February Artist: EricaHuntzinger
Erica Jane Huntzinger grew up in a western suburb of Chicago, IL. Pursuing the humanities, specifically painting and ceramics, she studied art and English literature at Illinois State University and transferred into the painting department at The University of Illinois. In her last semester, Erica studied art and ecology in England at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. She graduated from The University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and a Major in Painting. Desiring deeper meaning into art and the self, Huntzinger pursued further education and received her Masters Degree in Art Therapy at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
As a painter, Huntzinger describes her work as visual documentations of internal landscapes. Her work is captured and distilled through sensitive attention to experiences in an attempt to bridge the dualities of the conscious and the unconscious. Each piece is realized through the use and manipulation of color, texture, text and space; filtered, steeped in and manifested through paint and clay.
Huntzinger has shown throughout the country, mainly in her home state of Illinois and Chicago, where several of her paintings are permanently installed at the following: Uncommon Ground (Devon and Grace locations), The University of Illinois at Chicago Children’s Center, and Delilah’s. Bank First National built a new location in Plymouth, WI and recently acquired three prints, a diptych and and an oil painting of Huntzinger’s.
She has frequently shown professionally, most notably a solo show entitled “Our Seas” at The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in their Priebe Gallery, The Chicago Cultural Center‘s “People of the Mud II: Another look at Chicago Ceramics”, Silvermine Guild Art Center’s “Craft USA”, The John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s “Eight Counties Art Show”, Prak Sis Gallery’s “Axis International Art Festival”, several shows with Margin Gallery, The Hudson in Milwaukee, WI and guest artist at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago’s Art Therapy 30th Anniversary Exhibition. Huntzinger currently lives and works in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and commutes often to Chicago to exhibit her work.
When I first started out, I never would have imagined I’d enjoy photography as much as I do today. I didn’t realize how such a simple concept (taking pictures) could be extremely rewarding in so many different ways. Photography is an outlet for me. It’s an excuse to get away from the stresses of life, and immerse myself in something more. It’s a way for me to slow down, appreciate nature, and really see things in a whole new manner. Let’s be honest, ‘images’ are all around us, we just need to ‘see’ them. That’s the beauty of photography, once you find yourself immersed in it, you can’t help but see everything from this new vantage point. It adds an element that is addicting, that is rewarding, that is relaxing. It’s because of all these reasons that I can’t get enough of it, and all I can do is look forward to where my next photoshoot might take me!
This was, by far, my coldest December photoshoot. This morning held whopping highs of -6F with a real feel of -24F. Sometimes sunrises fall short and aren’t the most breathtaking thing you could hope for, but even the slightest break in clouds can make for a wonderful shot – especially when the rocks are coated with ice – which allowed the soft sunrise light to reflect off them in a beautiful way! I could only take my hands out of my gloves for a few seconds before they would go completely numb!
This shot was taken in Port Washington, Wisconsin underneath the lighthouse, during the morning hours. Legs were sore after this one as I had to sit in a crouched position for far too many minutes, waiting for the right wave.
Sometimes people are so focused on watching a beautiful sunset (and rightfully so) that they forget to turn around and look the other way. Here’s a shot facing east (over Lake Michigan) while the sun sets in the west. I couldn’t believe the absolute beauty of this scene. If you look at the water, you can see how the bright sunset on my right clashes with the beautiful blue sky/moon on my left (moon not shown)! Look further right and you will see the silhouette of the Sheboygan Lighthouse. Look at the end of the jetty and you will notice a seagull also admiring the sunset. It was an absolutely magnificent show!
Craig Grabhorn lives and works in Sheboygan, WI. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is a practiced designer, printmaker and painter. Raised in rural Minnesota, he embraces nature, history of human hand, and place in his work. His work explores aspects of time, connection to place and materiality. Inspired by the modernist movement of the late 20’s and it’s tendencies for abstraction, and inspiration in connection to nature. His current work is inspired by the light and color studies from an ongoing photographic series, 50 over 50 atmos which is a daily photo capture from the same space overlooking Lake Michigan.
New paintings prints explore elements of this series, while drawing inspiration from the repetitious nature of tapestry. The formations are a practice in translating the light and color of this outer environment, bringing them to into a format nodding to that of objects we value within our personal constructed spaces. www.craiggrabhorn.com
Stuart Howland is a visual arts instructor at IDEAS Academy (grades 9-12) and The Mosaic School (grades 6-8), both charter schools in Sheboygan. He received a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1984 from UW-Superior, and a master’s degree in 1989 and art education certification in 1992 from UW-Milwaukee. Both degrees are in painting and drawing.
