Karen & Bill Bejin
Chippewa River Art
65th Avenue, Chippewa Falls, WI
Original paintings, prints, and cards; Relief wood carvings and birch baskets
Every season holds its own beauty and this beauty draws me outside to be a witness and participant. I try to share the splash of color that paints autumn, the clear stillness of the northern woods, the wonder of new landscapes as we travel, and the surprise of a colorful wash of wildflowers that appear along a hiking path. Sometimes I paint realistically, other times I try to add elements of abstract as contrast to accentuate nature, and sometimes I paint completely in abstract to project a mood in shape, color, and line.
Bill: My favorite place to be is at our cabin in Northern Wisconsin. I love to fish, kayak, bike, hike and observe everything nature has to offer. I also enjoy hunting, but these days I hunt our property for the bark of downed birch trees and branches that will help me create unique birchbark baskets and candle holders.
Besides making free-standing and wall-hanging birch baskets, I look for scenes to photograph to use as references for my relief wood carvings. I especially enjoy carving herons, bears or deer posed near lakes, cabins or woods. I primarily carve on basswood. I sketch the picture on the piece of wood, then use hand tools to turn the design into a 3-dimensional creation. I woodburn details, paint it and finish with a protective coating. The carvings add variety to the art pieces in a home or cabin.