I have European flair all around me.

Vanessa Rothe, Laguna Beach studio

Photo credit: Eric Stoner Photography

Vanessa Rothe is a former graphic designer/art director who has worked with Disney Press, Walter Foster Publishing, and Sony. Today Vanessa is a professional artist with a more traditional palette: oil paints. Vanessa grew up in the artists' colony of Laguna Beach, California, and received top art scholarships to study at the University of San Diego, University of California—Irvine, and the Laguna College of Art and Design, as well as ateliers in France and Italy. She is a Signature member of the American Impressionist Society, the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. Vanessa is the California Editor of the nationally acclaimed art collector magazine Fine Art Connoisseur, as well as a long time contributing writer for Plein Air magazine. Visit to learn more.

Stephanie Meissner

Stephanie is Senior Editor at Walter Foster Publishing. A lifelong bibliophile, Stephanie also loves photography, design, typography, and cooking. She blogs about her artistic endeavors and creative adventures at

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