WINTER’S GARDEN at the Riverfront Arts Center

An exhibition of “garden” inspired Art with live orchids for sale offers respite from winter chills.  Walking into the gallery lets you escape Winter’s white by surrounding yourself in a bower of colorful, floral-themed art.  The exhibit is a juried show and will include the painting Celebrating Lilac Time–Mary. This painting features lilac sprays in a tondo and is executed in transparent watercolor.  Meet the artist at an opening reception on January 23, 2015 from 5 to 7 pm.

Watercolor on Arches paper; 9 5/8" diameter tondo.

Many long years ago three girls met and formed a youthful sisterhood.  The details of the chemistry that made possible this interweaving of lives can no longer be divined.  The arc of events that drew us together is veiled; its timeline is now an indistinct confusion of dusty memories.  What is known is that our mothers nurtured this budding trio-friendship with slumber parties, coffee cakes, Italian food, movie excursions, beach adventures, prom breakfasts, and even a code-word that binds us across distances of space and time—Mizpah.  That word now has a visual companion—a floral metaphor for our fellowship and reunion.

Now is the brief season of the lilac bush, modest and

enduring symbol of the depth and permanence of New

England traditions….Were it not for the steadfast lilac bush,

there would be nothing to mark that here once dwelt human

souls who shared happiness, sorrow, hope and despair….

But each year at this season, the lonely, faithful lilac bush

blooms again and lavishes its sweetness in memory of the

hands that planted it.”

W.H.F. 1877-1935

Reprinted from the Herald (May 29, 1929)

This trio of lilac blooms celebrates the beauty of friendships that endure and nurture us throughout our lives.

Selected Works on Display

"Woodland Fantasy" Copyright Laura J. Nelke, WWS

Rotating exhibit currently features:

  • Woodland Fantasy
  • Crowfoot’s Retreat–Banff National Park, CAN
  • Disproportionate Appetite–WI
  • Vernal Equinox–WI
  • I Witness–Door Co., WI
  • December Bouquet

My motivation to paint arises from my desire to express the emotional content of memory. Each of my paintings starts as the recollection of a singular moment in time. I am looking to capture something spiritual and universal, and by so doing evoke a resonant response in my viewers.

My style reflects my artistic purpose. Colors are bright and exaggerated; the subject often appears frieze-like against a colorful background of washes; light accentuates atmosphere and intent. The titles of my paintings precede the actual execution of the pieces and are an extension and part of the art they name. The title is most often a playful interaction between words and image which invites the viewer to embark on his or her own fanciful journey.