Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category


Shadows Exhibition

July 17, 2013
Opening of "Shadows" Woodwalk Gallery July 2013

Opening of “Shadows” Woodwalk Gallery July 2013

My wife and I ventured up to Woodwalk Gallery in Door County Wisconsin for the opening of the two person exhibition titled, Shadows.  From a family point of view, it was a successful trip. The dog did not have any mishaps for our son to clean up and I made sure to pack my clothes in the car this time.

We spent the morning and early afternoon at a beach in Egg Harbor. My wife read a book and people watched while I played with my paints (paintings to be posted in a separate blog). Back to our cottage to have a light lunch, clean up and to the gallery by mid-afternoon.

Kristi Roenning and me at the opening.

Kristi Roenning and me at the opening of our exhibition.

Most of the people present were there to view the works of my co-exhibitor who has a summer home in the area. The display looked great, I met some nice people and enjoyed the surprise of seeing that one of my small works was SOLD prior to the opening.

Talking about my work to the attendees of the opening.

Talking about my work to the attendees at the opening of “Shadows”.

Added surprise near the end of the opening when I saw a couple enter the gallery. The woman has been one of my watercolor students and teaches art in the Rockford Public School system. We had a nice visit and, following the opening, had dinner and ice cream with our friends at Wilson’s in Ephraim.

The exhibit, which runs through July, includes twelve works. Three additional works are on display elsewhere in the gallery. My works are available at Woodwalk through the fall.





Shadows – Announcement

July 1, 2013
Shadows - A Two Person Exhibition - July 2013

Shadows – A Two Person Exhibition – July 2013

I just received a supply of cards announcing the opening of my month long exhibit at Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor Wisconsin.

If you would like a card to have or to share, please drop a note to me with your address and I will send it out promptly. The display will be up throughout July 2013. Please make plans to view the works (and perhaps purchase a couple).


Shadows – Exhibition at Woodwalk Gallery

June 30, 2013
Wilson's; Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Wilson’s; Oil on Canvas Panel 6″ x 8″

July 7 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm the opening for my exhibit titled “Shadows” will be hosted by Woodwalk Gallery in Door County Wisconsin. While the exhibit will run during the month of July, my works will be available at Woodwalk through October.

The exhibit will include pieces created en plein air (several works are of Door County locales), as well as studio works. Close to two dozen works are currently at Woodwalk. I am not sure how many Margret will have on display for the opening, but if you don’t see something you like, please ask and Margaret can probably locate one that will excite you.

Woodwalk Gallery (6746 County Road G, Egg Harbor, WI.) is representing my original oil paintings in Door County. This gallery is located five miles south of  Egg Harbor about ½ mile off of Rt. 42.

Following is a link to Woodwalk’s 2013 flyer which includes information on all of the gallery’s events this summer. (

Please share this information with anyone you know that will be visiting Door County this summer. Thank you.

Towels Dry Yet?; Oil on Canvas 10" x 8"

Towels Dry Yet?; Oil on Canvas 10″ x 8″


Beloit – Edge of the Rock – Monday

June 29, 2013
Enlightened; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Enlightened; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

I ventured back up to Beloit on Monday morning. Found a spot on campus which gave an interesting view of  Middle College (the administration building). Had a fun time painting under the shade of  oak trees. Only a few minor interruptions. A couple of campus employees, a family visiting the campus with their young child, and a person gathering photos of painters for the committees website.

After lunch, I made my way to the lagoon at Riverside Park. Found a spot and had an enjoyable afternoon. Again, only a couple minor interruptions. Wish that I had some flyers, cards or other information to hand out and  help get people to the exhibit of these plein air works.

Unfortunately, the afternoon painting was a flop. Brought it home anyway to get confirmation from Helen. Agreed – it was not worth salvaging. To the studio where the effort was wiped away with mineral spirits and paper towels. Certain amount of satisfaction in violently trashing a failed piece.

Out of the five works completed, I selected the two works which I felt were the strongest. These two works were transported up to Beloit on Thursday morning for delivery to the exhibition venue. where a possible snag revealed itself.

Well before sending in my registration, I had contact with the committee. Due to my sons wedding, I would be out of town and therefore unable to attend the Friday evening reception and, more important, the required Sunday morning retrieval of any unsold paintings. At the time, I was told that they would be able to work with me to pick up my works early the following week. I included a note on my registration. On the first day of the competition, picking up my artists packet and getting my canvases stamped, I reminded the chairwoman of my “unique” situation. I was told “No problem.

While delivering my paintings, I asked about retrieving my works Monday morning and was told that all works MUST be picked up Sunday morning – no exceptions. After a few minutes of “negotiation” (basically  I indicated that perhaps it was best for me to take my works now rather than exhibit them). Brief discussion and I was told to contact on member of the committee Monday morning and pick up the works by 9:00am. (Note – this too got fouled up, but that is another story).

