Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oh WOW! What a week at Cedarburg! Here are the winners!

For 11 days 160 artists painted in Cedarburg and we only saw the sun for small peeks! A persistent fog rolled in over and over again off Lake Michigan making life interesting and some wonderful moody paintings were produced! Thanks to all the artists who poured out their souls on canvas for us and all our sponsors who opened their wallets! And to our collectors...well how can we thank you enough?? We LOVE you all! See you next year!!

Next Year JUNE 17-28!
Mark your Calenders!

Artists Choice:

1st Place Jan Schmuckel

2nd Place Paula Swayden Grabel

Paint the Festival:

1st Place Jenny Anderson

2nd Place Cherie Raffel

Kathie Wheeler and her Best of Show painting which will be in good company as a part of the permanent collection of Cedarburg Plein Air Event winners at the Cedarburg Art Museum

Congratulations Point of Color Winners!!

1st Place
Thomas Buchs
Behind the Labyrinth

On display from June 27th thru August 22nd at the Monroe Arts Center Frehner Gallery these pieces and more! Stop in and take a look!! (

fyi:The Monroe Arts Center will be closed on Friday and Saturday, July 4 and 5 
2nd Place
Sybil Brauneis Klug
Glow over the Seine

3rd Place
Sherri Thomas
Into the Sun

Honorable Mention
Barb Hayden
Golden Trail

Thank you Rock River Times!!!

Plein Aire Painters Association on display in new Frehner Gallery exhibit

June 26, 2014
“Door County Icon” (oil), by Jason Prigge, Manitowoc Rapids, Wis.
“Door County Icon” (oil), by Jason Prigge, Manitowoc Rapids, Wis.
Online Staff Report
MONROE, Wis. — Monroe Art Center (MAC) Frehner Gallery hosts the new gallery exhibit “Point of Color: the Wisconsin Plein Aire Painters Association (WIPAPA) Juried Show,” on display from June 27 through Aug. 22. This exhibit showcases the oil and acrylic plein aire paintings by 24 Wisconsin artists.
The Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association was established as a statewide fellowship of artists dedicated to promoting and practicing the traditional discipline of plein aire painting (painting outdoors, from life). Members of this organization include competent art teachers, accomplished professionals, and motivated beginners, each of them seeking to honestly interpret the natural and man-made beauty and diversity of Wisconsin’s landscapes and culture.
The WIPAPA enhance members’ skills and reputations by providing regular opportunities to paint outdoors together, as well as occasions to critique their work and share their art expertise with fellow artists to maintain the highest standards of the plein aire tradition of painting.
WIPAPA group coordinator Wendie Thompson explains: “Painting plein aire is a ‘shortcut’ to becoming a better painter. No camera can capture the full spectrum of colors found on location.”
She continues, “Because you are racing the sun, your senses observe faster than you can think. Plein aire painters learn to ‘see.’”
The “Point of Color” Juried Show was one of the painting opportunities provided by the WIPAPA this year. Artists from various locations throughout Wisconsin entered this competition. The only criteria for entering: the art had to be painted on location-plein aire. Paintings were judged and selected for the Monroe Arts Center exhibit by members of the WIPAPA.
An opening reception is scheduled for 5-7 p.m., Friday, June 27, in MAC Frehner Gallery, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis. A brief gallery talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. This exhibit is free and open to the public.
Posted June 26, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thanks to Ozaukee Magazine and Ed Makowski!!

A Brush Against Hunger

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By Ed Makowski
In 2004, Hunger Task Force began operating a 208-acre historic urban Farm and Fish Hatchery in Franklin, Wisconsin. The Farm produces over 30 types of fruits and vegetables that are delivered free of charge to a network of 80 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters throughout greater Milwaukee.  Annually, over 1,000,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables are produced in the farm fields and orchards.  For many relying on Hunger Task Force’s network of charities, the Farm is their only source of fresh produce.
The Farm relies entirely on community donors and volunteers, and is strongly supported by local individuals and organizations that are committed to urban farming, educating children, and creating new job training opportunities for the unemployed. Individuals, corporations and foundations make monetary and equipment donations, as well as donate their time and energy for day-to-day operations at the Farm.
I started with Hunger Task Force this year as the volunteer coordinator and my task is to find, schedule, and be a point of contact for the companies, organizations, and individuals who volunteer at the Farm. The vast majority of operations, from planting to field maintenance to harvesting, are carried out by volunteers under direct guidance by Farm staff.
While soaking in the magnitude of the Farm’s scope during my first few weeks, I couldn’t help but notice how much beauty and visual possibility existed on the grounds.  As a sometimes artist, I thought about the different opportunities in this setting to create art.  One might wonder about the value artwork can offer a busy, bustling, working farm, but not everyone’s talents are best utilized by a rake and a hoe. “Volunteer” can take on a very flexible definition.
I got in touch with the Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association (WiPAPA).  Plein air is the style of painting where the painter brings their canvas and brushes and paints on-site in the elements.  Wendie Thompson, the group’s president, came out for a winter tour and we talked about the possibilities.  She saw immediately the wide array of options a painter, or any artist, would have to draw from at the location.  She came out a couple times to paint, then opened it up to her group.
This year, WiPAPA has come several times to paint at the Farm.  To some degree they’ve made the Farm their home base for the year, with an open invitation to come paint as often as Farm operations permit.  Artists will be here the entire growing season, providing a visual catalog of a Farm’s cycles throughout the year.  In exchange for using the location, they allow Hunger Task Force to use photographs of the artwork. Additionally WiPAPA artists have agreed to donate a portion of the sales of any paintings created at the Farm.  We have had paintings created by more than a dozen artists, and are now exploring the options of places to show their work.
Volunteering is really as flexible as our individual definition of the word. If you’d like to spend some time working at Hunger Task Force’s 200 scenic acres,

Monday, June 16, 2014

8th Annual Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting Event Awards: Congratulations!!!!

