GO Paint! Chippewa Valley 2021

The artists of GO Paint! Chippewa Valley have painted the rolling farmlands, dramatic riverbanks, charming downtown areas, prairies and forests of Pepin, Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, and Eau Claire Counties. They bring the outdoors in and light up the Valley in a burst of spring colors.

Virtual Exhibition: the Art of Go Paint!


5-Day Plein Air Paint Festival

Virtual exhibition on view May 14, 2021
Click Image to Enter Exhibit

Celebrate the flora, fauna, and folks of the Chippewa Valley depicted by this Spring’s GO Paint! artists. This Plein air art exhibit displays paintings within a 10-mile radius of the Eau Claire & Chippewa Rivers between Augusta, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Durand, and Nelson, Wisconsin.

Artist Statements and Bios

Statements and biographies are written by the individual artists and are published with their permission. The views expressed are their own. All artwork pricing is set by the artist and is non-negotiable and non-refundable. All artwork sales are by commission with Pablo Center at the Confluence. Your purchase supports our endeavors to present quality visual arts programming that is free and open to the public. Thank you.


Spring GO Paint! 2021 Award Winners

Award Announcement and Commentary by Juror Beth Stoddard


  • Best of Show: Derek Davis - "Backlight"
  • First Place: Anders Shafer - "Rod and Gun Club, May 2"
  • Second Place: Barbara Shafer - "By the Eau Claire River"
  • Third Place: Joseph Maurer - "Where the Chip Falls
  • Best River: Naomi Tiry Salgado - "Spring Street Bridge"
  • Best of Pablo Center Staff Pick: Michael Olive - "Evening Lights"

Virtual Exhibition: Adult Quick Paint 2021

GO Paint! Chippewa Valley painters race to paint the flora, fauna, and folks of nearby Phoenix Park and the surround confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in only 2 hours. 

Adult Quick Paint Award Winners

  • Best of ShowNaomi Tiry Salgado
  • First Place - Joseph Maurer
  • Second Place - Lee Fairbanks
  • Third Place - Susan Estill
Virtual Exhibition: Kids Quick Paint 2021

Young Chippewa Valley painters raced to paint the flora, fauna, and folks of nearby Phoenix Park and the surrounding confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in only 1 hour. 

Kids Quick Paint Award Winners: Grades 1 - 5

  • First Place - Taha
  • Second Place - Layna
  • Third Place - Ahna

Kids Quick Paint Award Winners: Grades 6 - 8

  • First Place - Jaylynn
Message from Judge Jean Accola
Message from Judge Jean Accola

Taken together these paintings winsomely portray spring’s arrival in the scenic Chippewa Valley. Multiple 2-D media and artistic approaches evoke a broad topography of particular places, recognizable weather conditions, and authentic moods. The variety of paint- and pastel-handling was an especial delight. This strong showing features numerous award-worthy paintings, even from single painters. Despite working under the caprices of early spring weather, these artists bring to visual realization this season of anticipation. 


Best of Show – Derek Davis
Best of Show – Derek Davis


Oil, 9" x 12"  | $750

Juror’s Notes: A challenging lighting situation sensitively handled makes this an outstanding piece. "Backlight" is a unified whole with its soft touch brushwork, muted colors punctuated by slivers of light, and clear compositional structure. Subtly interrelated color is harmonious throughout. The palette, simplified figures, and solid yet understated composition bring to mind like qualities in the work of Finnish early modernist Helene Schjerfbeck. Realistically irregular tree placement, faithfully observed building shapes, and organic people groupings add variety while contributing to the sense of verisimilitude. These more naturalistic elements achieve a convincing sense of place, and the conversational figures, gathering outdoors together to enjoy a warm spring day, convey a most welcome mood of anticipatory joy.

Artist’s Statement: Derek is a professional fine art painter. He was exposed to the artistic passion of both his Father and Mother who were artists. His intention with each piece is to seek out the poetry of the moment and create a realistic impression, dynamically composed, and expressively painted that honors the ultimate creative power of God. With no other personal instruction in visual art since childhood, Derek has been led through a regime of study. Beginning with the fundamentals of drawing, leading to composition, design, application, progressing to the communication of meaning. Following the process of study, goal setting, practice, and analysis, Derek pushes paint with humility and continues to evolve. "I have been led down this path by God and I paint every piece as an expression of gratitude..."

