Featured Artists


“In The Beginning”

It was in 1998 when I experienced my first watercolor workshop in Maui. A tropical island, sunshine, and beautiful flowers had all the components to put myself into a zone…the perfect location to begin my new love for “doing art.” It was also during this time when I first met watercolor artist and instructor Barbara Mathews in Janesville. In addition to being one of her students, I also was the travel organizer for the “Come Paint With Me” art tours that Barbara has lead for two decades. Her passion for painting and her love of travel was a winning combination. She was instrumental in attracting students of all levels to follow her to new and exciting destinations, such as tours to the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Greek Isles, Hawaii, Italy, Ireland, Sedona, Santa Fe, and Alaska.


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I love color. I love how color looks next to another color. Many of my paintings start out covering the canvas with brush strokes looking at what color complements each other. Using a limited palette, I mix almost all my colors and seldom use paint straight from the tube. That way, I create “my color” and not a manufactured one that is mixed to the point of not being able to see the small intricacies of the individual pigments. My style had evolved through observation and changes in my environment, but I have learned not to take myself too seriously as a result.


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Kathy Gibbs

I need to begin by saying that I’m flattered to be asked to be the featured artist in this issue of the Whitewater Arts Alliance newsletter. My life is filled with the pursuit of interests and roles beyond anything I imagined before I retired 12 years ago. Dabbling in art is just one of them. The feeling I get when I’m engaged in creative endeavors (whether on a canvas, in the kitchen or in the garden) is what I’m hooked on. >> READ MORE <<

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Mike Dugan

I started playing trombone in elementary school, however this wasn’t my first encounter with the instrument. My grandparents had a trombone in their attic that belonged to my Uncle John. Rumor is that I would take the instrument out of the case as a youngster (4 years old) and march around the house with it. Come 8th grade, I wasn’t sure that playing an instrument was for me. Thankfully my parents told me to stick with it and that I could make a decision to quit after freshman year of high school. My band director, Jeff Childs, just happened to be a fantastic trombone player and gave the high school jazz ensemble a lot of attention. It was then that I started to find my people and enjoy… >> READ MORE <<

Mary Mann Ellsworth

Mary Mann Ellsworth

Mary is a lifelong resident of Southern Wisconsin. She has a lifetime of experience and loves working with and photographing animals. She is a breeder of World Champion Quarter Horses, Westhighland White Terriers and is a Professional Pet Stylist. Many of Mary's grooming customers have beautiful portraits of their freshly groomed family members. Mary's knowledge of animal behavior is a big asset when doing a dog sitting. Mary also has a love for nature and often focuses her lens on beautiful flowers. She enjoys and has been successful in entering her photos in competitions, receiving Merit awards in the Wis Association of Camera Clubs and Whitewater Arts Alliance Fran Achen photography Show.


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William Eklund

William is a native of Belvidere IL and currently lives in Lake Summerset. Bill purchased his first digital camera in 2007. Short of a six week "Introduction to Digital Photography" course at a local community college Bill has learned the art of photography by trial & error and a continuing regimen of online education.

Excerpted from Bill's Artist Statement: "A passion for architecture, Americana and natural wonders are the motivation in my photographic vision. The ability to show people something they see every day in a way they have never seen it before, is part of what draws many to my work. Bringing my vision of a scene to life, in the form of a print is the challenge that drives me. Sometimes easier envisioned than done. The allure of Black & White photography has become a favorite method of sharing my vision. Having the viewer to paint their own colors into a scene, sometimes can make an image more captivating. The greatest challenge for me is finding time to capture all of scenes that I would like to capture. A full time job and family life limit the time I have to spend behind the lens."