Audra Ziegel (Artist)
Expressionist Oil Paintings
I am a mostly self-taught artist and professional flutist. I began painting with oils in 2002 as a high school art class project and have been painting ever since. My formal training is as a flutist–I earned my Master’s degree in flute performance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After graduating in 2008 and realizing that I did not want to pursue a full-time music career, I began focusing more on my art–painting regularly and seeking opportunities to show my work in galleries and at art festivals. My work has been shown at numerous events including the 2010 Boneyard Arts Festival, the Indi Go Gallery in Champaign, Il, the Salt Fork River Art Festival, and the Champaign Downtown Festival of the Arts. I am also a freelance flutist and private flute teacher in Urbana, Illinois.
As an oil painter, I am constantly looking for subjects to paint. When I am out in nature, I always try to visualize what it would look like as a painting. I imagine how I would translate the colors, the shapes, the movement, and the atmosphere into a painting. Nature provides infinite variations and challenges; the colors of nature, in particular, inspire me. Always painting from photographs, I try to recreate the colors in oils as accurately as I can. Sometimes I pick photos that look fantastical, and I love being able to say that the scene in the painting actually existed. Sometimes I pick a subject that is rather ordinary, such as a simple flower, and make it extraordinary by exaggerating the size and adding dramatic textures. Through my style, I try to convey realism when the painting is viewed from a distance, while up close it is full of texture, movement, and energy. I hope the observer feels as though they could reach into the painting and experience the scene as if they were there.
Article by James Day
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