Saturday, August 29, 2015

My Story As An Artist

My Story As An Artist – Limited Version At Best

I've been invited by Patience Brewster to join her family in celebrating artists during the month of August (Artist Appreciation Month).  She is an artist of beautiful and whimsical work. Perhaps you already own one or more of her uniquely designed Christmas Ornaments.  If not do check the link.  They are stunning!  This interview has been designed for others to learn more about artists who blog.  I invite you to read my short story version of becoming an artist.

As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?
My earliest recollection of art were framed prints depicting the stories of Christ hung on the walls of the church my family attended.  Another work of art that fascinated me as a preschooler was a landscape that hung in my father’s parents’ home above their fireplace.  I still remember vividly the vast panoramic scene of forest, mountains and a river fed by a very high waterfall.  A bright, peaceful light breaks through the trees to rest on a group of rugged pioneer-looking men who were sitting and warming around a campfire.  Years later in art class I would learn that this pattern of beautiful light was an illusion device used by the artist to direct the viewer to the focal point being the events and lives of people gathered around the campfire.  I discovered that more than likely it was a print in the style and subject of the Hudson River School.  The paintings of Albert Bierstadt in the permanent holdings of galleries in Oklahoma City and Tulsa here in Oklahoma lead me to believe that it was a print from his work.  I was very impressed with that work.  It was like reading a very interesting book.  I felt as if I were in the story!  The following image is a painting made by Albert Bierstadt.

As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?
I don’t have any noble “ideas” or “causes” that inspire me to do my paintings.  For a few years, especially when I was in college, I felt that maybe I was “missing the mark” with my work.  The only answer I would have had then to this question is that I love it!  Simply that!  I love it!  I love the creation of it, the touch and smells the process brings, the brushstrokes, the love of subject and any sensations that I have during the process!  After maturing a bit and learning to understand art with my own eyes and heart rather than be tied to what books and art critics have to say about it, I’m comfortable with expressing a desire to capture a moment or vignette of my life.   If my work brings a smile, remembrance of an event, experience or pleasure to anyone besides me then I’ve gone beyond “my story to their story” in that particular work. 
“Creating art is much more than developing a product.  The mystery and passion in creating comes from the heart of the designer.  The actions I express with brush and paint on a two-dimensional surface describes, in the form of an image, the process that has been placed in my heart by a Master Designer and Creator.”  (My Artist Statement)

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I’ll never forget the encouragement of my first sale, my first individual show, and now collectors!  My life has been enriched by many who like my work.  I’ve had my work critiqued constructively and received a few not so constructive remarks!  I’m no longer apt to be crushed by any negative remarks.  All artists must be ready for both.  We (artists) are a fragile lot!  Both positive and negative remarks bring opportunities for us to mature in confidence and skill in our craft.

What is your dream project?
I would love for all schools in the USA to be able to have the resources, the teachers and scheduled curriculum of learning about and creating art.  I know from studies I have had in college and statistics that I read that children love art, they need it and it plays a great role in the overall intelligence of children who have had opportunities to be around it and produce it.

What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)
There are so many that I enjoy!  I love the work of John Singer Sargent of whom I share the same calendar date of birth!  I always thought his portraits were exceptional but when I see them “for real” in exhibits and famed homes I’m speechless.  They are lovely!
Oil is my favorite medium.  I feel very engaged with the creative process with oils; however, I enjoy some of the properties of watercolor too.  

As an additional note, I’m very interested in some of the art journaling I’ve seen online.  I didn’t even know of such a thing for a long time.  My first opinion was “Why?”  I caught myself thinking as a negative critic… BUT,  then I saw a “you-tube” presentation in which a gifted artist was designing, placing, altering, applying vintage images and pictures, cutting, and covering things she had collaged together to very emotional music about a mother…..Oh my….I was moved to tears!!! 
SHE HAD CONVEYED SOMETHING SHE HAD EXPERIENCED TO ME….I HAVE HAD THAT EXPERIENCE TOO!!!  What emotions and love she told in that small booklet!

 Life motivates us to create and express our ideas and emotions for many different reasons and in diversified ways.  Art is the result whether we are professionals, hobbiests, or children artists.     There is no need for grandeur!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Clementine - Cow Painting

18x18 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
Clementine is a black baldy cow.  She seems to be gazing out of a window at her viewer doesn't she?  Our family has been in the cattle business for over 50 years.....going back to my husband's dad who was a farmer and raised cattle.  I especially love to see this crossbred cow mixed with Hereford cows grazing on green pasture.  The design in color, texture, and composition is very exciting for me. For more information on the Black Baldy click here:

 Clementine is named for a dear friend in Arkansas.  I am honored to know her.  She is a fine, Christian person and mentored my husband and I when we lived in Fayetteville.  For information about buying this cow you can follow this link.  Just CLICK.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cow Painting - Bonnie

6x6 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
I have trouble painting with small brushes these days.  I prefer using larger brushes and painting on larger supports; however, I know that stretching myself is good.  So this small 6x6 painting called for smaller brushes of course (lol).  Also, blond cows are not my favorite to paint, but somehow this one appealed to me as I looked through my photos.  I thought the red would be good for her warm blond coat.  I'm pleased with her.   For pricing, click HERE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Faster I Go - The Further Behind I Get!

