Make your own free website on

Plein Air Wisconsin--La Crosse Area Plein Air Artists

2. Artists' Biographies and Art

Home | Nothing | 2. Artists' Biographies and Art | 3. Club Background | 4. Club Photo Album | 5. Contact Us | 6. Interviews with Artists | 7. Members List | 8. Recent and Upcoming Events | 9. Related Links

Riverside Park in La Crosse, on the Mississippi.
Watercolor by Donna Cuta


I graduated from the Viterbo University Art Education Program in 1970. I started my career after completing my degree and teaching 2nd grade for three years. Shortly thereafter, I began teaching at Aquinas High School in La Crosse and did so for 32 years. I also taught summer programs of Upwardbound at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, evening art at Western Wisconsin Technical College, and summer school art programs. I have been immersed in art through teaching others, learning more about drawing, painting, batik, pottery, and sculpture over the years because students needed to know more from me. The City of La Crosse commissioned me, through Elmer Peterson, to create a large outdoor sculpture. Dancers: A Ribbon of Life, stands in the parking lot of the Pump House Regional Center for the Arts. Here I have had two one-person shows. Eight other themes art shows have been held in the La Crosse area. The national show CBS Sunday Morning show Used My SUN PAINTING many times as a break image. The year 2005 was spent designing images for our cities Park and Recreation van and two large sea horses for the swimming pools. In 2006 I am painting area scenes for a local hospital and sharing my talent as artist in residence at a neighborhood center. My motto is "Joy comes through living and doing art with and for others." For more info call 784-4998 or email me at

A Flower Painting Made With Paper
Collage by Barbara Decker


I have always loved to create with my hands and to observe the colors and patterns in the world about me. The past thirty five years have been spent sharing art with children, beginning with my own three sons and their friends and later as a practicing artist and art teacher.

I graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a major in biochemistry, but it was the art elective that I really loved. I met my husband at George Washington Medical School where I received a MS in Physiology. My art career really began after my first son was born and several years later I obtained a MA in Art Education at the University of Houston. Working with art after school programs and through local art centers and teaching in our back yard led me to many opportunities to share art and art principles with children. Over ten years I taught art classes to young people at El Paso Community College and directed a summer camp for the Young Peoples Community College there. This led to an interest in a Childrens Festival called Generation-2000; I am about to complete my 19th year of developing hands-on creative activities for this event. In the summer of 2006 I will be teaching 3rd to 5th graders art at the 2006 College for Kids in Plattsville, Wisconsin.

I have taken several semesters of ceramic classes, worked with oil painting and fiber arts and played with my own art creative ideas. The move to La Crosse, WI in 1997 gave me the opportunity to define my art interests and I have been working in clay and collage since that time. Using my experience with oil painting, fibers, and colors, I have developed a style of college which I call PAINTING WITH PAPER. I use small pieces of colored paper to create paintings of landscapes and florals.

Pablo Picasso said, that every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once he/she grows up. I sincerely feel that my years of sharing art with children have kept that spirit alive in me and my work. Contact me through my website at

A watercolor of a bluff top, painted on Yupo paper
Painted by Joan Nee


For Joan, Art has always been a journey.
Her work reflects this in its depiction of journeys both real and of the mind. She loves the explosion of color on paper and the changes with the many types of surfaces she paints on.
Joan discovered in the early grades that everything, even our hands have a multitude of colors. So, she used many colors in all her school projects that were atypical of young students. In 7th grade, she was chosen to represent her city at a special art camp. This was the last art class she was allowed to attend until the last semester senior year of high school because she was told if you are going to college you cannot take art. She then received a scholarship to a small college and was so excited to major in art. However, during registration, she was told that it was a waste of scholarship money to study art and was told she was music major. This was a difficult year for the artist.
The following year, Joan transferred to UW- Madison to study art. Living in Madison in the 70's was in itself a journey of adventure; the art department being quite an adventure. (Anyone around at that time will know what it was like) This journey took Joan from the art department to the Occupational Therapy Department. At that time, art was an integral part of the training for Occupational Therapy. She continued to study art both at the university and at MATC in the evenings.
It was in the study of occupational therapy that she learned that art can be a process that brings healing, that art can enhance the quality of life, and that art can be something for everyone. It was from this training that she now teaches the very beginner, the person who has never tried painting, but always wanted to try. She also learned that therapy is an art that demands a tremendous amount of creative energy. Joan has gained quite a reputation in the therapy area for creativity and for enhancing the creative process for both patient and colleague. Through her private practice in Occupational Therapy, she has specialized in whole brain learning, and techniques that maximize human potential. This she incorporates in her Artist Retreats which are held at Telemark Lodge in Cable Wisconsin.
So, along with watercolor, she also uses that medium of therapy to enhance the quality of life for all. Contact Joan at and see her work at

Bluff Country Storm Clouds
An oil painting by Linda Steine


I have been fortunate to call La Crosse my life long home with the bluffs and the mighty Mississippi as my inspiration. As a child I recorded what I saw with my black and white camera, watercolors, pencils and pastels. Today I continue this tradition through painting in acrylic, oils, watercolor and mixed media. I love to call myself a true plein air artist when out on location, as I try to complete at least ninety percent of my paintings on site. In addition to painting the local landscape my husband and I take every opportunity to travel to places of interest throughout Wisconsin and the United States, I keep my camera and sketch with me wherever I go recording this our countrys natural beauty. During the winter months I work on the paintings from our travels. When I am not painting, I am teaching art classes and workshops to children and adults. I hold a B.S. in Art and a Minor in Photography from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and I am pursuing my life long dream as a professional artist.

Contact me at


My skills developed through workshops, adult night classes, my association with fellow artists, and experimenting with various mediums, stitchery, pottery, and crafts. Watercolor became a strong favorite. Painting offers a high like no other as I strive to further develop my skills and aspirations. Living in the rural area with the inspirational settings of nature, I am surrounded by my favorite subjects. Traveling and doing photography extensively for some years has built my original and varied resource library. I sell selectively. I also enjoy membership in varied art groups, serving many terms as an officer, including in the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association.

I can be reached at or at 608-988-4331.


Sara Lubinski paints landscapes to capture a sense of place, particularly within the upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The upper Midwest is a wonderful place to be an artist with her interests; the rivers, forests, and farmlands provide endless materials to explore the amazing patterns of nature.

Sara believes there is a strong connection between interpreting the landscape artistically and understanding and respecting the environment. Her background as an ecologist and botanist heightens her awareness and appreciation of the natural world that in turn, enhances and compliments her artistic perspectives.

Sara paints familiar, ordinary scenes at different times of day, or in different seasons to capture a moment in time. Her favorite approach is to paint outdoors or en plein air. Painting en plein air is compelling to Sara because she reaches a deep level of awareness and connection to her surroundings while at the easel. Sara seeks not just the creation of beauty, but the essential functions of art: exploring the mysteries of the world, searching for meaning, becoming enlightened, wise, and whole, and in turn, sharing her sense of awe and place in the world with others.

Contact her at