Pam Veitenheimer
 
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What initially captured your imagination about the medium you use?

After sitting as a Secretary for many years, I wanted to do something artsy that did not involve sitting in a chair. About six years ago when my husband and I were on the motorcycle with two other couples, we went to Bruce Howdle’s art gallery that I heard about from our friend and fellow artist Tom Lieder.  

Pottery has always been fascinating to me. The artist Bruce Howdle was extremely welcoming and was nice enough to take the time to show us around and I was totally intrigued with his pottery. He displayed beautiful vases and statues of life sized pigs with teeth and huge murals he had made.  He showed us his process and all the steps involved.

Shortly after this, I was searching U-Tube videos and stumbled upon Textured Paintings by Paul Bozzo. Bozzo art intrigued me and I decided to try my hand at it. No one in this area was doing anything like this so I thought it might be a good fit for me.  There are lots of people who do fabulous artwork and I was looking for something different and unique.

What types of things inspire you to create art?

I love animals and wildlife of all kinds.  Trying my hand at different subjects is so fun for me and I  lose myself to what I call “The Zone”, where nothing else matters.  I love losing myself to the creative process.

Nature is an inspiration, the changing of the seasons is beautiful.  When I gaze at the trees around our area, I am amazed at what they have endured throughout the years of ice and snow, wild spring storms and blazing hot summer days.  They still lift their limbs to the sky to house the many birds and insects that rely on them for shelter. We have a dying Ash tree in our backyard and the woodpeckers love it.   

Walking to Storrs Lake with our dogs is a great time to reflect.  I love hearing the birds overhead and the sounds of the waves when we get to the launch area.  Water is a great inspiration for me. I spent my early years on the Rock River and still love the sound of waves hitting the shore.  

When I started doing the joint compound textured plaques I found old unwanted boards at Goodwill and Consignment shops.  I enjoy the fact that I am giving something unwanted and unused a new purpose. One of the plaques had a “To Grandma From Jennifer ” dated in the 1970’s.  I always felt bad that that item was discarded. Grandma, perhaps, passed away, so now I get the opportunity to give the little plaque a new design and it will be displayed with love.

What life experiences have helped to shape you as an artist?

My artwork has a lot of circles, because I have a love/hate relationship with the circle of life.  I love the fact that my artwork will live on after I die.  I have a beautiful oil painting of a horse head that my Great Grandmother painted. She died quite young and I still thank her for the creative genes that she passed my way.  My father and mother both did artwork and encouraged me to keep learning.

My husband and I walk quite a bit and he loves finding items that have been thrown away as unusable.  Often he can fix the item and give it away or recycle it. He also finds many things for me to do my artwork on and many different items to try to imprint into the joint compound.

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.

Generally, I do my artwork every day.  I set aside time as this is very important to me.  My process begins with spreading joint compound over the surface.  I then imprint designs such as doilies, stamps, combs and anything I find interesting into the joint compound.  

When the plaque has dried for 3 or 4 days, I sand it down with sandpaper. Then I apply two coats of Liquitex Gloss Sealer.  When dry, I apply Yellow acrylic paint to the entire surface. I then wipe clean the areas I want to keep white.

After the plaque dries, I again apply sealer.  Next I use Red and Orange together over the surface. Again, I wipe away what I do not want. Then the sealer again. The sealer in between colors, keeps the colors crisp and true.  Next is Blue and Green and wipe away what I do not want. Apply sealer again.

What plans do you have for the future direction of your art?

I plan on getting better as an artist and more creative.  My most current work has a more mechanical feel to it because several people have asked over the years if I had something more mechanical looking and I thought it was a great idea to try.  

Perhaps I will try pottery.

To learn more about Pam's exhibition at Raven's Wish, CLICK HERE.

 
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Karolyn Alexander
 

What initially captured your imagination about the medium you use?   

The versatility of acrylic paint is very appealing to me. I enjoy the opportunity to use a wide variety of tools to apply the paint both opaquely and transparently. Texture and pattern are easily created with acrylic paint and the quick drying time is a benefit to my style of painting.

What types of things inspire you to create art?

Often times I am inspired simply by an unusual or vibrant color. I also find visual stimulation in many everyday sights that I tend to see as simplified shapes and exaggerated value patterns. The music that I play in the studio while creating art inspires my mark making and brushstrokes.

What life experiences have helped to shape you as an artist?

