A Day In My Studio

A huge thanks goes out to everybody who stopped in during the Northwoods Art Tour this past weekend! I really appreciate all of the purchases that help to support my artist life!

Today I’m in my studio working on some of my 1st loves. Birchbark, procure pine quells and pine needles. I can’t wait to share the finished products with you! Stay tuned…

Enjoy Local Art During the Northwoods Art Tour.

Come visit Wisconsin’s northwoods artists that working in their studios during the last day of the July Northwoods Art Tour. Watch them create and learn about their processes.At the Burger country art studio which is listed as number 9 we are working on many different mediums. We have birchbark baskets and treasure boxes in progress, encaustic painting, and Viking knit jewelry processes for you to learn about!

Come check us out at our 3rd annual Artists & More in the Bog Sale!

3 years ago, I had an inspiration to expand events in the Manitowish Waters area. The first Saturday of December, the Manitowish Waters Lioness have always hosted a fundraiser called The Holiday Home Tour. The Friday prior to the Home Tour is the celebration called Christmas for the Town. In conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, the Manitowish Waters Lioness and the downtown businesses we decided to have a sale showcasing all of the artists and a cranberry gift store in the cranberry bog area of Manitowish Waters. Come check out what we have been creating! We feature unique art and gifts!

5 Reasons to Buy Local Art

There’s a big move to support local community businesses and community building is created by staying local. You can shop at your local stores, buy from your local farmers, and buy unique gifts for yourself or others by buying from local artists. There are numerous reasons to continue to buy from local artists. Number 1: you love us and we love you! Number 2: when you buy my art I take the money and go out to eat, I tip the bartender, I tip the waitress and I bring money to the Cook’s pocket and his family. Number 3: when you buy from local artists you develop a relationship that is very valuable. At the very last minute, before a celebration or a gift giving opportunity, we are here for you – who needs a last- minute, unique, interesting gift? Who wants to go to Minocqua on a busy Friday in the summer? Call me up, swing by my shop and I just have the perfect gift for you – – not sure what your loved one wants? I can create something for you! Number 4: many of the ideas that I have are from our beautiful forests and many of the items that I make come from our forest and obtained through sustainable harvesting. Therefore, your purchase of my work are local natural wonders! What a great souvenier! Number 5 your purchases allow me the time and freedom to continue creating more art. The extra time that I have allows me to volunteer in my community. Thanks for your support of local artists!

Teaching Classes – Sharing The Love

For nearly 25 years (how can that be???) I have taught basic classes for community education  in the arts.  I have taught week long courses through the UW School of the Arts – Rhinelander, multi-session classes through the continuing education program at Nicolet College and single session classes throughout the country, through the North Lakeland Elementary Community Education Program and through my contact with others.

When I return to teaching after short lapses, due to scheduling, I am always pleasingly delighted to watch the many students grasp the basics and make the art their very own. It is an honor to share that time with the many different people that have taken my classes throughout the years.  What I teach them is small compared to what they teach me!

Yesterday I had the honor of teaching a porcupine quill embroidery class at Fanatical Fish in Butternut, WI.  Check them out at www.fanaticalfish.com!  It was great to meet Kelly Meredith , the owner and mural painter, and to meet and inspire the students that attended!  I look forward to teaching more classes at her studio!  Check out my Upcoming events page to more about a free-form peyote stitch bracelet at the Fanatical Fish on September 9 from 9 – 12 and a class called Wire-wrapped Beach Glass, Stones and More on November 11 from 10 – 1.

Let me know what you want to learn – I love to teach – I always learn so much!

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Leaving the Nest Mixed Media $235

The Many Faces of My Art

img_20151019_003205I recently recovered from a year-long injury that greatly impacted my art.  I had a ligament tear in my dominant hand’s thumb.  Anyone who has dealt with a thumb injury knows full well why humans (and other opposable thumb bearing animals)really appreciate the thumb and all of its capabilities.

As a result of this injury, I started creating with my non-dominant left hand.  I was not fully on board with this until my sweetheart pushed my “challenged, I’ll show you” button.  Thank goodness he did this for me!

I started using a watercolor cake set because of its portability – I was determined to do one painting a day.  This “forced” creating method benefitted me in many ways.  I, through little control of my own, was able to create more abstractly, my painting really loosened up, I learned much more about watercolor so I didn’t dislike the media anymore, and I learned forgiveness for my art.  During the year-long process I had a sudden revelation.  I did not judge the results of each day’s exercise as harshly as I would have if I had done the same work with my “right” hand.

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Sunrise in the Heartland – acrylic, intuitive painting process

Also, my sister-in-law and fellow artist Kathleen Kvern introduced me to intuitive painting processes.  I could paint with my hands and I finally got the cool and warm color concept down pat.That concept may be a given to you but I had very little learning of color theory.

 

 

 

The long term impact has been a greater appreciation for my health and well-being and my ability to create, I have learned to listen to warning signs and take care in a more conscious manner and I am glad to have had the experience.  Many shared similar stories with me – for one reason or another someone’s creative processes either had to change or the artist made the choice.  So many valuable lessons were shared with me.

 

I also now have felt the sayings, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  Prior to the injury I was growing in several creative directions at once, moving away from my master artist role of natural materials basketry and all things wild – birch bark, porcupine quills, roots and more.  The injury made it very difficult to anything that required to hands so I was very grateful for my awkward left handed brush grip.  During the last 2 months, I was getting stagnant in my painting – my mind wasn’t flooded with its usual creative ideas.  I started working with  natural materials again, and once I did,  the creative flow became a flood.

Birch bark work, porcupine quill embroidery, pastel drawings, mono-printing, weaving, acrylic paintings, spray-paint paintings and more make up the body of my work.

I guess I’ll never be a “watercolor artist”, an “oil painter”, a “potter” or any of the other many creative venues.  I am proud to say that I am creative though.  No boxes for me means that the creative world is wide open to me!  Experiment, try, try again and you will find your  niche!