By Chase Reynolds Ewald
Photographs by Audrey Hall
"Knock loudly and wait!" The sign is posted on thick watercolor paper. Posted above a cast-bronze door knocker of a longhorn skull, its irregular edges stand out against a glossy coat of slightly chipped teal paint. This is the entrance to the studio of acclaimed painter William Matthews and in its informality , playfulness, and utter lack of pretention, the sign makes a decidedly original rustic statement.
American rustic style, like Mathews's studio door, is relaxed, of the moment, and highly individualistic. Its conviviality proffers a put-your-feet-up invitation. And as both a statement of place and a means of self-expression, a rustic built environment is always unique.