My appreciation of art began as a child when my father, Richard Kettwig, introduced me to artists such as van Gogh, Renoir, and Monet. As an adult, I find visiting museums and galleries to see actual works of art to be an important part of being a visual artist.  

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.

I generally start an abstract painting with an intuitive practice of mark making and random paint application. From there I enjoy veiling some parts and completely covering other parts to create a more cohesive composition. I may also add more marks at this point. The third stage, for me, is to consider the elements and principles of design, decide what needs to be done, and move toward completion of the painting. This third stage sometimes happens very easily and other times it requires considerable problem solving.

What plans do you have for the future direction of your art?

I love painting abstracts because it is challenging. I want to continue to explore and experiment with acrylic paints, mediums and the variety of mark making tools that I use. If I produce a painting that I love, I am a happy artist!

To learn more about Karolyn's exhibition at Raven's Wish, CLICK HERE.


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Robert Witzack
 Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

What initially captured your imagination about the medium you use?

There was  a small wooden paint box around the house that belonged to my father. It had small tubes of old oil paint with wonderful colors, and though he had passed away when I was quite young, my mother and other family members told me how he had loved to draw and paint. Perhaps in the beginning my painting was seeking an experience of my father.

What types of things inspire you to create art?

I am inspired by what has the power or the magic to evoke a sense of passion whether it be beauty, grace, or mystery. It could be in the form of a human face or an old car. It could be an object of reverence. It doesn't have to be beautiful. It could be worn and weathered; for instance, "a face that history practiced on" as the words go from a song in Brecht's "Three Penny Opera" or a in a ruin that one can feel is full of stories, or an object that has touched or been touched by many lives.  

What life experiences have helped to shape you as an artist?

Foremost, the guidance and  encouragement of my teachers. Mrs Spicer in second grade, Father Lenahan in High School and Professor Scwalbach at U-Rock among several others. A field trip to the Chicago Art Institute. I have spent many solitary hours communing among rusted out cars in auto salvage yards- sketching. I have made pilgrimages to the Shrines of the Holy Land, and much later in life, spent a week in Paris.

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.

The process has evolved over many years. I have worked primarily in oils and have painted both realistic and abstract; both from my own inspiration and from a desire to re-create much admired works of personal art heroes. The work might have begun with an idea or sketch of my own devising or from a reproduced photo of a masterpiece. In the case of the former, the image gradually emerges into something that could hardly be imagined at the beginning stages. In the later, I started working from an illustration or two that I might find in an art history book. In that instance I already know what I want to achieve. It is the challenge to create a work which I see as my own homage to the original (whether- a Raphael or an Edward Hopper). It might be as exact as I can make it or a composite version that I have set out to do.

What plans do you have for the future direction of your art?

I plan to work, in future, with greater reliance on my inner guide for inspiration. I want to explore the spirit that brings us together as conscious beings. I want to look for illumination in  the mystery and wonder of what is universal and the work will seek to pay homage to that. I anticipate this as returning full circle.

To learn more about Robert's exhibition, CLICK HERE.

Jack Zellner

What initially captured your imagination about the medium you use?

I have worked in many mediums, but acrylic allows the artist to explore ones visual image on the canvas. The opaque and fast drying qualities of this medium lets the artist compose and react to the image with creative and many time unexpected results.

What types of things inspire you to create art?

Nature is a great motivator as well as the work of other artists.

What life experiences have helped to shape you as an artist?

My grandfather, an artist who attended the Royal School of Art in
Netherlands, taught me to draw and paint from the age of five. He would set up two canvases in the back yard of his Green Bay studio and we would create images. My professional life included art, design and
teaching which has always given me opportunities to explore new ways to push the visual image.

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.

I approach the blank canvas as an adventure — with no expectations. I selfishly enjoy the quiet introspection
of my intuitive self as an image is created on the canvas. Lines become spaces, areas become colors, groups of visual activities become composition. Its kind of wonderful.

To learn more about Jack's exhibition at Raven's Wish, click here.

Sophie Hansen

What initially captured your imagination about the medium you use?  Actually, I don’t use a ‘one-and-only’ medium. I would say that I mainly use acrylics and oils; however, I also have used watercolors, pencil, and crayon. Originally, I drew fanatically, with the archetypical 2HB pencil. I remember at one point I holed myself up in my room for hours on end, perfecting a realistic profile of a character’s face. That habit has carried on. I still spend 3-5 hours working on a single piece, when I have the time. I can lose almost a full day structuring one painting.

