Disappearing Prairie I, 40×30, watercolor, © Helen Klebesadel 2019

I am experiencing pre-event nervousness as I plan to head off tonight, to the reception for the exhibition ‘Uprooted:  Plants in a Changing Climate  (5:00-9:00 pm, artist panel at 5:30).” I decided to write a blog post to distract myself and celebrate the occasion.

I am honored to have seven large watercolors in the exhibition, organized by the Wisconsin Academy of Science Arts and Letters,   If you will miss the reception, there is still time to see it. The exhibition runs through June 23, 2019.

There are nice articles about the exhibition in this week’s Ithmus,Existential threat:  Uprooted examines the impact of climate change on Wisconsin plants,”  and in the current issue of the Wisconsin Academy of Science Arts and Letters Magazine, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Uprooted: Plants in a Changing Climate.

I am one of seven artists showing artworks informed by direct observation in the field as well as in consultation with naturalists and scientists who are tracking the impact of climate change. The goal of the exhibition is to raise awareness about the serious threats facing our region’s fragile plant communities, as well as the wildlife that depends on these plants for food and habitat.”

In an era described as the Sixth Great Extinction, plants both rare and familiar are at risk, and climate change is accelerating the loss of unique habitats and species. For Uprooted, we’ve asked five Wisconsin artists to create new work focused on the diverse plant communities under threat in Wisconsin.  

The other artists exhibition who worked with scientists are Cynthia Brinich-Langlois, Bethann Moran-Handzlik ,Lynne Railsback and Katie Musolff Uprooted will also include a group of black ash baskets by Marian Miner and birchbark pieces by Terri Hom, as climate change is accelerating the vulnerability of both birch and black ash.

Evan Eifler (the wonderful botany Phd candidate I was paired with to better understand prairie research and restoration efforts in Wisconsin) and I are scheduled to be on the Larry Meiller Show on WPR on June 19that 11:00 am. 

[email protected], June 21, 2019, A free, informal tour of Uprooted: Plants in a Changing Climate with exhibition curator Jody Clowes. No registration required.

I again extend my thanks to the WASAL and curator, Jody Clowes for creating this wonderful exhibition and inviting us to participate.  Stop by the

Native Roots Run Deep, 30×22, watercolor, © Helen Klebesadel

As someone who specializes in watercolor I have found a balance that works for me between working expressively with the medium and exploiting its ability to do careful rendering for more realism.  I love both approaches, but mostly I love how watercolors glow.  Because watercolor is a transparent medium, light waves go through the paint and bounce off the white of the paper underneath, causing it to glow like stained glass.

I teach watercolor, mixed media and creativity workshops in addition to maintaining my studio practice.  Last week I had the extreme pleasure of offering a mixed media creativity workshop to members of the Rural Rembrandts Art Club.  (The club celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018.  It is one of the oldest community art organizations in the state.  Deeply rooted in the Wisconsin idea, it was established to share art experiences with each other and with their community.)

Prairie Fire II, watercolor 30×40, © Helen Klebesadel

At one point during my interactions with one of my workshop participants I found myself saying ‘I teach these classes and workshops because they make me a better artist.  In order to teach a medium well you have to figure out what you are doing that works so you can explain it.” You cannot teach something well that you do not understand yourself.  Also, when teaching your are reminded of what you know.


Upcoming Watercolor Mixed Media, and Creativity Workshops in 2019

I have a few spots in the second two days of my 4-dayWatercolor Intensive coming up May 30-31, at the UW-Arboretum.  Contact me if you are interested.

Below is a list of my 2019 workshops, or go to my  Creativity Lessons website where I post registration information for  upcoming workshops and how to work with me as a creativity coach or to consultant on all things art and career.

June 8-9, 2019                                                                                                                          Finding Your Artist Voice in Mixed Media at River Arts, River Arts Art Center,Prairie du Sac, WI, (Register and description River Arts Art Center here)

June 21-23, 2019
Painting With Watercolor on Canvas,
Shake Rag Alley School for Arts and Crafts
Mineral Point, WI, (Register and description Shake Rag Alley School for Arts and Crafts here)

July 14th-28, 2019
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, 2 week-long workshops
Week 1:  Watercolor:  A Fresh Start to Advance Your Watercolors
Week 2:  Finding Your Inner Artist Voice in Watercolor

University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
(Register and description the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival here.)

August 11-16, 2019
Watercolor:  The Expressive Medium at Björklunden
Lawrence University’s Björklunden, Bailey’s Harbor, WI
Registration closed

August 17, 2019
 Developing a Sustainable Studio Practice,
Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek, WI
(Register and description Peninsula School of Art here.)

August 25-31, 2019
Finding Your Art Subject In Any Media,
Dillman’s Art Resort, Lac du Flambeau, WI
(Register and description Dillman’s Art Resort here.)

September 15-20, 2019
Watercolor:  A Fresh Start at Björklunden
Lawrence University’s Björklunden,Bailey’s Harbor, WI
(Register and description Bjorklunden coming soon here.)

October 20-24, 2019
Re-Vision Mixed Media Art & Creativity Intensive at Björklunden
Lawrence University’s Björklunden, Bailey’s Harbor, WI
(Register and description at CreativityLessons.com )

Contact me with any questions.

Check out Uprooted and its surrounding events!