about Connie


About Connie

"Fear can hold an artist back". "Fear that the piece won't come out right, or fear of not having enough confidence in what you're feeling". "I have found with oils, that I can let loose more and not over think the painting". "If I over work the painting, it is not as fresh". "If I plan a painting out too much, it won't talk back to me or take on a life of its own".

Connie chooses color first along with her feelings of the surroundings. Then she focuses in on her composition. She relies on an impressionistic Alla Prima style. "The more I look at nature, the more colors I see". "I enjoy looking deep into nature or my subject matter and pulling out and enhancing the sometimes hidden color".

"When I paint from photographs that I have taken, I will remember a special cloud, or the way a tree falls, or the way the light flows over a wheat field, and I will often decide to put that in the painting just because it feels right and adds to the composition"

"If I am painting plein air, the final composition can come from different memories of nature, not all from exactly what I see in front of me, and every now and then there are the "happy accidents".

Connie now goes back and forth between oil and watercolor, which was a challenge at first but now Connie says, "it's just fun".

Connie was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in Southern California where she also studied art. With her husband and small son, she moved to Northern Idaho in 1977. There, Connie studied watercolor under Al Knoke, Katherine Haynes and took workshops with Zolton Zabo, as well as at the University of Idaho Workshop on Wheels.

Connie's mother painted in oils and her father was a sculptor. Both parents gave Connie paints, pencils and paper, and urged her to paint along with them. "My mother was always sticking me in some art class", says Connie, "I think it helped me get more acquainted with the different mediums". "Probably the best part was getting lost and turning myself over to the painting". "As a young child you are not so worried about what others are thinking of your work or if it's good enough, everyone tells you that it's great". "As we get older we are harder on ourselves and worry if we got it right". "Now that I am older I've learned to give in as I did when I was a child". "To give in and let my feelings for the subject matter, the color, and my mood take over".

"I have been passionate about watercolor and have painted in watercolor for over 35 years". "Six years ago, after living with my great uncle's oil paintings for a long time and loving his work, I decided to try oil". In 2005 Connie took her first oil workshop in Taos, New Mexico with Leigh Gusterson. Since then, Connie has gone over to the Southwest and painted with a group who calls itself the "Ghost Girls". They get together every Fall for a week and paint the old pueblos and ruins of the Southwest, plein air style. They plan on doing this until they physically can't do it anymore.

Connie is one of the featured artists in the "Artists Studio Tour" which takes place in Sandpoint and surrounding areas every summer. She invites you "lovers of the arts" to come by her studio, "Scherr Haven Studio", (please call for a appointment), and view what new painting she is creating.
You can also see her work at the "Artists Studio Gallery" at Schweitzer Mtn. Resort and "Gallery Off Cedar" inside the "Timber Stand Gallery" in Sandpoint.