Visit us in the month of October to view the artwork
of ARTservancy Artist Resident, Beth Stoddard.
This exhibition features artwork inspired by a yearlong
residency at Fitzsimmons Woods, protected by
To read more about these collaborations, visit Eddee Daniel's blog.
My artistic practice is borne of the delights and constraints I experience as a city-dwelling landscape painter.
In 2020 I completed a multi-year project to paint the over 150 Milwaukee County Parks. Now I’m honored to be 2020–2021 ARTservancy artist-in-residence at the Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy property Fitzsimmons Woods.
Unlike briefly visiting numerous, manicured urban green spaces, this residency affords the opportunity to immerse myself and my art solely in the wilds of the woods, learning much about this ecosystem as I create new work.
The appeal of Fitzsimmons Woods lies in its fabulously active forest floor, its grand sweep of layered trees, and in the solitude afforded by its accessible yet splendid isolation.
Somewhat hidden in Franklin, its largely undisturbed 43 acres of old growth woodland betray but a handful of human contacts from the surrounding subdivisions.
This precious land trust offers a wealth of visual treasures: improbably angled fallen trees, fantastical fungi, and traces of resident wildlife.
My approach has been to make weekly visits to observe the seasonal changes, creating drawn or painted on-site sketches. I enjoy my time alone there, touching various textures, walking slowly, and looking carefully. Unhurried exploration and solitary observation are yielding larger studio canvasses with invented figurative narrative elements suggested by the woodland setting.
Three ways of looking foster three bodies of work: focused forest floor drawings, panoramic palette knife color sketches, and imaginative layered paintings. These might be compared to three ways of communicating an observed truth: factual, lyrical, and poetic.