Saturday, October 26, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Edna Krueger

Edna Krueger of Odessa, TX, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be in the spotlight, please email your information to Anna at

Artist Edna Krueger in front of her booth
display at the Permian Basin Fair
This month's Spotlight Artist, Edna Krueger, was chosen as the Featured Artist for the 2013 Permian Basin Fair in Odessa, TX. She has shared some photos from her booth, as well as some snapshots of her sketch journals, which she draws or paints in on a daily basis.

More of Edna's booth display

Edna created this display for the fair, which educates
the audience on how she develops her sketches and paintings.
Artist Biography:

Interview with Spotlight Artist for October/November, Edna Krueger:

1) When and how did you first became seriously interested in art?   I don't remember a time that I didn't see art as a serious subject to me. I would guess I became serious about perusing a career in art while in high school. It really stuck when I was a senior and looking at college the next fall.

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in?    I started out of high school doing drawings for business cards and later went into commercial art. I worked in all kinds of businesses dealing with anything from film stripping to pen and ink illustrations to full color art to be printed. This was before personal computers, making it a requirement to develop many skills in different media. At that time it was mainly in ink because of its easy reproducing aspect.

It was during my time out here in West Texas that I had an instructor that stressed learning as many medias as possible that I ran across pastels. I had never really worked much with the media and at first hated it for the grid feeling under my fingers. But during my last year in college I worked so much with it that I fell in love with the intense colors! There was no mess with mixing them nor were there hash chemicals although you have to mind the dust. Besides pastel though, I work in many medias which include: ink, graphite, oil, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencils, and charcoal. It's part of my instructor Pam Price's influence plus my background in commercial art.

As for subject matter, I have always loved animals and people!! I drew horses as a child till my mother said please draw something else! So that's when I started drawing people. This fits me because I'm a people person and love getting to know folks and what and why they do things. I'm one of those that love to study people at an airport or other public places. That's why I carry a journal with me almost all the time.
Watercolor of a little girl, by Edna Krueger
The front page of the "People" section in
Edna's sketch journal

3) What do you express in your work? The main goal I have in mind when working on a piece is how to portray the soul of this scene or being. I want the observer of my art to feel that person's attitude or the feeling of a place--to convey the soul of what they are looking at. I'm also a history buff and want to be as accurate as possible in what the viewer sees (coming from a family that has a lot of history of our own, about 400 years worth).

4) What artists/professionals have been your  biggest influences?    There are so many! I look up to many of the instructors at the portrait conferences. I admire Daniel Greene along with his wife Wende Caporale whose book, "Painting Children's Portraits in Pastel," has helped me many times! I also admire Chris Saper and how she is able to pick up on various skin tones. I use her book, "Painting Beautiful Skin Tones," as a teaching tool and had learned so much from it. I love Judith Cardducci's work with pastel and how she uses color in a fun way, that little spark in her art is enjoyable! Also, for all the work she does to inspire others--that's a true teacher!  My art instructor in college at UTPB, Pam Price, was a very big influence on me and many other student artists. I love Van Gogh for his use of color and line, and for his ability to show everyday people doing ordinary things in such a glorious way. But I think the one I love most is Rembrandt. He was another kind of colorist in that his art really does glow! I love the use of shading he does in his paintings moving figures around in space and conveying depth. Wow, what an artist!!

5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work?    I think I have a mind that doesn't ever turn off. There's always something that I want to draw or paint. A lot of inspiration comes from observing people and how they move and deal with life. Quite often, my journals help give me a starting point for exploration. Because of my love for people I am inspired by activities folks do. I have interest in music (it was a minor in college), which, along with theatre, also provides artistic thoughts. I'll take a small sketch pad or journal with me to a concert and try to capture the feeling of the movements of the musicians while they are playing their instruments or a dancer as they move around on stage. It may not look like a masterpiece but it trains the eye to pick up on conveying movement and emotion while building your skills.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now? I'd like to become much more controlled and loose at the same time. That's something I see in all the great artists' work. John Singer Sargent was such an artist. To me a master knows how to convey something without over doing the work. She or he keep it fresh-feeling. That is truly hard to do. I don't know if I'll ever be famous or not, that's not the point. The journey and experience along the way make it all worth it.

7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art?    Yes, but not as well as I should sometimes. Life gets in the way, but you have to keep your eyes fixed on where you want to go. I try to meet deadlines, but also save time to draw or paint just for me. I sit down and write out what I'm going for this week, next month, and farther on. Then I come back to the list every so often to keep on track.

"Tom Girl Beauty" - pastel - by Edna Krueger 
8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently? I love doing art, it's all I ever wanted to do for a career except for maybe singing which is another area I studied. But art was always first on the list. The only thing I would've done differently is to have been more committed to getting my degree in art sooner in life, and I would have gone into teaching art at a young age. I didn't know till much later in life that I enjoyed teaching so much. I don't teach in the school system because it has become too difficult to do at this time in my life. Yet I love teaching in a small group or one on one. I do plan to start teaching small workshops in my area and this is another turning point that I look forward to.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share?  My other love is music! I was very blessed to be born with a singing voice and have enjoyed doing parts in musicals in live theatre here in West Texas. We have several live community theaters in the area and I've been blessed to be in many productions. One of the lovely things about theatre is making lifelong friends in the plays and musicals. There's something for everyone to do in a production so you get a creative fun group of people of various backgrounds. I am also a Christian. I have seen and experienced things that many of us would call miracles. My faith has played a large part in shaping who I have become. Am I perfect? Oh, help me NO!! But I have learned to put troubles in the hands of One Who is bigger than I.

"Queen Bee" - pastel - by Edna Krueger

The cover page of the "Travel" section of Edna's
sketch journal. 
10) Best piece of advice for other artists?   Draw or paint as often as possible. Keep a sketch pad or journal along with at least a pencil, eraser, sharpener in a small bag to put in your purse, car, or wherever you wish. Make sketching ideas or scenes in your journal a habit to not ever break. It will be amazing how far your skills will develop in a short time. 

Search out the ones you admire and learn from them if possible. If not able to get with them, look at their work, their books, and videos. Study the paintings of those you admire. Learn from them, gain insight then teach it to others. By teaching others you have to think about what you do, why you do it and how to do it and therefore reinforce what you know. Want to learn something? Try teaching it, that will in turn teach you as well.

Some of Edna's supplies for travel journaling