I wasn’t always painting or taking nature photographs. I first enjoyed a long & successful 36 year career as an architect in Chicago and there was no time for “other outside pursuits”.
Freedom from my very intense and hectic working life was finally realized with retirement to Washington Island in 2002. My husband Jim & I had found W.I. in 1966 and had long viewed it as a magical retreat.
“My new career” started with a postcard from Lorna Cornell in the Spring of 2005. It announced & gave the details of her next NWTC painting class, an 8 week session with a fee of $4 for seniors and she added a handwritten note saying……”I signed you up. I have all the supplies you need.”
From then on it was learning to purchase appropriate and reasonably priced supplies and to learn to paint in acrylic and then watercolor (8 months later). The group of 6-8 people met at the Rec Center one morning each week, and we painted, absorbed new skills and laughed a lot. Lorna had a steady supply of video’s, art books, colorful cloths and fake vegetables and flowers for still life settings. And when the weather allowed, we painted the flowers outdoors or the far away fields with hay bales.
Lorna often gave us homework and encouraged us to paint at home. Also to join workshops with other professional artists. I signed up with Win Jones and Ed Fenendael, both exceptional watercolor artist and then Roger Bechtold, opened my eyes to painting in oil. Eric Brodersen has been another great source of information and encouragement to me for many years. And no, I had no previous formal training in painting, other than some pencil & charcoal sketching during my college studies.
I particularly enjoyed painting with heavily applied watercolor in an opaque manner and pursued painting on canvases that were especially made for watercolor application. I also began to experiment with different framing methods. Then I started oil painting on paper and stretched canvases. I continued to read every painting magazine at the library, numerous art books and info on the Internet.
I am not in the art business and I don’t paint to sell. I paint because I enjoy doing it and challenging myself to take it to the next level. And yes, my art sells; what an energizing and validating experience. My paintings are as far away as Germany, California, Virginia, Florida, the Carolinas, Minnesota, Illinois and of course Wisconsin. Many are in Washington Island homes and businesses; at least 2 are on loan currently, a handful were gifted and a few are hanging in our own home.
I will never forget the very first painting that I sold in Dec. 2005 and the joy I had with the entire experience. It was a small acrylic painting and I had named it “East Side Dune”. After a VERY short painting career of only 6 months, I was one of only 37 lucky artists whose work was accepted and hung that year in the 30th Juried Annual Competitive Exhibition of the Miller Gallery in Sturgeon Bay. A total of 86 artists had submitted 160 works.
Lorna had been the catalyst, encouraging her class to go through the experience of submitting 1 or 2 of what we thought were our best recent paintings along with a $15 entry fee. Back then, the submission process of photographing & getting slides made, along with paperwork and then requiring hand delivery to Sturgeon Bay was rather difficult and inconvenient for someone living up here. I was the only one in the group to give it a try. What a gratifying experience and such an eye opener to the very competitive world of art.
I paint mostly Island subjects and visual experiences and occasionally birds. I am a realist and seldom stray far away from reality in my paintings except in color. The colors I prefer are typically bright and happy,
I was hooked from my first day with Lorna. And voila, 15 years later I still love to challenge myself. I definitely strive for my art to be bold and powerful, in color and in image, and especially at 20, 30 or more feet away; perhaps an influence by the art of Nicola Simbari. I don’t want my art to be a quiet, timid piece. Today I strive to paint with even less detail, wishing all to be more abstract.
So why do I keep on painting and striving for new ways to do it? I enjoy it and it makes me feel good to know I can still learn to do new things. I can still contribute and make people smile, laugh and appreciate what I create. The experience of painting allows me to discover talents and much more, which I didn’t know about myself. And the people I meet in the process and the friendships I make along the way are all plenty of reasons to continue.
Come join us for our Opening Reception. You can view our featured show, The Fabric of Our Lives: featuring the art of Atrid Stromberg, and meet and visit with the artist. You can also view the art of our many talented Island artists and visit and meet with them as well. We will have new exhibits in our nature room as well.
