Friday, June 4, 2021

White Bear Center for the Arts

Into Nature

Marc Anderson

Have you ever wondered what plein air painters do west of the Mississippi? It may come as a surprise, but Minnesotan painters are not too dissimilar from you or me. I mean, yeah, they drink their water out of a drinking fountain like a bunch of lunatics instead of using a bubbler like God intended. But it could be worse—they could be from Illinois. 

Having done some plein air-ing in the Land of 10,000 Lakes on more than one occasion, I have to say, there are some amazing artists over there and equally amazing arts organizations. One such organization is the White Bear Center for the Arts.  

The WBCA, which is on the north end of the Twin Cities, does it all. They host community events, they have an extensive class schedule covering every medium you could care to learn about, and they put on multiple top-notch exhibitions throughout the year. 

In 2020, the WBCA put on the 1st annual Into Nature plein air exhibition. Because of travel restrictions and social distancing measures the event was held online with a virtual awards ceremony and everything. Because the show was online—and this was lost on me until I actually saw the show—it could be an international show. And it absolutely was! The 72 artists in the show represented 18 states and 8 countries. You’d be hard pressed to find such a wide variety of landscapes depicted in a single show. The event was viewed by 16,880 people worldwide. Check out the 2020 event here:

Well, it’s now 2021, and the WBCA is back at it. They’re accepting submissions for the 2nd Annual Into Nature plein air exhibition. They’ve got a few not-too-shabby jurors in Andy Evansen, Marc Hanson, and Judy Palermo. And of course, there’s over $4,000 in prize money! 

Submissions must originate from a plein air study or plein air experience in 2021 but may be completed in studio. This adds an extra dimension to the show, having energetic, gestural field sketches along with more polished studio work. 

The deadline to submit is July 6th, so don’t miss out on this fantastic event! They won’t even make you wear a Vikings jersey (though you should probably listen to at least one Prince song.) 2021 Into Nature

Friday, March 5, 2021

Members Show

The hunt for spring begins and the itch to get out and paint has returned (for those non-winter painters). With that good news I just wanted to share a reminder for all our current members and members of days gone by that we are hosting an exhibit for WIPAPA this year. It will run this year and I am sharing with you here all that you need to know for it. If you have any questions feel free to send them to 

Happy Painting,




Monday, February 1, 2021

2021 Try and Try Again

Looking back on all the things that didn't happen last year is a bit daunting. Let us learn from the lessons of the past and push on to brighter days of plein air painting. I am going to break down three hopes for our upcoming season.

  1. Members Show. We are going to offer due paying members of the past 5 years free acceptance into this show. New members are welcome to join and partake in the show. Grab that link here or join at
  2. Membership. We would like to have dues collected for the 2021 calendar year. We have hopes to be able to get our website from a free domain into its own entity to promote our events and members to a wider audience while helping collectors, painters, family, and friends stay up to date. Included in the bigger plan is member workshops, paint outs, awards at future shows and much more.
  3. Paint, Paint, Paint. While some of our favorite competitions are in the planning stages, others are full steam ahead. While the competitions are a great testament to our endurance it would also be great to see some more local paint outs. Let us know if you are willing to find a park nearby and invite some members to responsibly paint with. Grab some friends, a mask and your medium of choice and lets make 2021 a year of beauty!

If you are a member interested in getting more involved in the groups planning committee please reach out to Nathan Brandner at we are always looking for volunteers and leaders to help out. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Year, A New Look

Welcome to the next chapter of WIPAPA 

As many of you know Wendie Thompson posted in March of 2019 the current state of WIPAPA. Calling for someone to help with some of the responsibilities was part of that letter. My name is Nathan Brandner. I answered that call. Some of you might know me, but for those of you who don't I will give you a brief introduction. 

