Luverne artist Mary Sobolik Petersen is drawn to places she finds interesting and relaxing, and that's where you'll find her with her sketchbook.
"I've been doing more and more sketching," she said. "A lot (of sketches) turn into paintings eventually."
Sobolik Petersen's exhibit "Minnesota Landscapes - North and South" will be on display through Oct. 26 at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council's arts center in downtown Marshall. An artist reception will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.
Pictured is one of Mary Sobolik Petersen’s artworks. Her work is being featured throughout the month at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center.
Sobolik Petersen received her bachelor's degree in art education from St. Cloud State University and has also taken part in several professional watercolor classes. She has exhibited at the Arts Institute of Minnesota, along with other galleries, arts festivals and events throughout the state.
The exhibit at MAFAC highlights her landscape paintings from southwest and northern Minnesota.
"I paint what I know and feel a strong connection to such as places I've been, people and pets I know, flowers I've grown and dreams from my imagination," Sobolik Petersen said in her artist statement.
Most of her landscapes are right around the Luverne area, including Blue Mounds State Park.
"That's right out my back door, here in Luverne," she said.
She also finds Grand Marais a good spot to paint landscapes, and Sobolik Petersen has attended workshops up there.
"That's a place I like to go in the summertime, it's a peaceful place to paint," she said.
Many of her landscape paintings started off as small sketches from her watercolor sketchbooks done on location around southwest Minnesota and at her family's cabin up north.
"Painting on location is exciting and exercises my ability to work quickly," she said in her artist statement.
Some of her paintings of flowers are of ones that were either part of her own garden or a neighbor's garden.
"Or ones that are growing right on my porch," she said.
Sobolik Petersen is including her sketchbooks in the exhibit at MAFAC as they are important to her. When she looks at them, she said, she can remember where she was, the time of day, what the weather was like and why she chose that particular location.
Sobolik Petersen asks viewers of her art to think of her work as being eclectic with a common thread.
"The common thread is life as it unfolds before me then onward to my interpretation of those experiences on paper or canvas," she said.
Sobolik Petersen said she also likes to do still-life paintings at times, combining different objects, such as pink pig figurines, Mexican tiles and a piece of rickrack as a fence.
"They're fun to do," she said.
Most of her work is done on Arches watercolor paper using a mostly transparent palette of watercolor pigments. Lately, she's been experimenting with acrylics.
"I almost have to dabble in different things for art education," she said. She is the K-12 art teacher at Hills-Beaver Creek.
"I like the diversity of being able to use acrylic as thin as watercolor or as thick as paste," she said.