By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Second Place Winner
What inspired your winning entry? My inspiration came from my love of nature and the unique reflections that I discovered in this particular drawing. I was drawn to the intensity of the movement of the water and found myself mindlessly traveling through the composition.
Do you come from an artistic background? My father was very creative with woodwork, and he had an eye for detail work. I think that’s why I like to use colored pencils—the detail.
Where did you study art? I graduated from Edinboro State University in Pennsylvania with a degree in art education.
What is your favorite subject matter and why? My favorite subject matter is nature. I find solitude and serenity in drawing God’s creations. My nature drawings, especially the water scenes, take me back to my childhood in Pennsylvania. Often on Sundays, my family would take a walk through the woods to a spring where we would drink the sweet, cold, clear water.
What is the best advice you have ever received? I never understood what my mother meant until recently. She has always told us, “Be true to yourself.” I used to draw what others wanted or suggested. I now draw what I love, and I’m finding people are enjoying this as well.
What is the most meaningful recognition you have received for your artwork? I have to say it was being juried into my hometown art show in Kane, PA. This community has supported me from the very beginning, and, as a teenager, I sold my first painting there. Now, 30 years later, I have come full circle to return for shows and say thank you.
What is the one thing people will never see you paint? Abstract art. I have never developed an appreciation for it.
Future goals? To continue mastering techniques and creating new ones while building my self-confidence, so that I might be able to teach these techniques.
Featured in December 2011.