The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 24, 2014

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The Art Barn, where inspirations thrive

Among the barns, cows and rolling hills of Pennsylvania I found Heide Kwestel von Borgwardt, artist and teacher, in her Art Barn - the classroom, gallery, studio and her home. Class was in session. Each student has their own wedge-shaped workspace that holds a canvas, paints, brushes and paint thinner. Kwestel von Borgwardt was demonstrating her style by painting on her student's canvas and talking to all the students as she painted. This is where artist and photographer, Patsy Zedar, of the Killington Arts Guild goes for lessons when she is not in Vermont. At that moment she was painting flowers in vases, little cottages and landscapes in the impressionistic style. Zedar chose to learn about impressionism from Kwestel von Borgwardt who teaches all styles of painting.

In the arts: Impressionism was inspired by Claude Monet's - Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies; Realism represents truth, avoids artistic conventions and grew after photography became popular; and Expressionism expresses a personal point of view as seen in paintings by El Greco.

Heide Kwestel von Borgwardt was inspired at age 16 by the Old Masters, Vermeer was her favorite. Her Art Barn is in Honesdale, PA, where the countryside and farms around her provide inspiration (Patsy Zedar lives only a few miles up the road.) Kwestel von Borgwardt says: "I work on linen and lean towards impressionism." Her work reveals extensive and continuous study in Colorado - at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design; and New York School of Visual Arts; and Art Students League. She has a B.A. in Fine Arts and a PhD in Art. She was surprised and interested upon learning of KAG. How could you have an arts guild for all the arts where painters, writers, musicians, photographers and sculptors work together and support each other? She was impressed and her perspective was very inspiring. What she says about painting applies to many of the arts.

Patsy Zedar mostly paints in her own studio in a bright sunroom that overlooks a garden of daffodils, stone walls and fences and has a view that stretches over the hay fields where wild turkeys gather. Everything there seems to inspire creativity-not for an hour but for days.