Kami Mendlik

Kami MendlikIn 2008, Kami started and founded the St Croix River School of Painting in Stillwater MN where she teaches the fundamentals of representational painting with a special emphasis on color. In January of 2014 she purchased a 16 acre farm just North of Stillwater, where she converted a 100 year old hip roof barn into her studio and the St Croix River School of Painting’s new location. The property is a landscape painters dream with endless inspiration for painting. My deep passion for exploring and capturing nature with paint came at an early age. I grew up just North of Stillwater Minnesota on my family farmland where my daily wanderings kept me endlessly curious about this land that I felt very much a part of. I have vivid memories of watching the pink tops of the seedpods in August, and thinking how incredible it was that the grasses seemed to dance across the prairie. It was clear to me then that they do not exist on their own, and that the rhythm and harmony of nature was incredible! They had a wave and a rhythm unique to themselves, but were very much a part of a greater thing that I later in life learned was belonging and harmony. I loved that! The grasses dancing belonged, just as I, and could not exist without each other element connected to another that made their existence possible. I would escape for hours completely engrossed with my sketchbook or paints observing the land. As I grew up, I continued to paint and study. My decision to become a painter for the most part was not in one conscious moment, but rather an accumulation of my life’s experiences and my strong desire to study and capture nature and her harmony with paint. I went on to study from both living and dead masters of the craft and to this day consider myself not only an artist and a teacher, but very much of a lifelong student. The more I know, the more I know I don’t know, and this found knowledge keeps me inspired to pass on to others my discoveries of all nature’s beauties through paint. The respect that I have for Nature and her awesomeness is beyond words. My desire to study and attempt to translate this, is why I paint!

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