Susan Klabak
Wild Rose, WI
“Lake Michigan Sunset” Soft Pastel by Susan Klabak 22″x26″ $695

Artist Statement:

From my studio in my home in Wild Rose, Wisconsin, overlooking a quiet lake, I am inspired to paint my observations of the Created world around me. The quiet woods, rolling farmland, winding streams and pristine lakes that are near my home are often the subjects of my landscape paintings. The soft light of early morning, a shroud of fog, the long shadows of late day; the way the light falls on a scene and the mood created by the light is what often attracts my attention. Expressing the mood evoked by a scene is of more interest to me than creating a literal interpretation. I paint what I find emotionally moving and usually that is a scene that creates a sense of awe for the beauty of the land and the Creator. When I have made a connection with the viewer by stirring an emotion or memory, or perhaps a new way of relating to the land, that for me is a successful painting.

My paintings are completed both plein air and in the studio. Typically the plein air work is used only as reference to complete finished work in the studio. The field sketches and photo reference are used to help me recall my initial emotional response to the scene. My first step is to make a small black and white sketch, where I work out the composition and values. The next step is to make a small color study. Working out the compostition, values and color choices in the small studies allows me to work more quickly and confidently on the larger studio piece.

About Lake Michigan Sunset:

Lake Michigan Sunset captures the sun set just before it slips below the horizon over Lake Michigan. In August 2016 I spent ten days at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as an Artist-in-Residence. During my stay I completed many plein air works and took hundreds of photos to use as reference for future paintings. Lake Michigan Sunset is one of the many paintings which I completed from the inspiration I received while at this diverse National Park. I am honored that this painting was chosen to be included in the 3rd Biennial Wings and Water Exhibition, and I hope you enjoy the show.

To inquire about purchasing artwork, call 608-643-5215 or email