Colorful and whimsical – two fitting descriptions for the bright acrylic paintings of Samantha Beutel, one half of the duo represented in this month’s Partners exhibit at The Meadows Art Gallery in Sister Bay.
Samantha Beutel is the wife of local artist and Southern Door Middle School art teacher Ernest Beutel. While her husband is best known for his abstract-representational style, vivid colors and bold forms, Samantha’s style is simpler: representational and with a sheer joy for the use of bright colors.
The Peninsula Pulse caught up with Samantha to talk about entering the local art scene, the goals of her work, and what’s to come.
Peninsula Pulse (PP): You and your husband are opening Meadows Art Gallery’s first show of the year, Partners. Artistically speaking, how do you think you two complement and influence one another?
Samantha Beutel (SB): Our styles of painting are so different but the enthusiasm of using color and working side-by-side can be seen in the show we have at the Meadows right now.
PP: You are new to the Door County art scene. What inspired you to get into art?
SB: I needed something to do while Ernest painted. Turns out, I enjoy painting almost as much as he does. I’ve never considered myself an “artist” before, but I have always enjoyed crafting. This has been an exciting journey so far and I am excited for what’s to come.
PP: How would you describe your style?
SB: When I figure that out, I will let you know. I am still finding my style and experimenting with techniques, materials and subject matters. I think that’s what keeps it fun for me.
PP: What are your favorite subjects to paint?
SB: Mostly animals. Lately, our puppy Lebowski has shown up in quite a few paintings. His energy is impossible to fully capture on canvas, but it has been fun trying.
PP: What is your medium of choice? Colors?
SB: I use acrylic; I don’t have the patience for oils. As for colors, I enjoy using the brighter side of the spectrum. Recently I have begun to explore pastels, which has been a challenging transition.
PP: What are your goals with your artwork?
SB: Honestly, if it brings a smile to someone’s face, I’m happy. I don’t have any hidden meanings behind what I paint. I plan to continue developing my skills by trying new things and expanding my knowledge of different mediums.
PP: Who are your biggest artistic influences and why?
SB: Just growing up in Door County has been an influence. We are surrounded by a community that supports the arts and has an appreciation for fine art.
PP: Are you a full-time artist?
SB: A friend of mine told me “there is no such thing as a full-time artist. Once you start doing art, you are an artist for life.” In addition to my artwork, I am a Radiologic Technologist. I love that I can escape into the studio and not think about work. I’ve always had a structured outlook on things and have found it liberating to leave that at the door when I pick up a paintbrush.
PP: Do you have any other plans for exhibits this year?
SB: Ernest and I will be participating in the Celebrations show at the Meadows Art Gallery in November 2016. It is a group show of all the artists who have exhibited at the Meadows throughout the year. An invitation has also been extended to Ernest and me to exhibit in January 2017. For this future show, we have been asked to experiment with new media.
Partners runs through Feb. 3 at The Meadows Art Gallery, located off Highway 57 in Sister Bay at Scandia Village. For more information, call 920.854.4416 or 920.854.2317.