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Steamboat Magazine

A Bird's-Eye View

05/15/2023 09:07AM ● By Suzi Mitchell
(Artist Dedi Knox finds plenty of inspiration out her windows for the bird life she loves to paint. Photo by Trey Mullen.) 

From Steamboat Magazine Home Edition 2023

Artist Dedi Knox had never set foot in Steamboat Springs until her husband, David, called to say he’d bought a piece of land in North Routt during a visit to see friends in the 1990s. “Definitely a surprise, but it turned out to be one of the best things he did,” she says. 

The pair, who divide their time between Wisconsin and Routt County, initially built a log house, then added Dedi’s detached studio in the early 2000s. “It is my sanctuary,” she says. 

(The roof pitch on the log studio was designed in harmony with Hahns Peak in the distance. Photo by Trey Mullen.) 

Set among a grove of aspens with views as far as the eye can see, the lookout spot is ideal for someone who often paints birds. Stellar jays, with their charcoal black and cobalt blue coloring, are frequent visitors, along with the couple’s three children and their families.  

“There are 18 of us when we are all together, so everyone needs a little separation,” she says with a wry grin. The 850-square-foot studio not only houses Dedi’s creative spaces, but it can sleep up to eight people. 

(Designed with an Austrian feel, based on the couple’s travels in Europe, the kitchen and dining spaces feature rustic accents like the antler chandelier above the table. Photo by Trey Mullen.) 

David Knox designed the property to have an Austrian feel, based on the couples’ travels across Europe when they lived overseas for three years. Built in Kalispell, Montana, each log was numbered, then the building was disassembled and brought to North Routt by truck. “There was nowhere to turn the truck at the property, so it was hoisted in by crane,” Dedi says. Once in situ, it was rebuilt. 

The compact structure includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and living room with an upper-level sitting nook that doubles as a sleeping area. 

(Elements of the natural world are depicted in a stained glass window in the primary bedroom. Photo by Trey Mullen.)

Views flood the studio from every angle, including the lower-level bathroom, where a claw-foot bathtub begs to be wallowed in. In keeping with Dedi’s penchant for birds, the tub evades tradition with its quirky set of replica chicken feet. 

The cozy interior of the property complements local custom-built furniture by Jace Romick, along with furnishings from the Black Forrest and pieces the couple has picked up on their travels. Dedi’s artwork dots the walls – the pieces are often interchanged with what is on her roving easel. 

(Views of Hahns Peak pour through the upstairs cabin windows letting in light and creativity. Photo by Trey Mullen.)

Much of her inspiration comes from hours spent on the deck, where views of Hahns Peak dominate the landscape. “I’ve painted it so many times, and it always sells,” she says.  

“It is just such a breathtaking sight; it never gets old.” 

During a trip to France, Dedi followed in the footsteps of Cezanne to paint Monte Sainte-Victoire, an image he made famous through his own studies. “It reminded me so much of the way I feel about Hahns Peak; he never tired of painting the same thing,” she says. 

(A clawfoot tub in the primary bathroom got a quirky makeover with its replica chicken feet. Photo by Trey Mullen.)

Dedi’s studio is a magnet, not only for family, but also for friends and neighbors. Over the years; she has held mini workshops and classes for painters of all ages and abilities. The Knox’s neighbor and dear friend Jeanne Lodwick says their locale and the people it attracts inspires creativity. “We enjoy a community of very kind and happy creators, which I think happens when the joy of life surrounds you,”  she says.

(The upper level of a tiered deck is an ideal spot for morning coffee or evening drinks. Photo by Trey Mullen.)

Dedi, who shows her artwork at Pine Moon Fine Art in downtown Steamboat, is engrained in the community she adores. “I’m thankful to David all those years ago for buying this place on a whim – it’s where I love to be.”