Q&A – Questions and Artists – Craig Blietz

“After Glow,” acrylic on panel, by Craig Blietz.

Craig Blietz is one of the most well known working artists in Door County. This interview took place just outside of Sister Bay in his self-designed studio located on 20 acres of woods, trees and meadows.

Bleitz was born in Evanston, Illinois, and raised in Deerfield, Illinois. He was interested in art at an early age, and took every creative class available in high school. He received his BA from the University of Denver and then spent four years at The School of Representational Art in Illinois. He studied privately with well-known figurative painter Fred Burger, studied and apprenticed with Richard Halstead, and also studied with illustrator John Rush. Blietz has also made several trips to Europe to study the work of the old masters.

He currently serves as Artistic Director of The Academy of Fine Art in Denmark, Wisconsin. He is represented in galleries in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Vermont.

Blietz is a featured artist in Edgewood Orchard Galleries’ upcoming “Exhibit III,” on display from July 21 – August 24. An opening reception will take place July 21 from 4 – 7 pm and include artist introductions and discussions in the courtyard.

To learn more about Blietz and his work visit or

“Capra Hircus,” acrylic on linen, by Craig Blietz.

Randy Rasmussen (RR): Craig, what brought you to Door County?

Craig Blietz (CB): I came to Door County for one reason, Jim Ingwersen. I was told by a friend – who arranged the meeting – that I had to come and talk to Jim. I came up to Door County met and talked to Jim and felt like I had found my artistic home. Jim has been an invaluable teacher and friend to me.

RR: When do you remember your love of art beginning?

CB: I think as a young child. I believe all children love art. I just remember as a child receiving joy from the creative process.

RR: Being a working artist what does the word ‘art’ mean to you?

CB: A short answer: it means simply human expression.

RR: Do you remember your first painting and how old you were when it was painted?

“Holstein Big Sky,” acrylic on panel, by Craig Blietz.

CB: I did a clown and it was done sometime during grade school. Interestingly, it was done in oil.

RR: Did you have supportive parents?

CB: I had wonderfully supportive parents who encourage me and my siblings in all our endeavors. They were and are simply the best.

RR: If you could change anything in your career as an artist what would it be?

CB: That is a difficult question, but I don’t think I would change anything. I am satisfied.

RR: How has your work changed over the years?

CB: I started my career doing portrait/figure studies. I added still life and now it is animal studies. I enjoy painting farm animals.

RR: Who has had the most influence on your work?

CB: I think it has been a variety of instructors along with life experiences.

“Matriarch,” acrylic on muslin on panel, by Craig Blietz.

RR: If you could paint for one day with any two artists living or dead who would it be and why?

CB: The first would be Andrew Wyeth because I have great respect for his work. The second would be Edward Degas, again because I respect his work. I think both men, from my reading, lived wonderful productive lives.

RR: Why do you think plein air painting events have become so popular?

CB: I don’t know if there is just one answer. I know people enjoy seeing the creative process and the quality of the work is superb. These factors combined with the festive atmosphere I think draw people.

RR: In your opinion the future of art is…

CB: In good hands. The human need to express itself remains.