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Chuck Bauer
Wisconsin Artist


Most of my paintings are of modest size because I paint wherever I go, and am rarely without painting supplies. I carry them on foot, in a canoe, on my bike, on subways, in airplanes, on trains, buses, cars, trucks, golf carts, boats, and ships. Motorcycle might be next, and horseback even sounds good! Maybe even a rocket ship someday. 

Painting en plein air offers special pleasures and special challenges. Shifting light, blowing wind, expanded time, serene stillness, chill dampness, falling snow, blazing sunshine, puzzled wildlife, and hungry insects are some of them. Most are surprising. Many are wonderful. Few are daunting. All are stimulating. 

My works are usually executed, or at least begun, out of doors, on site (en plein air), and completed during one or more painting sessions. One quickly discovers there is no substitute for direct response to the natural world: photographs deceive, memory falters. I tend to choose subjects that offer opportunities for color expression, suggest light capture, or provide compositional challenge. Taking the larger view, I believe, and I hope, that by merely trusting to the rich visual bounty of virtually any subject, one can, potentially, infuse substantial, and maybe even universal, emotional content into one's paintings.

My father was in the military and I grew up worldwide, with several years in Asia, and many more in Europe. Our family always explored the cultures we were in, and my mother took art classes, and sometimes I would go along. In school I was comfortable with academics, but really loved art best.

I have been painting since college (B.F.A., 1969 Ohio Wesleyan University, and M.A., UW Madison, 1970), and seriously since 1981 when I moved to rural Blanchardville, Wisconsin and began to paint outside (en plein air) as much as I could. 

I enjoy switching between water and oil painting media, though I have experimented with both sculpture and mosaic. My inspiration arises from a desire to capture the moment, the light, or some other hard to define compositional element that attracts my attention. For me the immediate subject matter is not the primary meaning of the work, and I always try to look deeper. 


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