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WAUSAU (WAOW) -
The techniques utilized to create the fixtures destined for the Woodson Art Museum's Birds in Art exhibit are more than exercises of expression.
They are self-described ways of life.
"I feel like I belong on the planet when I'm doing my work," artist Karen Bondarchuk told Newsline 9.
Bondarchuk teaches art at Western Michigan University. Her eye-grabbing depiction of a raven is now on display at Birds in Art through Nov. 10th. That's an annual exhibit featuring the selective work of around 100 global artists for a spot in the museum's galleries for the display.
The raven submitted by Bondarchuk is one of the more recent productions this native of Ontario, Canada has designed. And though the subject matter of an avian variety is common, the medium of using charcoal is more distinctive.
"It really lends itself to that rich, dark, smudgy quality that I think those birds actually have," Bondarchuk said.
Using intense detail and juxtaposing large still features with a lively background, Bondarchuk says the piece conveys a good deal.
"It's the complexity that I've tried to establish with the composition that kind of parallels the complexity of the bird," she said.
And though the final work looks tranquil behind glass hanging on the gallery walls of the Woodson Art Museum, the production process looks much different.
"They would see me pretty messy," Bondarchuk said laughing.
That's a sentiment echoed by oil painter David Kapszukiewicz of Lincoln County.
"It'll start out just big globs, just big shapes. And if it goes right, it'll evolve into something hopefully attractive and inspiring," Kapszukiewicz said standing next to his 2013 submission.
The Tomahawk painter's piece portrays a cold, frost-prone morning at Rocky Run Creek off US 51 north of his homestead.
"This is one of my favorite places to paint. It just kind of speaks to me," Kapszukiewicz said.
That inspiration offers him a sense of familiarity which fosters slow but sure progress. A sense that extends to many of the artists featured at Birds in Art.
"It's about as simple as that," Bondarchuk said. "I know that I'm doing the right thing when I'm in my studio."
Birds in Art is on display at the Woodson Art Museum, 700 North Twelfth Street, Wausau until Nov. 10th. Admission to the museum is free.
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