I think my post today is a very FAST "CATCH UP" post.  Somehow in my head I think I can get all of May's posts made before the DEADLINE (May 31, 2015)!  Do you ever feel like that?  I do enjoy posting about my work, but as the title above reveals....something in our lives has to suffer.  I try not to allow my painting be the one!  

Gardening is very much on my mind these days.  For right now we do not have to worry about watering the gardens here in Oklahoma, so my tomato plants may have a better survival rate (lol).  I love tomatoes.  I love painting them and they are wonderful subjects for paintings.   A friend and fellow blogger raises tomatoes and makes salsa every year.  I would love to be like her (Wordweaver Art).  Just getting those tomatoes to grow is a challenge for both my husband and I.  Anyway, I couldn't wait for them to start producing so I have been buying them.  These two in the painting below were so pretty that I took one off and consumed it, but decided to paint the other two with the vine still on them.  I set them on a window sill and the light is from the back of the tomatoes themselves; however, the light bounced around them and the sill providing several exciting design elements that hopefully I managed to record on canvas.  Click on the title if you are interested in buying.  It will take you to my Etsy shop.  Thanks for coming by today to hear me "whine" about time (lol).  
Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two Small Cow Paintings!

6x8 Oil on Ramar Artist Board
Cheri Wollenberg
6x6 Canvas Print
Cheri Wollenberg

Today I'm being kind of lazy and posting about two small paintings at once.  I decided to do some smaller works.  Actually this is a challenge to me.  I don't work too well with small brushes. I'm used to doing much larger works of cows, and I use much larger brushes.  These are two of our son's cows.  I have a wealth of resources with his changing herds.  My husband and I run around in the Gator and the cows come up very close to the Gator.  They are so curious and many times think we are coming with something for them to eat.  Had a good time taking photos of these!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Purple And White Iris Oil Painting

8x8 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
I was upstairs in my studio when my husband called me from downstairs and said he wanted to show me something.  As I went down I began to question him....what was it?  Of course he wanted to be mysterious and made me wait.  He showed me this volunteer iris that had popped up very close to the foundation of our home.  It was an unexpected one and he knows how it pleased me to see its beauty.  He also knows what I do with these kind of finds?  It was from some bulbs that I had dug up in my mother's yard last summer.  I had thrown some of the leftover bulb "trash" and soil at the corner of the flower bed thinking that there wasn't anything in it but dirt!

Painting this iris reminded me of my mother.  She left this world last August but she left many memories for her four girls, family and friends.  She loved to garden.  At anytime of a spring and summer day you could drive by her house and she would be stooped over pulling weeds.  Everytime she came to visit me...everytime....if we were standing around visiting outside and she saw a stray weed (she saw plenty of them), she would stoop over and pull it up.  

My mother!  I miss her.  I thank her for many things she brought to my life.  I thank her for the opportunity to see this flower grow up and provide an opportunity for me to paint such a simple, little work.  During the process of painting it I enjoyed once mother's presence.  A long post...sorry!  You can find this painting in my Etsy shop by clicking here.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Maud II - Cow Painting

16x20 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
I think my motto for today will be "pray" in addition to "paint".  In Oklahoma we have had torrential rains the past couple of weeks flooding many parts of our state.  AND, there is more rain to come!  This magnitude of downpour doesn't happen too often here in our state.   In fact we have been in a very bad drought the last several years.  Record downfall and rain measurements are being recorded and might never be broken at least in this generation's lifetime.   Many folks here have lost their homes either in tornados or damage from floods.  Texas has also had such a bad season for storms.   Wheat crops in both states have been jeopardized; however, hard to see during times of hardship, the good and positive news is that our ponds, streams, and lakes have risen back to normal and above.  Also, many other types of crops may thrive.  People in city and rural areas that depend on lakes for drinking water and daily living will perhaps have  a generous amount for a couple of years.  Our cattle will have grass.  It is very easy to see the negative, but we must focus on the positive.