What types of things inspire you to create art?  Books, music, and my own imagination are motivations to create. Representing movement and life through art. When I hear a composition of sound, read, or even people-watch, I find myself constructing an imagined image, an interconnecting web of color, composition, and design derived from the external stimuli. I process the concept with other things I’ve thought or heard, and try to pull it all together into a single piece. I like seeing if I can “draw” viewers into a different universe. My artwork is an attempt to dramatize ideas and make them stand out as an oddity in a world of things already seen and known. 

What life experiences have helped to shape you as an artist? I was (and still am) homeschooled, which means I have a lot of free time to explore and research topics on my own. This freedom is great for creative ideas to grow and root themselves. My brother is a great musician, and his work inspires me to paint more--I might hear a mood through his playing, and then I'll  use it for idea-generating. I was also very fond of building fantastical worlds in my childhood, with my own characters, places, rules, etc. I revisit these worlds on occasion and use them as inspiration when I have nothing else of interest to use as subject matter.

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion. Typically, I’ll have a scrap of thought in my head--a note in a song, an odd color, a curious design, or a character--and then tinker with it on paper. I’ll make a couple of small sketches, create texture, and lay down color; fooling around with it until I know what I want. I’ll flesh out the picture’s composition on another sheet, to edit and readjust. I use this as the ‘blueprint’ for the main work. Then, I’ll take a canvas or paper and carve out a form. After that, color is added. Each step is like a filter; the idea rehashes itself, over and over, to completion. Sometimes, the picture looks completely different from what I had in mind originally.

What plans do you have for the future direction of your art? In the future, I’m hoping to perfect my craft and technique in the various mediums mentioned above, especially pencil. I would like to delve more closely into graffiti-style art, as well as fantasy art--the design and brilliant color of those genres intrigue me. I enjoy learning about fiction illustrators and their pieces, and am working towards becoming a graphic designer or illustrator myself.

Alicia Reid

What initially captured your imagination about the medium you use? Acrylic paints, mediums, and gels are my current obsession. Texture fascinates me and I’m attracted to the tactile qualities of glass bead gel, light moulding paste, soft gel gloss, and fiber paste.

What types of things inspire you to create art? Travel, hiking, and other outdoor experiences often influence my work. I strive to be open to inspiration from any source…the sky, a movie, poetry, dreams.

What life experiences have helped to shape you as an artist? As a former instrumental music educator, nature education coordinator, and geography instructor, I’m connected to the art I create through these experiences.

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion. After the initial idea for a piece, I’ll create a series of sketches, each more detailed. Lately I’ve also relied on value sketches to emphasize my placement of lights and darks. I usually paint in those darkest areas first, then identify areas to apply texture and text as the painting builds.

What plans do you have for the future direction of your art? My current work is much more connected to reality than is typical for me. I’ve an idea for a series of abstract minimalist seascapes, and sequence of map-related collage pieces linked to some of my favorite novels over the years.

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Brian Hartmann

I don't wait to get inspired by something, I just do it. I'm always taking pictures of places and things I come in contact with.  I get an idea in my head and I look for it.   

My choice of subject matter really varies.   The subject must have good form ,lots of color, and lead your eye around the piece. A well done piece tells a good story about that artist's life.  

Every since I could hold a crayon, I was always doodling. As I got older, my loving parents and family also encouraged me to do more. I took drawing and painting classes , ceramics, and even photographyin high school. I was introduced to watercolors my junior year.  Mrs. Worth was a patient woman but she keep challenging me to do more with this medium. That additional support from her helped me become the artist I am.

Before I start painting, I know what the finished product will look like when it's done.  I only have two dedicated days per week to work on pieces, so it can take up to three months for me to finish one.  I start in one spot and the brush tells me where to go next. I always try to paint what I see, not what I know. 

When I am done, I study the piece to see if I need to add more colors,  shadows or highlights. I have a couple of really trusting friends that get to look and tell me what they think before I show it to the public.

My paintings are a window to an inner world that no one has access to.  I want people to look at my work and have an "AHHHHA"  moment and make a personal connection.

I'm not sure where my art is headed next, but I look forward to the opportunities it leads me to.   Whatever lies ahead, I want to grow as a individual on a professional level while still enjoying what I do.      

CLICK HERE to view biography and online gallery.