On a beautiful early sunny morning in the Fall of 2003 I took a photo of the Midland Co-op building from the Maple/Oregon bridge. When recently I started painting the scene, the controversy was raging on what to do with this giant historic building. I knew then that I wanted to donate this painting, “Sturgeon Bay Legacy,” to the Sturgeon Bay Library not only because I have worked there 12 years, but mostly because library is all about community.
I like to share with my LIR Drawing 101 class the 50-year-old binder which has 70 horse drawings of mine starting when I was about eight years old. These old drawings on lined notebook paper are from the Sturgeon Bay Library’s extensive collection of illustrated horse stories at that time – beloved authors like Marguerite Henry who wrote the Misty of Chincoteague series, Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series, and Mary O’Hara’s My Friend Flicka to name only a few. I decided to draw them myself based on the wonderful artists’ illustrations. I remember my “Aha!” moment at age 10 when I did not have to hide horse’s hooves in grass, snow, and hay anymore because I was able to draw the fetlock and hoof correctly for the first time.
I am so glad that I still have that wonderful remnant of my art history. I believe that I would not have discovered my art talent without the help of the Door County Library. And I am happy that the Co-op building now has a new home. We must preserve the good history of our past, both in our personal lives and in our community.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.