I will fast forward from my days of coloring books, study of art at UW-Stevens Point, summer at the Florence Academy of Art and get to my plein air beginnings. My first hand at plein air was at the Academy of Fine Art under the skillful eye of the now nationally know Ken DeWaard. It would be another 4 years till I tried my first event. The rush of competition and the around the clock painting opened my eyes to the excitement of the plein air movement. WIPAPA was an essential part of helping me find events and becoming a part of the Plein Air community here in Wisconsin. I felt now was time to give back to an organization that had helped me get my bearings in the exciting world of plein air. Over the summer of 2019 I had taken up the task of updating the blog with events, winners and competition announcements while getting the know those who helped run the various competitions as well as the artists that participated. 

Moving Moving into 2020

Now with help of Wendie and a few others in our community I give you a new face for WIPAPA. The blog will continue to be an integral part of the organization but now a website has been added for giving back to our members (link below). For the first time in years we will have a members only show at Richeson Gallery and School of Art, this show will rotate its location through the years to come. Enjoy the new addition to WIPAPA and consider renewing your membership for the 2020 year.

Paint on!
Nathan Brandner

Email: wisconsinpapa@gmail for questions

Monday, October 7, 2019

Mineral Point 2019

Mineral Point Plein Air
Thanks to Arts Mineral Point for hosting the 6th year of Paint the Point. Nestled away in the far reaches of the southwest side of Wisconsin artist gathered to "Paint the Point" As per usual the artist were kept busy between Nocturnes, quick paints and the of course the main event.

Main Event

1st Place 
"Early Glare" John Preston

2nd Place
"All of a Sedan" Marc Anderson

3rd Place
"Morning Shadows" Thomas Buchs

4th Place 
"Rise and Shine" Patty Voje

Honorable Mention
"For the Love of Trees" Jan Norsetter

Quick Paint

1st Place
"Aint Pretty but it's Progress" John Preston

2nd Place
""King of the Hill" Marc Anderson

3rd Place
"Time Waits for No-One"-Patty Voje


1st Place
"Twilight on High Street" John Preston

2nd Place
"Window Display" Gin Lammert

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Port Wing

Port Wing Plein Air

Rolling waves crashed along the endless shores of the mighty Lake Superior. Clouds filled the air as the scent of freshwater hung amidst the air. Easels came up and down at the marina during the week, artists trying to capture the majesty of Superior in Port Wing. To say the whole city showed up to the reception wouldn't be that far off, the small town rallied to view the art that was created around their port town with unyielding support. 

Best in Show
Lisa Stauffer-Birch

 Second Place
Stephen Wysocki-Late Summer Homestead

 Third Place
David Peacock-Hayfield and Buildings

 People Choice
Tonja Sell-Where the Eagle Sits

Quick Paint Winner
Nathan Brandner-Summer Retreat

Hoth-Lee Gallery Prize 
"Best Sky with Clouds"
Joanne Meierhofer-Storm Coming

Runner Up
Nathan Brandner-Beach Sky

Dragonfly Farms Prize
"Best Meadow with Flowers"
Ann Christensen-Fall is Coming

Monday, August 19, 2019

State Fair Plein Air

State Fair Plein Air

The hot sun beat down on the blacktop as shuffling feet moved from vendors to attractions and nestled between the cows and food, away worked the artists. For two days plein air artists painted the Wisconsin State Fair, subjects varied from the ferris wheel to the farm animals. On the second day, early morning in the quiet Exploratory Grounds the quick paint competition got underway giving painters a chance to paint some greenery and park scenes.

Grand Champion Troy Tatlock Painting

Main Event Winners
Grand Champion-Troy Tatlock
Reserve Champion-Sherri Thomas
Award of Merit-Les Leffingwell

Sowing Creativitry Main Event Awards
Nature Inspired-Veronica Shmauz
Painting the Light- Linda Boehlke
Action Packed-Christopher J. Behrs
Kid Friendly-Veronica Shmauz
Best Dairy Animal (Sponsored by WI Dairy Promo Board)-Nathan Brandner

Quick Paint Awards
Grand Chamption-Les Leffingwell
Reserve Champion-Chistopher J. Behrs
Award of Merit Cherie Raffel

Color Celebration-Barbra Hayden
Artist as the Object-Troy Tatlock

Jurors Photo