8th Annual Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting Event Awards
Beloit, WI. (June 13, 2014 at 4:00pm)
The judging is complete and the awards are decided for the 8th Annual Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting Events. John Ribble, Judge and pastel artist said: “This event reflects, both physically and conceptually, Beloit’s commitment to the arts. Kyle Martin’s Best of Show painting, Strong, After the Rain, is a tour-de-force that captures a palpable and immediate sense of time and place.”
The Beloit College-Hendricks Center for the Arts is transformed into a dazzling art gallery with beautiful scenes from Beloit’s scenic riverfront; the Beloit College campus; floral displays; downtown scenes; and more. Sue Fugate, Project Coordinator noted: “I have been involved for all eight years and find this show to be our strongest yet. The artist’s remind us of the beauty that surrounds us in Beloit. This year we have more “standout” paintings…more good paintings than ever before.”
A portion of the sales of the paintings benefit Friends of RiverFront.

A record number of participants came to both the workshop featuring Ken 
DeWaard, one of the nation’s most respected plein air painters and to the painting competition. The judges are Georgene Pomplun, John Ribble, and Diane Washa, all notable plein air painters in their own right. 

The Best in Show Award $1500
Strong, After the Rain” by Kyle Martin, Reedsburg, WI

Pride of Beloit $1000
Evening Light on Grand” by Matthew Holt, Silver Lake, WI

Friends Award $1000
Only One Small Catfish” by Jenny Anderson, Milwaukee, WI

Patron of the Arts $500
Edge of the Rock for the Edge of the Rock” by Jan Norsetter, Verona, WI

Spirit of the Arts $500
“Alliant Spillway” by Michael Reif, Appleton, WI

Honorable Mention $150

“Sunset Comes” by Paul Berquist, Viroqua, WI

Honorable Mention $150

“Dammed Rock” by Carolyn Larkin, Pewaukee, WI

Why Plein Air?: Part One: The Artist

Painting Paul by Wendie Thompson

So last week I was invited to speak about plein air painting to a statewide committee WDAC (Wisconsin Downtown Action Council). Thought I would share some of what I said here!

Allow yourself to think for just a moment about either the best day of your life or the worst. If you'll notice an image came to mind...just one. And it's that one image that represents the whole day. That image triggers all the rest of the images of that day cascading into your memory like a waterfall. With that image all the senses are triggered...smell, sound, temperature and emotion! This is how our brains work. We remember moments not days.

The plein air painter is attempting to catch that one fleeting moment in paint. Why do we do it?

We do it for a number of reasons:

1. To learn: It's a "shortcut" to becoming a better painter. No camera can capture the full spectrum of colors found on location. And because you are racing the sun your senses observe faster than you can think. We learn to "see".

2. Artists often gather together to paint plein air. It breaks up the solitary studio time and great friendships are forged! Often there are group critiques which help everyone become better.

3. It tends to drive one "into the moment" where there is no past and no future and that is where many can find peace.

4. To work out colors and compositions for future larger paintings.

5. To document the changing world around us.

6. To meet and create new collectors. (More on this later)

7. Some like to compete. I am of the opinion that nothing pushes you to get better faster than a little friendly competition!! There are at this writing 14 Competitive painting events in Wisconsin this season. They are listed on the WIPAPA blog ( Anyone can come to these events and watch the artists painting...fascinating, fun people!!! Also a really great way to find new fresh art for your collection!!

I'm certain I missed some reasons. Feel free to comment. I will add them!!

Chief Instigator, Wendie Thompson

Next: Why communities get involved??

Saturday, May 31, 2014

As seen in Express Milwaukee! THANKS Kat! (Watch the Video at the Bottom!)


Plein Air at Art*Bar

Outdoor paintings on display at Riverwest tavern

“We Came We Saw We Painted” is an exhibition by Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association artists on view at Art*Bar in Riverwest. Plein air is the lovely French term for paintings done outdoors, or put another way, in the plain air. 
Some of the most well-known artists who followed this method were the Impressionist painters. In 1870s France, they were a pretty radical bunch, but once the shock wore off over what they were doing, their painting techniques gained currency. The lasting effects of their methods and style can be seen in abundance here as plenty of artists follow in those footsteps, traipsing out to hills and fields far and wide to make art.
Some of the places in these paintings are familiar, like Judith VanGernert’s Port Washington Light. She shows two pieces together, as do many artists in the show, and this adds an interesting twist to the plein air idea. These pairs are frequently the study done on location and the other is the studio version. VanGernert initiates her project in watercolor and recreates the idea in oil paint. The composition is adjusted slightly and the atmosphere changes, from the somewhat darker, more pensive hues in watercolor to brighter, sunlit tones and thick impasto in the studio version.
There is a sense of immediacy in the framed studies and specificity of time and place. Lynn Rix’s snowy December 12th is a winter field dappled with burnished red bramble and blue shadows. The studio painting it inspires, First Snow, follows the field study closely but with a clearer touch for the details. Bramble becomes taller, stands up straighter and a neat path appears in the field.
Can you go back again and catch the same feeling? It is like recreating a memory and getting a do-over the second time around. The exhibition offers a peek into the artists’ working methods and development of ideas. As a viewer, perhaps you’ll come away with a preference for the brash impulses of first thoughts or a taste for studied brushwork of places reimagined and revisited.
“We Came We Saw We Painted: Wisconsin Plein Air Painters” is on view through June 26 at Art*Bar (722 E Burleigh St.).