In his artist’s statement, Howland says that his life has been devoted to being a collector of images and sensations. “My process of accumulation is via two agents — nature and culture,” he said. “My early stirrings were to be in and observing nature, as this has always moved me from a very young age during my boyhood in Duluth, Minnesota. It is in nature, I reconnect with the boy who explored woods, fields, ponds, rivers; who always was checking under rocks and boards, waist deep in ponds, climbing trees, etc.”
Howland added that he has “a voracious appetite for the works of humanity music, theater, and especially related to the visual arts. In my mind I hold countless images, and it is here where the spirit is made material. Think: Klee, Rembrandt, medieval art, contemporary art, ancient, primitive, on and on.
“For nearly three decades I have developed paintings on wood supports. I begin paintings with little preconceived notion of what I will paint. Instead I begin by applying transparent stains of acrylic paint onto the surface as this pulls out contrast of the wood grain patterns. I value this process as it provides the work with a bio form structure to build upon.”
“Through multiple layers of the above process along with accentuating certain happenings images begin to appear to me, which then add to provide the viewer to see what I imagine. I employ what I call the Pareidolia Operating System. Pareidolia is the phenomenon where persons view such occurrences as random clouds, splotches and stains patterns on old water tower or char patterns on pieces of toast and identifying some image such as a cow, Jesus, the Mother Mary. For me it too conjures and mixes and matches the multiplicity of images stored in my mind through a lifetime of collecting.”
Before joining the Sheboygan Area School District in August 2004, Howland worked in Milwaukee Public Schools for 14 years and spent seven years working with gifted and talented students. He has also taught drawing at UW-Milwaukee and Cardinal Stritch University.
Fascinated with all things art from the start, I have been making, creating and dreaming of being an artist for as long as I can remember. After I graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School, I moved to California. While I lived in Oceanside, California I earned an Associates of Science in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California San Diego in 2010. After graduation I returned to Wisconsin, pursued my dreams, and started my business, Jessica Rassel Art and Design. Throughout the United States I’ve collaborated and freelanced with clients and completed projects ranging from public murals at libraries and schools, residential murals, commissioned paintings, wood burnings, information graphics, logos and branding, illustrations and designs for print on apparel, paper goods, gifts, billboards and more.
Inspired by nature and the effects of natural cycles, I aspire to create artwork using natural, found materials. With a passion for art, nature and healing, I incorporate positive energy into each art piece with the intent of transferring hope, healing and positive energy to people interacting with the artwork. Most influenced by my love for nature and healing is my Animal Totem Series of paintings on wood slices, Henna Tattoos and my Moon Phase information graphic.
The Animal Totem series of paintings I created are sliced from downed trees on family property. I then hand-sanded the wood pieces down to a smooth to the touch finish. The details, created with acrylic paint, are intended to highlight and flow with the movement of the woodgrain. Each Animal Totem is infused with a message to remind us to pay attention to aspects of ourselves and let the animal’s natural instincts inspire us to try our best and positively impact the world around us.
Another natural form of artwork I create are Henna Tattoos. Henna Tattoos are temporary designs created with a paste made from crushed flowers and leaves from the Henna plant, then mixed with essential oils. Applying the intricate designs on the skin, often with mandalas and repetitive natural elements, has a wonderful meditative effect for me and the person receiving the artwork. The Henna tattoo adorns the skin with a beautiful, dark-amber colored stain that lasts up to two weeks. Henna speaks to the importance of self-adornment and self care, it is popular for Baby Blessings, Brides, Bridal parties, Rights of Passages, events and celebrations of all kinds. My favorite part of the Henna tattoo process is cultivating a sacred experience, spreading positive energy, and creating connections throughout the community.
My love of the moon influenced me to create the Full Moon watercolor painting, used as the base of my Moon Phase Lunar Rhythm Guide. An information graphic infused with fine art, the Lunar Rhythm Guide is intended to guide us into flowing with the natural cycles of the moon. Tuning into Lunar rhythm brings attentiveness to natural cycles and strengthens our intuition to develop a deep synchronization and inner knowing of natural cycles and their effect upon everything around us.
For inquiries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find me on Facebook: Jessica Rassel Art & Design
BEAVER’S RECYCLED SIGNS
Brent and Zach have been friends for many years and have enjoyed working together to rebuild each other’s basements, closets, and other handy jobs. In February of 2016, Brent decided to make something special for his wife Rachel and his 3rd wedding anniversary. He came across some license plate art auctions online and quickly built his first custom sign. Luckily for Zach, there were enough letters and numbers left over to make a birth sign for his first child, Nora. Now, as Beaver’s Recycled Signs, they’ve added their unique style of distressed wood, dark stains, and recycled hardware to the many custom signs that they create.