Follow up – The committee spent a lot of effort, time and money placing ads in national publications in an effort to attract more artists to the event. They ended up with the usual number of artists. As far as I can surmise, the sales of paintings were weak to non-existent. The exhibition of the works was only Friday evening 6:00 – 8:00pm and on Saturday 9:00am – 1:00pm with no additional options for us to exhibit and sell our works to locals and visitors. What a shame. If asked for my thoughts and suggestions, I would say that perhaps time, efforts and resources should be invested in bringing in more buyers to generate purchases of the produced art work. Us artists are like mice to cheese. If we have good results selling our works to an eager,willing and  supportive market word will get around and they will have more than enough good to great artists coming to Beloit to compete in this event.


Midway Village – Ralston House

June 13, 2013
Ralston House - May 2013; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Ralston House – May 2013; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

This past April, I had the opportunity to display some of my work at Midway Village during the Rockford Spring ArtScene.  It was tMidway’s first time participating in this event. The foot traffic was a little light but all the artists made a few sales so that was successful as far as we were concerned. One of the board members indicated that she hoped that I would return again for the autumn edition. This invitation gave me an idea.

Midway Village includes a museum containing items and stories of local interest. It also has  a Victorian village comprised of  26 historical buildings filled with artifacts. ( ).  I thought that it could be interesting to create and display plein air paintings of the village at the next ArtScene.

Starting with the board member, I pitched the idea of creating plein air paintings of the village. Several contacts later finally put me in contact with THE decision maker that could yield permission to have access to the village to pursue this project. I have to be cautious to stay out of the way of group tours of the facility and have to be out by 4pm.

After the first day of painting I am already seeing loads of potential subjects. I have a few plein air competitions over the next few weeks which will inhibit painting time here, but I am confident that I will be able to have enough paintings together by October. I trust that this will be able to bring attention to Midway Village as well as my artwork.


Rieblodt Creek

May 28, 2013
Rieboldt Creek Study; Oil on Canvas 8" x 10"

Rieboldt Creek Study; Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″

A small 6″ x 8″ plein air sketch created last summer while in Door County Wisconsin has been taunting me. I played with ideas in my sketchbook then took to working these two paintings.  More ideas up my sleeve for these inspirations.

Happy to report that in the last few weeks, a family purchased the painting Shadowed Box 2 (30″ x 40″) and I received down payments on October Patterns (24″ x 36″) and Autumn Canopy (36″ x 48″).  Let’s hope we can keep the momentum. I still have a fair amount of inventory and I have inspiration and ideas galore.

Getting into the plein air season. Competition entries to prepare. It’s times like these that I am not sure weather to pray for good weather to better enable my plein air forays or for rain to enable me to spend guilt free hours in the studio working larger works. Such dilemma. Until next time..

Lily Pads 513; Oil on Canvas 16" x 20"

Lily Pads 513; Oil on Canvas 16″ x 20″


Prairie Plein Air Competition

May 18, 2013
Blossoms at Volkening; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Blossoms at Volkening; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

Two of the works created during the Prairie Plein Air competition.  Both works were created at The Volkening Heritage Farm. The work, Blossoms at Volkening, is the work which I submitted for judging. The works by all 52 artists are currently on display at the Prairie Center of the Arts, through June 28, 2013. The Prairie Center is located at 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, Illinois (‎).

Volkening Farm Plein Air - April 2013; Oil on Canvas 9" x 12"

Volkening Farm Plein Air – April 2013; Oil on Canvas 9″ x 12″


Paintings for Woodwalk Gallery 2013

May 6, 2013
Anderson Docks; Ephraim, WI

Anderson Docks; Ephraim, WI

Spring break for my wife and I take her somewhere warm, like….Door County Wisconsin.

As my spring break at Rock Valley College and my wife’s spring break with the Rockford school district never coincide, I promised that I would make some schedule alterations so that we could go somewhere warm for her spring break. When we realized that her 2013 spring break would be mid-April, we thought it silly that we would need to travel anywhere else to enjoy warm weather.  This year was different as winter drags on.

Through a series of events, we found out that she would be hosting a party for thirty people at the end of her spring break. Added to that, I needed to deliver new works to Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor Wisconsin between the 19th and 25th. Rather than travel somewhere warm, we decided to make a trip into Door County to deliver the works and get back to Rockford so Helen could finish all preparations for her party.

I had hoped to deliver the works on the 15th, Monday, but the owners of Woodwalk indicated that they would be on the east coast and not returning until the 18th. They agreed to meet with me the morning of the 19th to retrieve the eight works remaining from 2012 and exchange them with ten new works for the 2013 season.

I decided to bring fifteen works on the trip. I thought that perhaps it would be wise to allow Woodwalk to select works which they felt would best suit their clients. So we left Rockford on Wednesday in pouring rain and made a couple stops in the Chicago area before heading through downpours as we headed north into Wisconsin. As we traveled north of Milwaukee and out of the rains, we were reminded that winter was still hanging on – snow drifts remained along the roads.

Door County is a summer vacation mecca not a spring break destination. Several of the shops and many of the restaurants were still a week or two from being open for the season. While staying flexible on our demands for meals we were able to dine at restaurants which usually have long waiting lines. Then again, Helen took part in an event at one establishment and we left a dollar bill and a quarter suspended from the restaurant ceiling.

