The Upper Peninsula has got to be the most inspiring place for an artist like me. Think of it! Crashing waves, tranquil ponds, pastoral farm scenes, magnificent rocks, glorious forests, quaint towns, historical cities, and the gorgeous four seasons.
I grew up in Baraga County…the beautiful Keweenaw region. I began drawing from the time my mother gave me a pencil and a sheet of freezer paper, when I was a young toddler. She says I would fill up a large sheet with intricate doodles. Later my brother-in-law helped me paint the scene of the lake from our camp window in Toivola. I was 11, and the love of painting was ignited. Around this same time I received another great boost by winning the Kellogg’s national drawing contest. There was even a picture of me and my new 10-speed Schwinn in the L’Anse Sentinel. Big stuff for an 11 year old.
Baraga High School, where I attended after 6 years in Pelkie Elementary, began a new art program when I was a Junior. I was so excited to be a part of that that my teacher let me go on to take a third year of Art, when Art III didn’t exist yet. Through my experience there I was able to attend the Grand Valley Institute for Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids, MI. It was a two week summer program in which 90 students from Michigan were accepted to attend. Intensive…and I loved it!**Grand Island Lighthouse** (for sale at The Outside In, Munising)
After high school I went on to study my first love…the Bible…at a school in Minneapolis. I continued in my art endeavors by being involved in school projects and rallies. After marrying in 1989 and having my first child in ’93, I found that parenting was an art in itself. I still studied, read, sketched, and did an occasional painting. Last year, when my youngest turned six, I realized that IT WAS TIME. I painted 40 paintings in 2007! My dear husband, three children, and my extended family have been so supportive and proud of me.
This year I’ve had my first solo-exhibition at the Huron Mountain Club Gallery, Peter White Library in Marquette. I also have some U.P. paintings for sale at a couple consignment shops in Munising: The Falling Rock Cafe and The Outside In. Thanks to the folks at The Outside In, I was able to set up a booth for the Munising Bay Art Festival in June. I’ve met a lot of people in the area who have been both inspiring and encouraging to me as an emerging artist. Go Yoopers!**Pines on the Lakeshore** (for sale at [lindaschierkolk.etsy.com](http://lindaschierkolk.etsy.com))
I want to make mention of a great learning web site: Wetcanvas.com. I’ve learned so much there in the last year. I’ve had opportunities open up from my involvement, including an show in Massachusetts, and an opportunity to paint under the tutorship of Larry Seiler, a well-known and established Wisconsin artist who has a love for the U.P. I don’t have a lot of specific plans at this point in my art journey, other than to continue paint and to learn and to make my paintings available for the community. I’m just happy to be doing what I love, in a land that can truly be considered an artist’s paradise!