BEAVER’S Recycled Signs participates in approximately 25 events per year which include selling pre made signs as well as creating custom, personalized signs for customers on site. Beaver’s Recycled Signs also hosts workshop events. During these workshops, they’ve hosted 20-85 people who have all designed and built their very own sign.
I love drawing, painting, and sculpting! I learned how to become a realistic artist throughout those art classes at North high school in Sheboygan. I began to desire more of the technical application of art in the corporate world. My passion for design transitioned me into Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design College. My path to becoming an Industrial Designer taught me how to develop an idea and design it according to the needs of a company’s product. We endlessly practice sketching, 3D modeling, and creating attractive surface design. While I was studying how to become a designer, I was practicing and honing my skills in origami. My overwhelming passion in creating origami-inspired ideas and having my own brand brought me to develop my own business. I am on a mission to developing a brand inspired by the technical, functional, and design side of origami. You will see some of my complex paper folds shown here. I believe that for a company to have a creative brand, it is important to build a foundation based on pure innovation. I practice creating pure innovation by randomly folding paper and observing what I create. With a purpose and intent, I replicate and control the folds into what they might possibly become. Then from there, I take a design I like and turn it into a product. This process helps me to generate innovative ideas to my brand without copying what others have already created, giving my business great advantages!
My paintings are driven by a collection of certain things I feel can influence my work. In my studio I reduce those visuals into paintings with a minimalistic approach. Through my practice, I am able to bring what is important to the surface so that the viewer can interpret his/her own meaning.
Frank has exhibited at venues including the Museum of Wisconsin Art, Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, Carroll University, Cedarburg Cultural Center, Brickton Art Center, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Anderson Art Center, and the Rahr-West Art Museum. Frank is currently the art department chair at Sheboygan North High School.
My esthetic leans towards simple, modern and dramatic compositions, reflecting on nature’s tessellations. I enjoy designing abstracts with an organic slant. I work in many layers of paint, resists and employ different techniques to build on texture. The result belies the simplicity of my craft. Occasionally, I include the written word or my favorite poetry to complete a piece.
My love of fashion and sewing naturally draws me to fiber. Silk is my canvas, it is a very forgiving medium. Colors evolve intensely to produce the drama I want in the fabric.
Painting on silk is such an exciting experience. The paints are uncontrollable upon touching the silk and take on a life of their own, swirling, pushing, and merging into amazing contortions of vibrant color. The dye flow is tamed by various methods and the result is always a visual, textural surprise.
The master artists I admire are David Hocking, Sonia Delaunay, Matisse and of course Picasso!
Experimentation is endless and after a decade plus of playing and practice, I am still thrilled at every unexpected image or design.
Dale Knaak Dale is a native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He received the basis of his art training while living in Milwaukee, WI. After obtaining a degree in Commercial Art, he went on to study painting and drawing for five years with James Prohl of the Atelier Prohl School of Classic Realism. Currently he maintains an art studio in a 1900 sq/ft warehouse space in Sheboygan, WI as a full time, independent artist. He divides his time between painting and drawing, commissioned art and mural projects.
My works identify how I see and feel about the world around me. Created through direct observation, memory and intuition they are the product of the emotional responses that inspire me. It’s my intention to involve the viewer so they may have an appreciation of my inspiration.
Artist Steve Thimmig was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He Graduated From Sheboygan North High School in 1975 and except for one year at UW/Sheboygan he considers himself a self taught artist.
“I consider myself a visual musician because music is and always has been a huge influential factor in my art. A fascination and love for album cover art fuels that influence as well. I credit Storm Thorgerson, Roger Dean and Hugh Syme as some of my favorite artists and influences. My creative process is similar to that of a songwriter in that I take pieces of ideas (cords) and images (riffs) and piece them together to create a complete work.”
“My paintings are my songs.”
I was in third grade, mid-1950’s, Sacramento, California when I first developed my strong interest of art. I was able to express my imagination from the help of a teacher who understood the importance art. We had the opportunity to work with clay, paint, crayons, pencils and more. I learned many additional subjects like english, history, math and science. I really enjoyed making art more than almost anything and knew that I wanted to pursue art in college. Much of my art involved story telling, which led me to study creative writing and filmmaking at the UW Milwaukee.
After working in corporate communications for several years as a video producer,I left my job in the mid-1990’s to pursue my love of art. I was on a trip to Scotland when I discovered Encaustic as a medium. In a small quaint cottage, I met artists making postcards and selling blocks of Encaustic products. These artists were painting using travel irons, torches and heat guns to make their art that I have since called Encaustic “Painting with Fire”.