This painting was one I finished a couple of days ago.  She brings a smile to my face.  Hope it helps your day as well.  She is listed in my Etsy shop.  Click here to see.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mama Red Hen and Chicks - Farm Animal Painting

12x12 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
My husband and I have lived on farms all our married life except for a 10 year period that his work as a pastor took us to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He was an agriculture teacher in Oklahoma and farmed full time, raised cattle and preached!  I taught art in school later after our children were in high school.  We have loved both our farm and teaching lives.   Now during the retirement years we still work at farming though on a very small scale.  Our newest venture in raising animals has been chickens!  LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!!! What fun we have had.  Knowing nothing we have raised enough chickens to have fresh eggs now for a couple of years.  Recently we decided to try our hand at chicks!!!  LAUGH OUT LOUD AGAIN!!!!  We started with four eggs because we don't want to have a population explosion.  The reason being is that we could never eat any chickens....only have fun with them and enjoy their wonderful produce.  So...out of the four "planned family" experience we have hatched two.  These two are in this painting.  I couldn't help but want to paint them.  They would not stay still long enough for me to get a good shot of them, so I had to improvise somewhat.  Enjoyed this venture.  Hopefully I can  post that we were successful in raising these little chicks to adulthood someday.  This painting's description and price are in my Etsy store.  Click Here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blue and White Pitcher with Yellow Roses

10x10 Original Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
I have had such beautiful roses this year.  It has not been easy to come by either.  It has taken a good seven years of experimentation, education and hard work.  We live on a hill in central Oklahoma and the dirt is red!  It is red clay but beautiful, but it isn't the best soil or doesn't provide the best conditions for roses, hydrangea or peonies.  Thanks to some wonderful articles in blogs and information on Pinterest I've managed to get my roses to bloom.  I guess my main purpose for working with these particular flowers is that I love painting them.  This particular still life only features a couple, but I'm working on bouquets.  My love for blue and white pottery and china seems to compliment the roses.  This painting is listed in my Etsy store.  Have a LOOK, and thanks for stopping by:)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Floral Still Life Painting - Yellow Daisies, Lilacs, Blue And White Pitcher

14x18 Stretched Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
This floral still life painting features bright yellow daisies, lilacs and baby's breath  arranged in a blue and white pitcher. It is fun to work with complementary colors when arranging still life compositions.  The complementary color of yellow is purple, and the complement of blue is orange.  I used  hues from both color families as I painted. I actually painted this once before.  I had saved the image so that I could use it as a reference.  As I began to search my files (and files) of photos I found this again and decided it would be fun.  It is listed in my Etsy shop.  Click here to find it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Still Life Painting - Red Strawberries and Yellow Tea Pot

Red Strawberries and Yellow Tea Pot Still Life
12x12 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg

Still painting strawberries!!  This painting features a brilliant yellow pottery tea pot with deliciously red strawberries strewn around it on a white cup towel. I love red.  I love strawberries and I love to paint.  This is my painting for today!  You can find this painting in my Etsy store.  CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Strawberries and Demitasse

Strawberries and Demitasse
6x8 Stretched Canvas
Still Life Painting by Cheri Wollenberg

I've been buying  fresh strawberries again.  So, this usually means that because they are so beautiful I am compelled to paint little paintings of them before they are all consumed!  In this little composition I arranged the strawberries around this little demitasse, blue and white cup and saucer.  I loved the primary color scheme it created; however, I must confess that I have several more little paintings in the "oven".
This small painting can be found in my Etsy shop.  You can click the widget at your right on the screen or click here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blue Bonnet Duo - Two Cows Standing in Blue Bonnets

20x30 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
I was inspired to create this painting of these two cows, one an Angus cow and the other a Hereford cow, standing in a field of green grass and blue bonnets when my son brought some pictures to me that he had taken while working in Texas. He is a cattleman and works for Stockman Oklahoma Commission Company. He regularly travels to Texas to film cows for video sale and/or supervise loading cattle for his company's customers. He knows how excited I become when he brings home beautiful pictures of Texas hill country and cattle. He doesn't always have time to take photos, but last spring he got some great shots of blue bonnets.  This painting features two of his own cattle here in Oklahoma close to my home. I placed the Texas blue bonnets inspired by his photos in the composition for fun.  Click here to buy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Red, Delicious Strawberries - Food Still Life Painting

8x8 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
Strawberries have a way of coming into my painting compositions every year about this time.  I can't decide whether the inspiration comes from loving the delicious food itself, their color and handsome design, or whether they look  stunning and inviting mixed with other shapes, colors and textures.  Either reason I enjoy painting them as a favorite food and subject in of my small my still lifes.  This one is listed in on Etsy.  Click Here

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Retro Cat and Red Apples - A Still Life Painting

