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HomeUncategorizedDuluth Artist Lisa Stauffer Shares Plein Air Talent with North Shore Workshops

Duluth Artist Lisa Stauffer Shares Plein Air Talent with North Shore Workshops

They arrived in a handful of cars at the pub­lic boat landing in the Rec Park the morning of July 7, as the Art Colony prepared Grand Marais for its annual Arts Festival. Bearing license plates from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ontario, the cars carried artists attending a workshop conducted by Duluth based Artist Lisa Stauffer.

While the attendees unloaded chairs, easels, umbrellas and bug repellant, Lisa scouted the location where the En Plein air (in the open air) workshop would take place. The spot they chose was the southwest most place on the harbor and they set up facing the massive rock outcroppings that separate the bay from the big lake. The artists spent a few hours in the cool breeze off the lake and each paint­ed the scene as they saw it. Observers could watch as blank canvas gave way to the beauty that is Lake Superior.

Harbor Sunset Pastel with Wa­tercolor Underpainting on Mulitmedia Artboard Pastel Panel, by Lisa Stauffer.

Lisa, who has been recognized as an Eminent Pastelist by the International Association of Pastel Societies, says, “I love painting and I like sharing my love of painting with oth­ers.” She considers herself an artist, a teacher, a mentor to aspiring painters, and a student herself.

Lisa graduated from St. Anthony Village High School where she excelled in science, math, and art appreciation. The high school­er who thought she would pursue pre-med or pre-vet studies at university discovered Visu­al Design in her third year at the U of M. She loved how the study of the science of light and color in Visual Design combined her love of art and science.

Earning a Masters Degree in Design from the University of Minnesota, Lisa went on to teach art there for four years.

Pastel is more than just the soft pale col­or of bathroom fixtures and tiles in the 50s and 60s. “Pastel is a dry medium,”

Lisa says. Pastel is the powdered pigment mixed with a binder. It is favored for plein air painting.

Lisa stresses that it is not the painting that results, but the process of painting that is most important to learn. She has worked with and been mentored by some of the most significant painters of her generation, Albert Handell, Sally Strand, the late Eliza­beth Mowry, and Richard McKinley. Each of them are members of the Pastel Hall of Fame maintained by the Pastel Society of America.

“I want to teach and mentor as generously as those four taught and mentored me,” Lisa says.

Reflecting on artists, Lisa says, “Masters paint until they die because their learning never stops. Look at world renowned cellist YoYo Ma. He still practices eight hours a day, challenging himself.”

Lisa’s workshops are posted on her website, www.lisastauffer.com. “I care about commu­nicating and sharing the joy of painting,” she says.

Lisa focuses on getting workshop attendees to learn to see as an artist and paint from real life. She teaches painting principles like col­or, value, and shape along with the process of painting.

Beginners of any age are welcome at most of the workshops she conducts. “It’s not too late to start painting if you’re willing to be an amiable second grader,” she says. “We all start brand new.”

Lisa studies the works of great artists and contemplates the process they use. “The next thing I see that I don’t know how it was done is what draws me in,” she says.

Lisa is gratified by her work with students and is never bored. Like most artists at any stage of their career would say, she added, “It can be so much fun learning something new.” Lisa’s work will be entered in the upcoming Plein Air Grand Marais Competition and Festival, although scheduling conflicts will keep her from attending Competition Week in person. Painting for the event begins August 14. Competition week is September 15-23 and the awards presentation is the evening of September 22 at the Johnson Heritage Post museum in Grand Marais. Details can be found at https://www.outdoorpaintersofminnesota.org.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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