To me, working in the encaustic medium offers a whole array of opportunities. It lends itself to all styles of genre. Encaustic is a tremendously versatile medium. You can paint, print, collage, and sculpt. It is the perfect partner to many mixed media applications such as photography, paper arts, and digital art. Mix your own colors, create dimensional textures or surfaces smooth as glass, work in thin transparent glazes or heavy impasto; the choice is yours.
A bit of history:
It is an ancient medium. It was discovered and first used by ship builders in Greece around 2000 BC.They were looking for a good way to seal boards on ships and one of the boatmen discovered that the beeswax worked well when mixed with natural tree resin. He later discovered that this mixture would support pigments.
Pigments used at that time were derived from natural sources such as the so-called earth pigments, (minerals limonite and hematite, red ochre, yellow ochre and umber), charcoal from the fire (carbon black), burnt bones (bone black) and white from grounded calcite (lime white). These were finely ground and added to the melted beeswax.
Encaustic in Greek means “to burn in”. The artists of that day were using it on boats and sculptures, in architecture and murals. It was the chosen medium of that day and it became very popular in ancient art. It is durable and that is why many examples remain intact today.
Today, the encaustic medium is experiencing a renaissance. Encaustic is truly unique enjoyed by contemporary artists, students, and professionals alike as evidenced by annual conferences, and trade shows, and the development of organizations all with the single focus on the vitality of encaustic.
I have always been interested in art but it wasn’t until I purchased my first camera that I realized I had something special in my hands. I’m partial to landscape, abandoned houses and buildings. I often hop in my car and head off on a road trip just for the purpose of photography.
I attended college in Milwaukee where I studied printing & photography. I learned all the technical things on a camera, e.g. f-stops, shutter speed, film speed, exposure, etc. Started with film, and with some apprehension, went digital. After going digital, I attended classes at Lakeshore Technical College to learn Photoshop.
The biggest influences in my photography would have to be Edward Weston, who dealt mainly with shape and texture and Gregory Conniff, mainly a landscape photographer. I met with Gregory and had the honor of printing his book “Wild Edges”. Another favorite photographer of mine is Vivian Maier. She was a very good street photographer and was only discovered when someone purchased a trunk, after she had passed away, from an auction containing her negatives.
To the aspiring photographer, to be truly creative with the camera, learn the technical things on a camera and Photoshop (or some other photo editing software). Learn how to visualize your shots as well. Visualizing your photo is very important in creating or seeing the shot before you take the photo. Take your camera out of auto mode and learn to create using more of the manual settings on the camera. It’s also important to learn how to print your own photos. Yes, it’s easy to send your photos to the store to have printed but learning the process is a valuable attribute.
The more you learn what your camera can do, the more you won’t have to take 100 shots to get that “perfect” photo.
Abstracted View: Abstracted View is a photo taken in Wautoma, Wisconsin around the “golden hour” time of day. This is the when the sunlight is warm and you don’t have a glare in the camera lens. My friend and I were hunting for abandoned houses when we came upon this old car. I was immediately transfixed on the driver’s side window. The cracked window looked like an abstraction that an artist had made. I imagined myself riding in the car looking out that cracked window, imagining what the world on the outside would look like as I was riding by. This is when I came up with the title “Abstracted View”.
Treasure Hunter’s Find: As I was photographing an abandoned house in Crivitz, Wisconsin. I spotted two men digging and searching for valuable items alongside the property. The men left their tools inside the abandoned house along with some bottles they had dug up. If you look at the photo you’ll notice the foreground is in focus and the background is out of focus. The effect is created by using “depth of field” and is called “bokeh”.
I have been making art throughout my whole life. Since I really enjoy working with just about any art medium ( art materials), and I love to share the fun of making art, I find that being an art teacher is the perfect job for me. I have taught art to children in grades from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Right now I teach in the Sheboygan high schools.
My artwork is usually about things in my life that I treasure, like the people I care about and the things in our everyday lives that are important to my family and me. I made a copy of a work boot out of clay to honor my father-in-law, who was a hard working person. I made a copy of my husband’s Converse tennis shoe. I drew pictures of the house my family lives in, and made a small ceramic copy of it’s features. It is a sculpture called “Close the Back Door!” My favorite of these pieces is the sculpture that I made of my son when he was a baby. This was a way that I could continue to enjoy the forms of his little baby self as he keeps on growing into a young man. I had a lot of fun forgetting about time when I was forming the clay. I hope that you like my artwork, and that it inspires you to make something to honor important people and things in your life.