Eye on Artists | PostIndependent.com

Eye on Artists

File PhotoAlong with being a successful artist, Bernie Boettcher is also a competitive runner. He is shown here carrying the Olympic tirch in Rifle prior to the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

Editors note: Mixed media artist Bernie Boettcher is a participant in the 43rd Annual Fall Art Festival taking place today through Sunday at the Ramada Inn & Suites in Glenwood Springs.Artist statement: After my home burned to the ground back in the 80s, I learned, slowly, that my consumer-driven pursuit of money was not a true source of happiness. Once I quit making money, the primary motivation for making art, it allowed me the freedom to explore my world and my art in any medium or subject I desired. The majority of my work has been extremely conservative, but I seem to be recognized for my explorations into the strange and dark places. Those pieces rarely ever sell, but theyre the ones everyone seems to talk about, or remember. Two of my three Popular Choice awards at the Fall Art Festival have been exactly those kind of quirky configurations of brain cells and paint. Some people seem to like that kind of thing, and Im happy to oblige. I pride myself on diversity though, and fans, or critics, might find it hard to make any labels stick. My art is exploration, ever moving, in a constant state of flux. My art is life.Artist background: Ive worked in Colorado as a professional freelance artist since 1982. My work ranges from advertising design, to photography, to bronze and wood and snow sculptures, to oil, watercolor, acrylic, enamel, pastel, pencil and ink illustrations and abstractions, to squishing words around as a writer.Artist education: associates degree in advertising design from the Colorado Institute of Art.Shows and gallery exhibitions:None current, besides FAF. I find it hard to market my work to galleries since it is so diverse. Almost all of my art in the past few years has been done on commission, through word of mouth. I have won many awards for my creations though. Earlier this month I entered a show and received the Best of Northwest Colorado award for a poster I designed depicting the Meeker Sheep Dog Trials. Family information: Happily in love with Jeanne Blatter for seven years.How did you get started as an artist?I started scribbling on the wall underneath my crib when I was 2. I also got my first taste of censorship that day. My first paying art job was designing a T-shirt for the Delaware River Rats when I was in high school. They were a pot-smoking, beer-drinking, water-skiing club with one boat and 10 party animals, (who I just so happened to know). I remember I drew a huge rat water skiing with a beer in one hand and a pipe in the other. The guys in the club and the T-shirt shop loved it! Everyone’s parents hated it though, and some guys werent allowed to wear it.What do you do in your free time?In my other life, Im a runner. Ive run more than 150 races in the past three years and Im ranked among the best mountain runners in the U.S. I just got back from the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in England last week, where I finished 20th.Whats your favorite medium?Nostradamus. No, seriously, my favorite medium is the one I happen to be working in at the time.Who is your favorite artist?Mother Nature is my favorite artist.What or who is your biggest influence?Im a combination of all the people Ive ever seen and met. No one person stands out.The Post Independent is asking accomplished artists to participate in Eye on the Artists by providing clear, descriptive, and fun explanations about what makes them tick as artists, including experiences in their field, hobbies and inspirations. Return completed forms to April Clark, at aclark@postindependent.com, 945-4487 (fax), or 2014 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.

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