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Friday, May 14, 2021

You're Invited


I'm so pleased to announce this fabulous Art Tour that is just weeks away.  It's the first tour in my new studio location in New Glarus, WI.  The hours are 10-5 pm daily June 4-6 with 29 artists across 19 locations.  It's a rare chance to see working artists with a variety of media including pottery, jewelry, oil painting, sculpture and more.  Go to for a complete map and details about the event.  

Here's what to expect if you visit me on the tour.  Parking is easy at my home.  The garage will be converted into a gallery space with LOTS of paintings.  I'll be doing an ongoing demo so you can see my work in progress.  Then just a few steps inside the side door you can see my studio space - where I will have even more paintings on display!  I've always worked in tiny spaces, so rather than dwell on the limitations of a small space, I'll focus on the positives.  In this new studio I have an amazing view of these horses -- our neighbors.  And yes, you will see more horse paintings in my near future.  

Studio view

My new studio also has a door and nice windows.  Two more positives!  I've always had a studio inside my home, with a 20 foot walk to the kitchen, bathroom, and being a Mom all these years.  This studio is situated so maybe down the road we might be able to bump out a wall for a little extra space.  And for those who know me, I also spend a fair amount of time with my easel outside doing plein air painting.  

If you visit New Glarus, we have a charming downtown with great shops and restaurants.  A beautiful bike trail and a winery just minutes from our doorstep.  It's a view you don't want to miss.  The world-famous brewery is not open until the fall, but you can always pick up beer at the local grocery store.  

I have travelled many of these roads that will lead you to the other studios on the tour.  You will not be disappointed with the artistic treasures and beauty around each and every corner.  Hope to see you June 4-6!  

Saturday, December 19, 2020

It's Like Seeing An Old Friend Again

Green County (WI) is where I was born and raised.  After more than 30 years living in the Milwaukee area, our family decided to move back to the Driftless Region of Wisconsin.  Even though I have traveled back and forth countless times over these 30 years, it's as if I'm seeing an old friend again.  Now is my time to explore and rediscover the land that is home.

During this year of COVID, everything was like a giant snowglobe, shaken up weekly, sometimes daily.  Our world has changed forever.  Some businesses thrive, while others struggle.  Families are heartbroken as we are apart from loved ones.  We all hope and pray the snowglobe will be upright and unshaken as we move into 2021!

Like many artists, nothing about the year is normal.  Events are cancelled.  I had one gallery close its doors.  On the bright side, the organizers of the Covered Bridge Art Studio Tour in the Cedarburg area went ahead with a safe, socially distanced tour and it was a huge success for all who participated.  I'm grateful for everyone who stopped in to see me one last time in my garage gallery in Mequon. 

I was able to venture out plein air painting and did a few demos over the summer at the Cedarburg Art Museum.  Now I'm creating a new body of work for the 2021 Gallery and Exhibit season.  Keep watching for details of a studio tour in the Driftless Area scheduled for early June....come see my new studio!

A painting session before the firm lock down in March.  
The farm cat was anxious to help me mix paint.
Demo at Cedarburg Art Museum, summer 2020

Plein air painting near Blanchardville, WI

Painting sunflowers near Lake Country 
Plein Air in New Glarus, WI

"Light as a Feather" Oil 16 x 8"


Friday, January 31, 2020

The Search for Color in January

This January has been quite gray here in Wisconsin.  So I've found it important to find areas where I can introduce a touch of warmth into the gray palette before my easel.  One of my favorite spots to paint locally is in Richfield. 
This beautiful historic mill is a bold red and perfect for these overcast days.
While painting this, a sweet smiley face kept staring at me...see it?
Sometimes we stop at the local pub to warm up and have a little Brandy Old Fashioned and Cheese Balls appetizer.  Hey, it's what Wisconsin winter plein air painters do.  By the way Bilda's Friess Lake Pub serves an awesome BOF.
Yummy at Bildas.
Another gray day painting underway.  Met a wonderful farm couple who shared their history on this beautiful farm near Fredonia.  
Finishing up.  And low and behold, there was a corner bar just down the road, so we stopped in for a BOF.  Then decided to paint one more small study in their backyard.  

Can you tell we also try to have fun while painting???

My search for color led me to a local farm to paint the sheep.  Their warm fur against the cool snow was a fun challenge.  This will certainly become a larger studio painting.  My models left for a while, but then re assumed their pose in perfect position for a few hours.  What fun it was to observe them!
Hints of warmth with the manure spreader and sheep and hay.  
It was a wonderful January.  