First Place – Anders Shafer
First Place – Anders Shafer

Rod and Gun Club, May 2

Watercolor, 12" x 18" | $200

Juror’s Notes: The artist brings his own energy and movement to make a strong statement of an otherwise gentle scene. In "Rod and Gun, May 2," water-based media is pushed to its representational limits as the artist utilizes assertive darks and some opaque whites to portray a strong sense of sunlight. All foliage is handled differently, suggesting diverse trees; closely related greens and yellows are placed with just enough chromatic variety to add interest. The sparing use of drawn ink lines counterbalances the swirling dynamism with a sense of delicacy. A unique touch brings to mind van Gogh, and an openness to pattern in an otherwise realistic scene recalls Vuillard. Radiating light and brio, this active piece yet conveys an inviting space.

Artist’s Statement: Plein art painting enriches my larger more complex works. Leonardo DaVinci said that nature is the best teacher. Being outside improves my color and design sense. In addition, I love going outside and enjoying the smells sounds and sights and spectacular light.

I am an Emeritus Professor of Art from UWEC. I have shown in countless shows and exhibitions and have work in numerous museums.

Second Place – Barbara Shafer
Second Place – Barbara Shafer

By the Eau Claire River

Charcoal and watercolor, 22" x 15" | $150

Juror’s Notes: Just enough is said in this unassuming piece. "By the Eau Claire River" convincingly portrays the experience of a gray day spent studying rock formations at the water’s edge: seeking, finding, altering, and wondering, with charcoal and paintbrush in hand. Browns of varying color temperatures sing next to rich black charcoal lines, enlivened with touches of lavender and hints of promising spring green. Compositionally solid, this could be used as a study for a more finished piece, yet stands on its own. The sketchy suggestiveness and judicious color use is like that of Rodin’s works on paper. Refreshinglyunconventional, this image honors with a close-up view that which is under the horizon line, and perhaps literally underfoot, when painting the landscape outdoors.

Artist’s Statement: 

My first love was making sculpture, my second drawing and so when challenged to make art of the greater world, I find myself drawn to rocky formations, their edges, and surfaces.  In my studio, I paint with acrylics, but somehow plein air painting just seems right, when I do it in watercolor.

Barbara’s BFA is from the Rhode Island School of Design, her MFA is from the University of Cincinnati.  She has taught art in the Evening School at the University of Cincinnati, and at UW Stout and UW-Eau Claire. She has also worked as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, advocating for the rights of persons with cognitive disabilities.

Third Place – Joseph Maurer
Third Place – Joseph Maurer

Where the Chip Falls

Oil and wax on board, 12" x 12" | $300

Juror’s Notes: Joy in the act of on-site painting is front and center in "Where the Chip Falls". Big fat juicy strokes of color both represent water and demonstrate the very materiality of oil and wax paint. Active brushwork animates a simple composition of watery bands and earthy wedges. Naturalistic greens and verismo brown tree trunks are juxtaposed with the water’s heightened and perhaps invented paint-box colors of cerulean blue, purple, and pale pink. As in Bay Area Figurative landscapes, bold colors are married with those muted; bold marks are placed upon a compositional framework more familiar. Here is gesture and place in one pictorial statement.

Artist’s Statement: I engage in both personal and collaborative projects which empower others to experience and learn from nature. Projects include murals, garden pergolas, native landscape design, and painting. I understand landscape as embodied history. Stories abound from the places carved by channels of water, and plants and trees arising from soil, where creatures dwell. Inspiration comes from memories, dreams, or reflections of contact with nature.

Joe has a BFA in Art from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (1999) and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania (2004). Joseph draws from a deep commitment to ecology and love of place. His work as a team member with Hargreaves Associates Landscape Architects included design on the London Olympic Park and landscape design projects in NYC; then as a Graduate School teacher for 4 years in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania he refined skills that he brought home to his Mid-Western roots. In 2006 he collaborated with New York-based Public Artist Mary Miss on a large-scale public art and landscape project at Arlington Sewage Treatment Plant in Arlington Virginia. 

