Every spring, Northwestern students watch snow piles decay and robins hop around the Green. This week in the Te Paske Gallery, Karen Ettleman and Megan Timmer celebrate spring with their senior art show titled, “Something Beautiful.”
With pieces mainly featuring the aesthetic beauty of nature, the two senior art/graphic design majors use oil paintings, chalk drawings, ceramics and mixed media to feature the beauty of plants and animals.
As a result of Timmer’s years spent in the art department, she feels prepared to put on a show of this magnitude. She said being a graphic design major requires many fundamental art classes.
“The professors do a really nice job of teaching you different things,” Timmer said. “Some of the art classes like printmaking and ceramics I’ve never done before. It just made me really love art again. I like the aspect at NW that even though I am a graphic design major, I still get to take all of the other art classes.”
After having taken a variety of art classes, Timmer realized she almost always came back to the same subject. In most of her prints, paintings and sculptures she focused on flowers, and they have remained the main theme of the art show this week.
“We have meetings with our professors, and all of my sketchbooks had flowers,” Timmer said.
When she took a good look at her past, Timmer realized she had grown up around everything floral.
“A lot of my artwork in the show is based on flowers,” Timmer said. “I always thought ‘Why in the world do I always draw flowers?’ When I was little my grandma had a flower garden, my dad worked at a greenhouse and mom used a lot of floral design. So I saw tons of flowers all the time. It was interesting to see how each one was so unique.”
By depicting flowers at the show, Timmer hopes viewers will recognize their own individuality as they see the unique subjects of her pieces.
“God sees each of us as different and unique, and in His eyes they are all beautiful,” Timmer said. “I hope that they see that.”
The inspiration for much of Timmer’s art, and especially works featured in her and Ettleman’s senior art show, comes from nature and her own spirituality.
“I’m inspired by the beautiful mountains and sunsets and flowers,” Timmer said. “I have always seen God as the ultimate artist. I am really inspired by nature and how God created it.”
Timmer’s art pairs perfectly with Ettleman’s work, which features many depictions of horses and other images of natural beauty. Ettleman’s incredibly lifelike oil paintings are particularly skillful and leave viewers’ jaws dropped. Her depictions of horses seem ready to trot off of the canvas.
Ettleman’s work also includes charcoal drawings, prints and sculpture. She has drawn from her experiences in athletics as inspiration for some of her creative scultpures, including a trunk made of basketballs.