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Plein Air Wisconsin--La Crosse Area Plein Air Artists

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6. Interviews with Artists

Many aspects of being an artist are fascinating.  Each artist has a unique history and perspective.  Questions to artists are listed below, with individual artist's names and responses following them.

Question Number 1:
When did you first notice that you had a serious interest in art?
 
Linda Steine--I noticed it in grade school.  When my family went camping, we normally brought cameras, pastels, watercolors, pencils, and materials on which to document the flora and the fauna we visited.  I have been seriously interested in art since then.
 
Burt Hammons--It got serious when I started adding shading to my engineering drawings.  They just came alive, unlike being strictly informational, like my engineering drawings had been until then.
 
Barbara Decker--In 1965 we were stationed in El Paso, TX and a friend suggested we get together and do art work.  that's when I started painting in oils; however, my interest itself began in my senior year in college when I took a design class as an elective when I was majoring in biochemistry.
 
Kent--I was interested as a teen-ager but I didn't have the patience and when I was in school art was for sissies.  But three women in my family all dabbled in art and finally, 15 years ago, I started taking a few classes to jump-start myself.
 
Pat O'Hara--A few years ago I realized I was looking at certain landscape paintings more and more.  I loved the scenery in the La Crosse area, and I found I was thinking more and more about me painting the scenes.  I then audited a painting class and UW-L and a plein air painting/geology class at UW-Stevens Point.  I'm glad that this group began because this is just what I have been looking for!
 
Jennifer Ash--While riding in the back of my parents' car after a long day and seeing the late afternoon light and the shadows it was casting, without realizing it then, I felt the inspiration of an artist.
 
Dolores Marusarz--In 1957, when I was ten years old and already making original paintings in oils, my father took me to the Art Institute of Chicago so I could see the work of the masters.  He brought along one of my paintings of a couple of horses in the wilderness and showed it to a guard at the Art Institute.  He asked the guard to play along with him, and the two of them convinced me that the guard was the boss of the place and he was sure that I would be a great artist whose work would hang there some day.  If I thought I was a serious artist before that, I was positive afterwards.  I'm still waiting. . .
 
Joan Gundersen--When I was about six, I would spend hours drawing away and mesmerized by the natural world.  My granny was an artist and she took me under her wings at a young age.  I knew art had to be a part of my world back then, and mostly I wondered how I could affort to be an artist.
 
Question Number 2:
What induces you to come out and paint with the plein air group?
 
Jeannie Nylander--The fresh air, chocolate, coffee, and nature--listening to the sounds.  All the other artists are so cool and friendly and accept you where you are at.  They love art and that inspires me todo more because I'm not alone.
 
Joan Nee--Dolores did.  She talked with us at our art club.  She was so enthusiastic that she made me think I should join the plein air group.  When I told her I was interested she kept me posted by e-mail and I decided to try it.  I love it.
 
Connie Long--I wouldn't do it on my own if I wasn't part of a group.  The group goes out on a particular day and time and when I come out I become part of it.  I know that this is the day that we have set aside to paint.
 
Linsda Steine--Painting outdoors is inspiring because I have an affinity with the landscape.  Painting with the group gets me out and it's nice to confer with the other artists and get their opinions on my work.
 
Burt Hammons--The camaraderie of people with similar interests.  I get feedback as I am working, which wouldn't happen while I am painting alone.
 
Linda Raymer--I feel more inspired being outside and able to see what the other artists are doing and see their techniques.
 
Mary Thompson--The social aspect of it.  I feel a strong camaraderie with the other artists and just knowing they will be outdoors and we will be working together as a community pulls me to the sessions.
 
Dolores Marusarz--For the past three years, since I moved to La Crosse, I have been seeking the company of those people who have similar interests.  I joined two art groups and had a wonderful opportunity to form friendships with other artists.  However, I still wanted something more.  When we got together to paint in my garden, I knew that we just had to paint together again sometime.  Going out into this truly beautiful area was the way for us to do that, and when I painted outdoors for the first time in my life, with the company of other artists, I realized that this is what I have been waiting for.  I am very happy working alongside the fine artists we have in this awe-inspiring area.

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Linda Steine has fun while she paints, paints, paints.

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Colleen Gilgenbach concentrates on color.

Please feel free to suggest other pertinent questions.