Arizona artist Chris Sommerfelt discovered watercolor at an adult evening class in the early 1980s in Wisconsin where she lived until 2019. Chris has studied watercolor with Bridget Austin, Win Jones, Joye Moon, Tom Francesconi, Sharon Crosbie, Ann Miotke and Alice Struck. All of these artists have influenced Chris along her artistic journey, and she thanks them. Chris' college degree was in graphic design, and she spent over 30 years in that career.
Chris has paintings in private collections as well as twelve pieces in the corporate collection of Northwestern Mutual Life in Milwaukee. While in Wisconsin, Chris taught many classes in her hometown of Wauwatosa. She taught classes at the UW-Waukesha extension and through “Wet Your Art Palette” in North Lake, WI. In addition, Chris teaches a week-long watercolor workshop at The Clearing in Door County as well as two-day workshops. Chris has been asked to conduct critiques, demos, and judge exhibits for local art groups. She has received numerous merit awards at Wauwatosa Artist Workshop art exhibits in southeastern Wisconsin. Chris was an award winner in the statewide “Watercolor Wisconsin” exhibit at the Wustum Museum in Racine, WI and the statewide “Alive in the Arts” exhibit at the Plymouth Art Center in Plymouth, WI.
Chris and her husband, Rick relocated to Prescott Valley, AZ in July 2019. Her painting, "Missoula Swimming Hole" took third place in Water Media in the 2019 Prescott Valley "Fall for the Arts" exhibition.
In addition to her watercolors, Chris is an accomplished fiber artist who has received local and national recognition for her art quilts and has had two solo exhibits featuring those quilts. Her quilt "The Brook" recently received an award at the Prescott Center for the Arts in the "Water" exhibition.
Watercolor artist and watercolor teacher, Chris Sommerfelt states, “I am a watercolor artist, because I believe no medium works better than watercolor for expressing the beauty of the natural world. Its transparency and the way that pigment mixes and moves in the water gives the medium its own voice in addition to the intent of the artist. Nature is my primary subject matter, be it a landscape, wildflowers or an intimate close-up of something in nature. It is from nature that my creative energy flows. My hope is that viewers of my art feel my connection to nature when they see my art.”
My other medium of choice is fabric. Quilting appeals to my graphic and tactile side. The feel of fabric in my hands along with the beautiful patterns and color lead me on many creative journeys. Working with the basic elements of design is exciting to me in quilting; size, shape, value, pattern, texture and especially color. Interest in color is the common thread that runs through all my art.