Friday, December 13, 2019

A Mother's Love

During the Holiday Season, it's not uncommon to remember and cherish the memories of those longer with us.  I recently had a conversation with a fellow artist about losing a parent - who also guided and encouraged their artistic path.  The void of losing a parent seems amplified during this season and I want to take a few moments to remember my mother, Ursula, who taught me so much about art.

Looking back at my childhood, we lived in a simple farmhouse outside a very small community.  My mother immigrated here from Germany in her early 20s, married my father and they eventually settled here.
Our home farm
Little did I know it then, but my mother had some of her books shipped from Germany and decorated our farmhouse with pages from these publications.  Later, she purchased art prints of many great masters and soon the entire house was a mini museum.  We had prints of "Portrait of a Child" from Peter Paul Rubens.  See picture below.
About 1966?  My mother and grandmother and big brother. 
Rubens portrait to the right.
Van Gogh behind the Christmas Tree.
Some of her books from Germany she used for color plates and framed.
After a Scrabble game...Renior above the piano.
As the years went on, we had "The Milkmaid" print by Vermeer framed in our dining room, Renoir above the piano, Degas in the bathroom and Durer in my bedroom. 
As a child I had the opportunity to enjoy these prints all around our home and I had no idea the impact it would make in my life at the time.  As parents, our influence is great.  Expose your children to music and art, they need it now more than ever!  It is a great gift. 
In the past few weeks, I have started on new paintings - low and behold they are a mother/child theme!  It just dawned on me yesterday and this is why I'm taking the time to write.  God's whisper in my ear to paint what is in my heart.
Mother/child in progress in studio.
This is our family and our last group picture with our Mom before she passed away. 
In her Bible, she underlined a passage and wrote my name next to it.  It is now on my easel and a reminder for my daily living.  She knew my love of the sunsets. 
Psalms 19:  1-4...How clearly the sky reveals God's glory!  How plainly it shows what he has done!  Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next.  No speech or words are used, no sound is heard; yet their message goes out to all the world and is heard to the ends of the earth.  God made a home in the sky for the sun.
Now I would be remiss if I didn't thank my Dad who has also made a big impact on my life by sharing his love of the land.  My heart sings when I can be out exploring, hiking and painting in that farm country and I'm forever grateful to being a simple farm kid. 
Thankful for the beauty you shared!
And as my mother so beautifully ended every correspondence....Love and Peace. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

When Seasons Collide

Before the deep freeze of winter sets in, Wisconsinites are accustomed to the variations of weather this time of year.  We had one of those odd "earlier than normal" snowfalls on Halloween.  It was no trick, but instead a treat for avid winter plein air painters.  So while beautiful autumn leaves were still on the trees, we painted them falling on a bed of snow instead of white.  This is a true collision of seasons. 
Our annual "first" outing winter selfie on Nov. 1

Painting the colors of autumn with snow on the ground.
Since then, we have only been able to paint one other time as the snow has disappeared close to Lake Michigan.  During one of our adventures, we found a beautiful farm and the owner allowed us to paint there. 

Painting late in the day near Holy Hill.
Of course, we had to take a break for a Brandy Old Fashioned to warm up. Here's my painting partner Lynn Rix on the right.  Cheers!
It truly feels like yesterday when I was painting in a field of sunflowers.  But I love all the Wisconsin seasons and will now settle into the quiet season.

Friday, June 28, 2019


Insect experts say it's been the worst spring gnat season in 22 years.  Just when the weather is delightful and there's a new season to explore, these pesky bugs make it difficult to work outdoors.
Closer to Lake Michigan we've had fewer problems with gnats compared to what I recently experienced in SW Wisconsin.  The Gnat-pocalypse is real!
Recent springtime Plein Air pieces
Started this painting last week near Blanchardville and was immediately divebombed by the gnats.  Worked on it for a few hours before my bug spray ran out and I ran out of patience as the gnats won the battle.  The painting will be finished in the studio and I will pick all the dead gnats out of my painting and palette.  Besides, my models kept "moo-ving" on me anyway. 
Until the gnats go away and anticipating a bumper crop of mosquitos this year, I'll bring out my trusted head net and other bug battling gear for the months ahead. 
Happy Painting everyone!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Aromatherapy Plein Air

It's that time of the year when the beloved Lilac is in full bloom and I'm attempting to catch its splendor on canvas.  As most of you know, I spend a lot of my time in pastures and barnyards with beautiful animals, so this opportunity to nestle myself amongst the blossoms is a real aromatherapy treat!  Now if only we could figure out a "lilac" scratch and sniff feature for the paintings to keep that experience alive for a lifetime.
I set up shop surrounded by purple glory!

Still work in progress

Painted earlier in the week wearing mittens to paint as it was overcast and chilly.

Happy Happy to be outside in awe of God's creation.