Matthew Rethaber

Feature Contributor
Visiting Artist
10:06 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Landscapes of Light and Dark: Swedish Watercolorist Bjorn Bernstrom

Swedish watercolorist Bjorn Bernstrom says he uses lots of pigment to create his landscape paintings.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The watercolor artist Bjorn Bernstrom is well-known in his native Sweden for his landscape paintings.  Yet his style is somewhat different from traditional watercolor methods.   

It’s October when the trees outside are bursting with color, and Bjorn Bernstrom is painting an early autumn scene of a road curving into bright trees. A circle of students watches with rapt attention as he creates the trees with short stabbing motions of his brush. 

“What’s the difference between the way you paint and traditional watercolor technique?" I ask him.

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Invasive Species Threatens Native Art
4:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Black Ash Baskets: Weaving Resistance to Invasive Species

Eleven-year-old AJ pounds a black ash log, as Jarrod Stone Dahl steadies it.
Matthew Rethaber WXPR News

The emerald ash borer is having a big impact on forest landscapes and some commercial interests, as it continues to wipe out ash trees in Wisconsin and other parts of the U.S.  It also threatens a traditional Native American style of basket weaving. 

It can be easy to forget that a wooden basket comes from a tree.    

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Old Becomes New
4:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Letterpress: An Antiquated Art, Or Maybe Not

Daniel Goscha is at work printing end-of-year cards for Arts Wisconsin.
Natalie Jablonski WXPR News

During the holiday season, you might be receiving more cards in the mail than you normally do.  But how many of those cards are printed by hand?  One Rhinelander arts organization is an expert in doing just that.  The technique is a combination of old and new techniques.   

Daniel Goscha’s tiny printing studio has a cabin-like feel and smells of wood smoke.

He’s standing over an antique letterpress.  It’s kind of like a hundred year old copy machine…except it’s made out of metal and…well, there are some other differences too.

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Science in the Northwoods
4:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Small Lake, Big Picture

Matthew Rethaber WXPR News

Say you’re a scientist who studies lakes.  How do you choose which one to to study?  Chances are you’ll pick one that’s a pretty good size…like Trout Lake, or Crystal Lake.  You might pick one with a lot of species of fish, or one the public uses for recreation.  But what about the tiny lakes…the backyard ones so small they may not even have names, or the ones that dry up completely when it doesn’t rain for a while?

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