I celebrate reusing. Call me a recycler. I call it 'Painting With Fabric'.
Framed fabric is my material of choice to create a work of art; just as oils, water colors, and pastels are to other artists. I work with fabric for its challenge. Fabric of different weight and feel begins the design puzzle that needs to be married together into the chosen frame. All material is cut free-hand until a shape takes form into the design that has been already determined by my mind's eye. I often try to capture a visualization of music heard, a poem, a quote or Washington Island's magical moments; all of these can be my inspiration.
My 'how-to-begin' has been self taught. I make no attempt to portray objects or locations with total realism. Instead, I 'paint' with suggestive shapes, color, and pattern. To create an art piece with repurposed frames usually means the frame will 'speak' to me first; imagination will then lend me a helping hand as to what comes next.
Copious amount of fabric remnants and salvaged frames await to be celebrated in their reuse. Inspiration will come. It will then be painted with fabric!
Washington, Plum & Rock Islands enjoys wonderful bird migration in the spring. Our festival takes full advantage of this and will provide participating birders with small group birding and a chance to view bird netting and banding. Join us for some exceptional birding!
Miranda Paul will give a one hour presentation based on her book One Plastice Bag VIsatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. This program is co hosted with the Washington Island Library.
Miranda Paul has been an avid recycler since elementary school, when she won a contest by transforming a discarded cereal box into a beautiful holiday ornament. She still loves rummaging for treasures but now spends most of her time teaching and writing books for children. Over the past decade, Miranda has traveled to the Gambia as a volunteer teacher, a fair‐trade and literacy advocate, a freelance journalist—which led her to the subject of her new book, One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. The book has garnered a starred review from School Library Journal and was named a Junior Library Guild selection. Miranda lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with one husband, two kids, ten bookcases, and a hundred new ideas. Find her online at www.mirandapaul.com, and discover more about her latest book at www.oneplasticbag.com.
Join us for a hike searching for local mushrooms with Charlotte Lukes. We will meet at the ANC at 1:30 and travel to locations on the Island. Then at 7:30 that evening she will present a powerpoint program of Mushrooms of Door County.
JoinCharlotte has been studying mushrooms for more than 30 years and has listed over 550 species for Door County. She is currently writing a book on the Mushrooms of Door County which will be illustrated with Roy’s digital photographs. Her power point program will introduce viewers to many of the major groups and show some common edible species as well as some deadly poisonous ones.
Join us for a reception on Thursday, July 19 at 4:30 to view the show and meet the artist.
Saturday, July 14 11 AM -3 PM Join us for this annual famliy center event. There will be lots of fun art activities for everyone to experience including: face painting, mono-printing, making your own "slime", bird mobiles, caricature drawings and more. Ice cream, soda, brats and hot dogs for sale. Fun for the whole family!
Join us starting at 6:30 PM as we kick off our 2018 season with our annual Opening Reception. Come view our featured show "My Life in Threads: featuring the Quilts, Purses, and Dolls of Jill Jorgenson", the art of our many Island Artists. You can also view our exciting new exhibits in the Nature Center and meet our naturalists.
This exhibit features the quilts, purses, and dolls of Island artists Jill Jorgenson. Come to our Opening reception to meet the artist.
The Story of the Kirtland Warbler: A Path Towards Conservation Success by Sarah Warner of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Hunters of the Sky Raptor Program: featuring raptors from Open Door Bird Sanctuary. This program presents a mix of owls, hawks and falcons and their hight specialized hunting techniques. Four live birds will be at the program.
Washington, Plum & Rock Islands enjoys wonderful bird migration in the spring. Our new festival takes full advantage of this and will provide participating birders with small group birding and a chance to view bird netting and banding. Join us for some exceptional birding!
Annual Washington Island Artists Association Exhibit
August Northern Exposure: Oil Paintings by Doug Clarke
Featuring the art of Charles H Jack, Laura J Jack and Julia C. Jack-Scott