Fast forward to Friday morning. We were to meet with Margaret at Woodwalk Gallery at 10am. A snowstorm is heading this way. Heavy snow showers predicted. At about 9:00am, I mentioned to Helen that while Margaret indicated that she would be on the east coast, she did not say where they would be. My concern was based upon the insane act which hurt numerous people and upset the tradition of The Boston Marathon.

Turns out the the owners of Woodwalk were in Boston but managed to get out just before the lock down. Bad weather caused their flight to get re-routed. Due to a very late return to Egg Harbor, they were not able to retrieve four of my works which were on display at a local winery. Add to that, there was a power failure and the Egg Harbor area was now without power.

Due to all the complications, Margaret asked that I leave all 15 works delivered plus the four works at the winery. Since I will be a featured artist at Woodwalk this July, I guess that’s okay.

Delivery of paintings to Woodwalk Gallery April 2013

Delivery of paintings to Woodwalk Gallery April 2013


April in Door County

April in Door County



Spring ArtScene

April 2, 2013
Spring 2013 ArtScene at Bennie's 1.

Spring 2013 ArtScene at Bennie’s 1.

I used April Fool’s Day, no kidding, to go over and set up my display for this years Spring ArtScene at Bennie’s. Seventeen paintings plus a basket full of small accent works and note cards.

Bennie’s (126 N. 1st Street, Rockford) will exhibit the works of almost thirty artists. Bennie’s is one of forty venues in the Rockford area hosting exhibitions this weekend.  For more information check the arts council website;

Spring 2013 ArtScene at Bennie's 2.

Spring 2013 ArtScene at Bennie’s 2.


Guitars to be Auctioned

February 21, 2013
"The Arts Can Free the Soul" ; Oil on Guitar

“The Arts Free the Soul” ; Oil on Guitar

Place your bid to purchase custom painted guitars. Auction open through March 12, 2013.  Contact the Rockford Public Schools Director of Fine Arts @ 815-520-1753 to place your bid. Please forward news of this auction to anyone you know who might be interested in one of these unique items.

My wife came home from school one evening with five boxes. Each box contained a guitar. Helen looked at me and said “Lu Ann.” That’s all I need to hear. I sat down and waited for the story to play out. Lu Ann is with the school system and oversees the arts program for the Rockford Public Schools. Long story short, the school district has a couple dozen guitars which they need to get out of their inventory. Lu Ann and some of the people in charge of communications at the district office decided it would be a great idea to have the art teachers paint the guitars which could then be auctioned to raise money for the arts program. (Oops, there’s a lack of respect thing rearing its head). Helen felt obligated to volunteer. Over the years, Lu Ann has been of help and a great resource for Helen.

My wife brain stormed design ideas and asked for my input. I shot down a few of the ideas and augmented a few others. And then I did it. I offered a design suggestion to which Helen jumped on the opportunity and said, “That’s a great idea! You should do it!”. Yikes. Me and my big mouth. I stalled as long as I could, but after Helen completed three guitars and my youngest son jumped at the chance to paint one, I felt that I had no choice but to paint one.

Helen had the guitar prepped. She sanded and gessoed the surface and found a reference drawing for me to use. So in between paintings, I took a day to work on the guitar. It went fairly quick. I had planned to use Alkyd paints to ensure that the painting would dry within a day. I had a couple colors available in alkyd, the other colors needed required that I add Liquin to the regular oil paints. Unfortunately, this caused a few paints to be a little too viscous. I worked through the challenges, finished the guitar and placed it on the easel near our kitchen.

I was outside shoveling the freshly fallen snow when Helen arrived home. I said nothing about the guitar. Helen went into the house. A few moments later I heard her screech and knew that she had seen my days labor. Helen approved. Helen brought my painted guitar to school and told me that one of the assistants at school took the guitar, tuned it and started to play the guitar. Helen tells me that the people watching loved the effect of the painted hands in symphony with the performers hands or as she said “It was really cool!”.

A bit of angst on my part. We are less than a month from the date that these guitars are to be auctioned. The communications people of the school district (cast offs from the local paper) do not appear to have done anything to sufficiently promote the event and create the necessary excitement so that these works of art can sell for more than the spare pocket change which mom or dad have on them. The communications department idea was to have the guitars available for auction at the all city music festival, and that is where their brain storm appears to have stopped (why can’t the school district hire people who understand that  communications, at times, requires  more than just issuing a press release?).  Nearly two weeks ago, my wife, son and I created and forwarded a list of ideas to get the word out to parties that would be most likely to spend their money on these novelty items. You know, go beyond mom, dad,  and the grandparents. I see no evidence that these experts in communications have done anything to aid promotion.

I hope to be proved wrong. I hope to blog in the next few weeks that I was wrong and the people did their job to create more than enough excitement that causes a frenzy. That these creations raised far more money than I expected. Unfortunately, I doubt that I will need to write and publish such an apologetic blog. I fear that this will be another silent auction which warranted a silent reply. Oh Tom, please be wrong.

Sun & Moon; Acrylic on Guitar - Helen Linden

Sun & Moon; Acrylic on Guitar – Helen Linden