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A Sampling of Northwoods Cabin Country Art

The Midwest Revisited

By Richard Thomas
Published: December 17, 2010
The Midwest cabin country art featured in the February 2010 issue of Cabin Life was very popular. So we’re bringing you art from new artists. These are artists whose works will give your cabin whatever special character you desire: easy on the eyes, comforting to the soul and even thought-provoking. Maybe you’ll find that perfect piece for your home away from home.

Photo by Martye Allen
Martye Allen
Pottery & Sculpture | Lake Nebagamon, Wis.

Allen is inspired by the “exquisite, funny animals, both real and imagined, on Mimbres pots from the American Southwest.” She says that other strong influences are the cave paintings of France and Spain, as well as stone carvings of the Inuit people in Canada. Her sculptures (like the one shown at left) are handbuilt earthenware, brushed with terra sigillata and fired in sawdust. Her functional pots are porcelain or stoneware, wheel-thrown or hand-built.

Photo by Toby & Julie Hughes
Toby & Julie Hughes
Rustic furniture  | Crofton, Neb.

The Hughes create beautiful rustic furniture and wall art, using tiles, steel and wood – red cedar and lodge pole pine harvested along the Nebraska/South Dakota border, as well as reclaimed barn wood. The woodwork provides the base for gorgeous images painted on tiles by artists Connie Baker, Rosemary Millette and Belinda Riley, though you can provide your own artwork if you’d prefer a personal look.

Photo by Stacia Goodman
Stacia Goodman
Mosaic jewelry, home décor, memorials |
Minneapolis, Minn.

Goodman’s fish begin with a wooden base crafted by her stepfather, who’s a woodworker. Then she embellishes the form with glass, mirror, shards of antique china, beads and other tidbits, which, together, capture the brilliant iridescent scales of fish. But why fish? “I grew up in a boat, fishing numerous Minnesota lakes with my stepdad, a professional fishing guide in Voyageurs National Park,” Goodman says.
Shirley Jane Hobbs
Silk scarves, ponchos, wall hangings | Hill City, S.D.

In October 2006, following her husband’s untimely death in a car accident, watercolor artist Shirley Hobbs was living in solitude, surrounded by national forest. “I was really alone for maybe the first time in my life,” she says. “I started having visions of a scarf I could paint that would reflect my appreciation of the landscape that surrounded me. And my ‘landscapes in silk’ scarves emerged.”
Photo by Karen Bicknell
Karen Bicknell
Paintings | Crystal Lake, Ill.

Bicknell specializes in whimsical anthropomorphic black bears: cross-country skiing in “The Bearkebeiner,” taking a moonlit paddle ride, racing on fat tire bicycles. “I have a deep love for the northwoods, and these animals have always fascinated me. I believe bears hold a unique place in our imagination,” she says. She also paints abstract landscapes with white birch and aspen trees.

Photo by Nathan Lovas

Nathan Lovas

Landscape, wildlife, underwater photography |
Eden Prairie, Minn.

A native Minnesotan and lover of the outdoors, Nathan Lovas spends most of his free time in the woods or underwater. He says, “I have always been a visual person. Photography was the best way I knew to share my experiences with other people. Simply talking about it always seemed inadequate.”
Photo by Thomas Anderson
WEB Extras

Thomas Anderson

Outdoor life & sporting images
| Virginia, Minn.

Figurative art with a taste for the outdoors” is how Thomas Anderson describes his work. “Being an avid outdoorsman, I feel comfortable drawing images I can relate to.” Colored pencil is his preferred medium of choice. Email:
Photo by Lydia Richez-Bowen

Lydia Richez-Bowen
Mixed media abstracts |
Bismarck, ND

“I have always been an artist, even as a child but didn’t declare myself as an ‘artist’ until 1994 after several other career choices,” recalls Richez-Bowen.  In 1997, she went back to painting, starting with portraits and then moving into abstract which she have evolved into her current style. She uses transparent acrylic paints, exotic papers, brass and copper wire, worked copper and assorted metal leaf on canvas. She says she created this technique, which requires many layers of paint and a lot of time.


Photo by Mike, Jayne and Nicole Schroeder
Mike, Jayne and Nicole Schroeder
Stone carvings and furnishings, rustic furniture |
Sutton Bay, Mich.

After suffering a back injury as a UPS driver, Mike Schroeder took up carving Petoskey stone, a unique fossilized coral found in the northwest region of Michigan’s lower peninsula. His first attempt, done without power equipment, resulted in a bear that more resembled a hippo. But the hobby grew into a family business, and the family ships their stone work across the world.



Photo by Mary Brown
Mary Brown
Stained Glass | Aurora, Ind.

“There is an emotional connection, a passion, for creating art in glass. I never put limits on anything I do. I use the copper foil method exclusively and insist on making a piece look 3-D,” Brown says. She likes to incorporate jewels, stones, anything to add interest or character to her pieces. She also likes to do portraits of people and animals. “I have a rather large family so I have had lots of practice with different faces.”



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