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Shelley Breitzmann’s ethereal Lake Superior paintings

Shelley Breitzmann’s ethereal Lake Superior paintings

“It’s hard to live near Lake Superior and not be fascinated with its weather and how that weather impacts life around the lake. Attempting to get that feeling on canvas is pretty compelling.”

— Shelly Breitzmann (Parable, giclee print, above)

Shelley Breitzmann is a landscape painter from Foxboro, Wisconsin. She is mainly self-taught and has been painting for over 40 years. She began working in watercolor and now paints primarily with acrylic on canvas.

Many of her pieces focus on the storms and effects of heavy weather generated by Lake Superior. Spending a lot of time outdoors—hiking, camping and kayaking—has influenced the content of her work. In Shelley’s words, “I can’t seem to get enough of trying to get on canvas the dynamic weather we have here in the north: the storm clouds, the fog rolling in, the rain, the snowstorms, the constant changes in the woods. It’s hard to live near Lake Superior and not be fascinated with its weather and how it impacts the life around the lake. Attempting to get that feeling on canvas is pretty compelling.”

Shelley has been included in juried and invitational group art exhibitions and has paintings in private collections around the country.

Ashley Sivertson, Sivertson Gallery’s manager, is a big fan.

“She’s one of my favorites in the gallery. I would call Shelley a tonalist. Most of her pieces are very dark and all are incredibly realistic. I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods and on the water, hunting and fishing at dawn and dusk, and her paintings bring me to those times and places. I’ve heard her style described as ethereal—which by definition means intangible, heavenly, or delicate and weightless in a way that is nearly flawless.”

Tonalism describes a style of American art that emerged in the 1880s and focused on depicting landscape, emphasizing tonal values to express mood or poetic feeling. Artists of this style used dark, neutral hues such as gray, brown, or blue in their compositions, and art critics began to use the term “tonal” to describe these works. A well-known painter who became identified with this style was James Whistler. Whistler stated “Paint should not be applied thick. It should be like a breath on the surface of a pane of glass.”

Many of our customers appreciate the fierce beauty of a stormy Lake Superior, feel that power in Shelley’s art, and deeply connect with it.

We’ve got Shelley’s original paintings and giclee prints in the gallery and online. You can view her work here. When you find an original you love, don’t wait long—her paintings sell almost as fast as we can hang them on our walls. But you’ll never miss out, as Shelley’s giclee prints are always in stock and available.

In Shelley’s words, “I hope each piece is open enough to allow the viewer to connect with it. We live in such a busy and complicated world; if a piece makes a connection with someone, and allows them to just stand back and breathe, that is very satisfying.”

You can read more about Shelley’s working process in a recent “Selective Focus” interview on Perfect Duluth Day.

View all paintings and prints by Shelley Breitzmann

Posted in: Introducing