In his home of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he works as project design coordinator for Next Step Energy, a renewable energy company, Joseph spends regular time as a member of a community garden and prairie enthusiast. It is here that his work has recently taken bloom. In 2013, he designed a pavilion that stands in the Eau Claire’s Forest St. Community Garden. In Fall Creek, Joe designed a new Butterfly Pavilion for Beaver Creek Reserve which will open in the spring of 2019. He has also directed, produced, and shot a documentary on native remnant prairies for The Prairie Enthusiasts. Joe was Artist in Residence at Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire from 2018-2019.  Joe is an award-winning painter and has exhibited widely in the Midwest.

Best River – Naomi Tiry Salgado
Best River – Naomi Tiry Salgado

Spring Street Bridge

Oil on linen panel, 10" x 16" | $450

Juror’s Notes: Delicate color relationships and fluid paint use in this piece make one feel as though they’re standing right on the riverbank in the shade looking towards a patch of sun. Spring Street Bridge’s Impressionisticsense of light and place brings to mind the cheerful paintings of Pissaro, yet with more modern paint handling. In passages eschewing the brush in favor of palette knife, or in thinned wet-into-wet bleeds, no technique is off-limits in order to delightfully portray the scene’s varied elements of bridge, land, trees, and most significantly, reflective water

Artist’s Statement: I grew up in Chippewa Falls, WI and now live in Woodbury, MN with my husband and two teenagers. I have been actively painting since 2007 and dedicated to full-time painting since 2015. I was president of the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota 2018-19 and regularly compete in regional Plein Air Painting events.

I see similarities between my painting process and the way people grow. As a blank canvas with an idea, a baby painting has so much potential–it could go in any direction and become anything. As soon as paint starts hitting the canvas it starts down a path and develops its own personality. Some paintings are calm and subdued, while others are wild and rebellious. My job is to guide that personality of each painting into becoming the best version of itself. My ultimate goal for each painting is that it is capable

Best of Pablo Center Staff Pick – Michael Olive
Best of Pablo Center Staff Pick – Michael Olive

Evening Lights

Oil on panel, 11" x 14" | $400

This award is selected by the staff of Pablo Center by vote. Pablo Center at the Confluence currently retains 19 full-time staff members and numerous part-time staff. Our mission is focused on augmenting and developing opportunities to experience the performing, literary and visual arts for people of all ages and backgrounds. We are proud to manage GO Paint Chippewa Valley!

Meet Juror Beth Stoddard & Judge Jean Accola

GO Paint! Chippewa Valley Awards Juror and Featured Artist: Beth Stoddard

My artistic practice is borne of the delights and constraints I experience as a city-dwelling landscape painter. The representational mode in which I work is informed by art history and motivated by a love for nearby nature. In oil on panel, I paint urban parks and preserves from direct observation, and in the studio from drawn sketches aided by memory.

Serene outdoor imagery is activated by visible brushwork, modern compositional choices, and saturated naturalistic color. I contribute to the broader landscape art dialogue as well as local life and culture by depicting in paint my area’s wealth of natural beauty."

Beth Stoddard is a Milwaukee artist who draws and paints from life with a modern sensibility. Working in oils primarily en Plein Air, she recently completed a long-term project to paint all 156 of the Milwaukee County Parks. She’s currently the 2020–2021 ARTservancy artist in residence at the Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy property Fitzsimmons Woods.

Wisconsin-born, she studied art in Philadelphia obtaining degrees from both the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her painterly realist pieces are held in private and corporate collections nationwide. When not painting outdoors she serves as a judge/ juror and teaches observational drawing and painting.

GO Paint! Chippewa Valley Quick Paint Judge and Founding Member: Jean Accola
Jean Accola

Jean Accola has been a painter most of her life. In 1980 she moved to rural Western Wisconsin where she lived a creative life with her musician husband and two children.

In 1985 she opened the Accola Gallery in Durand WI, where she continues to work and exhibit. She has studied with many influential artists that helped her establish her skills in watercolor, oil, and acrylic. Jean Accola founded the Fresh Art Tour in 1998 and the GO Paint! Plein Air painting event in 2013 and is now looking forward to years of “just painting”.

Interested in purchasing a work of art?
Interested in a work of art exhibited in one of our virtual galleries or exhibits? It may be available for purchase. To purchase a work of art, contact Rose, our Visual and Literary Arts Manager.

All artwork pricing is set by the artists and is non-negotiable and non-refundable. All artwork sales are by commission with Pablo Center at the Confluence. Your purchase supports our endeavors to present quality visual art programming that is free and open to the public.

Contact Rose