Retro Cat and Red Apples
6x8 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
This little ceramic cat was an article that graced my grandmother's home for many years.  As a child I was fascinated by it as well as other items that she had placed around in various arrangements or on certain table tops with family pictures.  She had 9 children of whom my mother was number 6.  My grandfather had been a farmer all his life except when he served in WWI so they didn't have a lot of monetary things.  Their home was full of love; however my grandmother of 4'11" was a disciplinarian!  I'm sure she had to get her bluff in some way because of her size if not because of the need for organization in a large home and family situation.  Plus, on this side of my life I understand why one would not want 15+ grandkids jumping on her beds.  All this to say, I was not allowed to play with her knick-knacks, but I had a great imagination.  I imagined stories around this little ceramic figure....some of them quite whimsical.  It became one of my possessions when I found it in my mothers garage many years later.  This little painting makes me smile.  I smiled all the time I painted it.  The figurine is in other paintings I've done.  I still get a charge of memory out of arranging it in compositions great and small.  It is listed in my Etsy store.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rooster for March

12x12 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
The painting today features a rooster that we raised.  He was such an even tempered and friendly rooster when he was younger.  He was one of four roosters we obtained last spring.  We decided to keep him because he seems to easy going!  However, growing up and becoming the only rooster with five hens, his personality has changed.  I don't know if it is the winter months and not getting to graze freely as much as usual, guarding his hens,  or maybe he has gotten really conceited because he is so beautiful (ha!).   Whatever the reason, I'm so afraid that he may have to leave.  After two episodes trying to attack my husband during feeding time, he may not get to remain as the protector of those hens (lol)!  So, I have been getting lots of images of him so that I can paint him whenever I like.  I listed one on Etsy today.  You can follow this link by clicking "see" to find out more about him.  Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

SELFIE Portrait With Coffee Cup by Cheri Wollenberg

9x12 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
9x12x.75 Wrap Around Canvas
YES, this is me!  NO, it is not a mop!  I need coffee in the morning!!!  Several cups!  I love coffee jokes too. 
THIS PAINTING IS NOT FOR SALE!  It is my SELFIE portrait; however, I will be happy to paint one of you behind your cup!  Please Read On...
I was inspired recently as I was enjoying my first cup of java.  I looked really bad!  We have this mirror at the kitchen door going to the back and I saw myself.  Oh my!  My hair was flying everywhere (as it usually does....more like feathers), and I couldn't help but laugh.  I decided to take a selfie to send to a couple of my sisters who also "love" their morning coffee.  So here it is....I have to confess, I painted my hair a little better, didn't paint all the wrinkles and made my baggy eyes look a little better.  I didn't want to scare anyone.  I took my ARTISTIC LICENSE!
Let me paint your "selfie" portrait! Follow this link for more information:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dancing Prancing Roosters at Sunset by Cheri Wollenberg

20x30 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
The sun was setting and there was a glowing back-lit landscape behind them.  I had taken my camera out to photo the chickens right before we put them up for the evening.  These five roosters were prancing in front of the silos and the sun behind them was glowing as it was going down.  I deliberately painted them lighter from the photo I had because in life they showed up so much better; however, as always...painting from a photo never is as good as painting from life.  I enjoyed painting them though and maybe I recreated a little of their prance.  They are listed for sale here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February Rooster Painting by Cheri Wollenberg

February Rooster 2015
16x20 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg

I've painted this rooster several times.  He was one of five roosters we raised last year.  We raised ten chicks and thought we had some hens as we fed and loved those silly chickens (lol).  To make a long story short, he is the only one left of the five roosters.  We finally had to choose one to keep!  It was a hard decision to make because all of them were unusually beautiful and different in color.  I have photographed this guy so many times from his youth.  He is a very proud and "fussy" rooster.  In fact, if he doesn't start behaving better he may end up leaving the chicken house against his will.  He is very protective of our five hens.  His cape is a little more golden than I have painted it in this head shot, but this will not be only time I delight in painting him.  He is a fabulous subject.  He is listed in my Etsy store in three different paintings.  Each one of them shows him in a different stage of his short life.  Click here to investigate:)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cow Painting Prints

20x20 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
Sophie sold almost before I could log out of my online store.  She is a young Hereford cow with such a beautiful rusty coat.  Her face is clean-white and she has a wet nose and large eyes that are set behind long, beautiful eyelashes.  She is a gentle cow:)  You can purchase a fine art print on canvas or paper of her on Fine Art America.  Check the following link!
cow paintings

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pink Tulips - Oil Painting

6x8 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
This is my second pink tulip oil painting finished last week.  I'm very ready for spring.  I look forward to the bulbed flowers breaking through the soil and giving me a sneak preview of their beauty.  Fun to do and pink!  Check them out in my Etsy store if you are interested.  Just click

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pink Tulips Still Life Painting

6x8 Oil on Canvas
Cheri Wollenberg
Pink tulips make for a fun painting during the cold weather as we anticipate spring and the warming soils producing colors of delight.  I think I'll probably paint more!  This small painting is listed in my Etsy store.

Poppy The Pig, Original Oil Painting by Cheri Wollenberg

Poppy Original 8x8 Oil Painting On Canvas by Cheri Wollenberg   Poppy is pig who might be hungry and waiting on his master to bring corn or ...