Tag Archives: artwork

Art Mimics Life

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Can you tell I’m hiding out on the peaceful shores of Lake Michigan? Here is Clay Cliffs, a Leelanau Conservancy-protected land. 18 x 18 oil painting

The most fascinating thing about art history is the context.

Artists respond to current events. The Renaissance literally means “rebirth”; artists were responding to the Dark Ages, saying “no more” and looking towards enlightenment. And so it goes throughout the history of art: Impressionists were responding to years of constraint in art. The invention of tube paint and the camera gave a newfound freedom to get outside and paint plein air, leaving literal interpretation to the camera. With such freedom, they made bolder, freer art. The establishment hated it. The Post Impressionist took that even further.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is another treasure of Michigan, and a favorite resting place. 18 x 18 oil painting

In America right now, current events are blowing up all over every day. Movements are forming and the “unprecedented” is happening everyday. So how are artists responding? I don’t know quite yet. I only know that they are, and they will.

I am wrestling with this issue almost daily in the studio. I don’t know how to respond with art. Almost a decade ago, I made a choice to keep art as my happy place, to make art that brings about a smile. To make art that celebrates the landscapes I love so deeply. And to save the issues that matter most to me for writing and personal exploration. I have long been an activist, a philanthropist, championing for children’s rights for a quality education in Ethiopia. Equality and justice matter deeply to me. Now this struggle is on my own front door … that is more complex to share than boarding a plane to Ethiopia. When it came to Ethiopia, I choose to celebrate the beauty and dignity of the culture in my art. That was what was truest to my heart. It remains truest to my heart to keep art a riotous, joyous celebration.

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More Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park goodness. Here, the view overlooks the Glen Lakes. 18 x 18 oil painting

I’ve heard it said, “Leave it to the artist to explain the why.” I cannot explain to you the why, or tell you why life is simultaneously hard and unfair and beautiful and resilient. But I can share with you the struggle: You’re not alone, and neither am I. And I can tell you that this American struggle is deeply on my mind; as a private citizen, I am extremely active and engaged, and I think we are all called upon right now to be so. Even if it’s just putting more kindness into the world — do that!

As for my art, for now I rest, steady in the knowledge that the mere act of making art is enough. The celebration of art is a rebellion. And I promise you this, I will keep making and celebrating art at the top of my lungs, though the words of Nina Simone haunt me: “You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”

What do you think? As always I love when you join in the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll see you there!

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The skies over Lake Michigan are as glorious as the shore, and never overlooked by my artist’s eye. 14 x 14 oil painting

Say Hello to Summer with Two SSA Contests!

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In celebration of summer’s arrival, I’m launching two fun, easy contests that run through the end of August. Each giveaway will have three winners monthly, so get those cameras ready for a chance to win!

Mural Madness Contest
Snap your photo in front of the mural I painted on the side of Chateau de Leelanau in Suttons Bay (Northern Michigan) and post it on the Stephanie Schlatter Art Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/stephanieschlatterart) to be entered to win various SSA goodies!

kathymattchrisMuse & Me Contest
Take a picture of yourself enjoying Chateau de Leelanau’s new sparkling wine, Muse* (featuring my “Three Graces” artwork on the label) and post it on one of these three pages:
– Stephanie Schlatter Art’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/stephanieschlatterart)
– Chateau de Leelanau’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/CDLWinery)
– Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/MBTBTasting)
Post your pic on all three pages for more chances to win! Prizes up for grabs include 11×14 “Three Graces” posters and free and discounted wine tastings at Chateau de Leelanau and Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room.
*Muse is available at both Chateau de Leelanau’s Suttons Bay tasting room (Northern Michigan) and at Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Shelby Township (Metro Detroit).

While I strongly encourage creativity in the photo submissions, all winners will be drawn randomly.

Questions? Drop me a line at info@stephanieschlatterart.com.

Cheers, and good luck!