Artist inspired by Minnesota landscapes
Since moving up north to the Lincoln Lakes area, artist Kerry Kupferschmidt says he never runs out of subjects for his watercolors.
His loft studio overlooks a wooded area off Lake Shamineau, with views of green pines and snow-white birch trees. To the front of the house is the spacious lake, frosted with thick ice in the winter months and turning to a shimmering blue pool come summer.
Several of Kerry’s paintings line the studio walls, clearly inspired by his surroundings, as well as other familiar landscapes in Central and Northern Minnesota. There are images of pileated woodpeckers, loons, summer birches and a sunset over the water following a summer storm to name a few. The colors are vibrant and Kerry seems to capture the subtle nuances that define one Minnesota season from another.
“I love painting lake scenes, as well as street scenes in small towns,” Kerry said. Although his passion is in watercolors, he occasionally works with acrylics and oils as well.
He grew up in Maplewood near Lake Phalen and as a kid, always loved to draw, Kerry said. After high school, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.
It would be several years before Kerry could devote all of his time to his art. He previously worked for American Bank, where he was in charge of their printing materials.
The precise work he did there helped prepare him for a career doing architectural renderings for home builders, realtors.
“After leaving the bank I dabbled in drafting,” Kerry said, adding that he used some of the same skills he’d honed at his previous job.
He also found an artistic niche painting portraits of houses and bed and breakfast establishments for clients.
It was his wife, Judi, who had the idea for Kerry to contact a builder and offer his artistic services for their construction projects.
“I trained myself how to paint from (blueprint) plans,” Kerry said, adding that his design work is “a gift from God.”
For 20-plus years, Kerry’s “bread and butter” has come from his architectural renderings.
During that time, his paintings of luxury homes have been featured in several publications, including the Parade of Homes and Midwest Home Magazines.
When they contemplated a move from the Twin Cities area to rural Motley, Kerry said a deciding factor was that internet services were available. “We have cable here and good internet speed,” Kerry said. Earlier in his career, he would often hand-deliver his artwork to companies. “But these days, most everything can be emailed.”
The Kuperferschmidts love their home on Lake Shamineau. “Judi grew up in Brainerd and always wanted to get back to this area,” Kerry said. “I love it, too.”
Although he continues to do architectural renderings (he recently painted one of Faith Lutheran Church in Staples), Kerry plans to phase out of commercial architecture and focus on fine arts.
He is currently the President of Central Minnesota Watercolorists; and belongs to the Crossings Art Alliance in Brainerd and Jaques Art Center in Aitkin.
For the past several years Kerry has shown his work in a number of juried shows (at the local, regional and national level), receiving many awards along the way. These include the Best of Show - Art Fete in Burnsville; Purchase Award - Century College, White Bear Lake; Merit Award - Minnesota Artists Association; and an Honorable Mention and Merit Award - Arts in Harmony National Juried Show, Elk River.
For more information about Kerry and his artwork (he has several original pieces, prints and greeting cards for sale), visit www.klkartistry.com.