Watercolor artist taking part in all-member show

Published 9:18 am Saturday, January 16, 2010

Judy Gordon grew up with art. Her dad, Sig Herfindahl, was an artist. Her uncle, Lloyd Herfindahl, was a world-renowned artist and one of the founders of the Albert Lea Art Center.

“Our family’s always been involved with the Art Center,” she said.

Judy’s brother, Dick Herfindahl, dabbled in acrylics, but her own interest was in watercolors. She took a few classes from local artists Steve Larson, Barb Butler and Rory Mattson.

Email newsletter signup

But it wasn’t until watercolor artist Bonnie Broitzman bought the house next door that she truly began to devote some time to painting.

Judy accompanied Broitzman, Wisconsin artist Karlyn Holman and a couple of artists from Owatonna to Italy to paint. Now they regularly get together to paint. They have a trip planned to France this summer for some painting plein air.

“Having lessons at Bonnie’s is what keeps me going,” Judy said. “Otherwise, I’ve been a classroom painter.”

Members of the painting group take turns picking what they want to work on — whether it’s intuitive, landscapes, florals and they even did a series of portraits.

“I didn’t think I’d ever do a portrait,” she said. “But it’s been fun to do particular techniques.”

Holman takes a lot of international trips and gives lessons at her home in the summer — something Judy hopes to do as well.

Judy works full time in the compliance department at Albert Lea Medical Center and part time at The Trumble’s. She also enjoys spending time with her 10 grandchildren.

In the summer, she and her husband, Mike, like camping, and she finds watercolors easy to take along.

“I take photos of things I want to paint,” she said, adding knowing what she wanted to paint and getting started used to be her biggest challenge.

“I’m inspired by the things I see.”

Her goal, she said, is to improve perspective in her painting. While that seems to come naturally with some, she works hard at it.

This weekend, she’s taking a watercolor class with Ann Martin, who has been commissioned to do some paintings for Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. The artist now lives in Ireland, but is doing a class in Madison Lake.

As a member of the Albert Lea Art Center, Judy is taking part in the all-member show, which is being held through February. She’ll have three pieces on exhibit.

The open house, which is a chocolate extravaganza, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22.

Regular gallery hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Judy is also taking part in an exhibit by Albert Lea artists at the Austin Art Center this month. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.