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Baraboo watercolor artists bring surprises to exhibit

September 10, 2018

Both artists starring in the Al. Ringling Theatre gallery’s latest exhibit paint in watercolor. But there’s much more on display than paint and paper.

Lynda Barganz and Marjorie Cutting are the latest Baraboo artists to open a monthlong exhibit at the theater’s gallery. They met as members of the local senior center’s art group. Both belong to the Southern Wisconsin Watercolor Society.

“It’s relaxing,” Barganz said of painting. “It also brings a good group of women together.”

She incorporates coffee filters, gauze and ice crystals to set her paintings apart. Focusing on abstract images of the natural world, from rocks to flowers, she sometimes paints on plastic. Choosing and preparing pieces for display presented a different type of challenge. “You have to put your thinking cap on,” Barganz said.

The duo spent one day last weekend setting up the exhibit, which opened Tuesday and runs through month’s end. It’ll be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an opening reception set for 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Cutting hung up paintings exploring her journeys in life and in faith. She also put on display some of the costumes she designed while working in professional theater, as well as some she created for Baraboo productions. Sketches, photographs and even coloring books depicting her costumes are open to public view.

“You think it’s going to be easy, but it’s not,” Cutting said of setting up the exhibit.

She learned watercolor at art school in her native England, and used the medium professionally to illustrate costume sketches. She delved back into the art form in retirement.

“It’s like playing the violin. You have to paint all the time to get your technique,” Cutting said.

She sometimes accents her paintings with pen and ink. Barganz has used corrective fluid to get the right shade of white. No two pieces they’ve put on display are identical. “It’s been a lot of fun,” Barganz said.

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