Friday artist, Wendy Detweiler |

Friday artist, Wendy Detweiler

What is your career and your current job title? I am an artist painting in oils. My studio is my living room at home.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. I call my oil paintings “California Americana.” They are somewhat impressionist in style, but busy with details of California history – city scenes, historical landmarks and details of cars and clothing from the ’30s through the ’60s, that I research from books and photos. I love adding in little details that people recognize and remember, and tiny elements that surprise.

How long have you been working in this discipline? I started oil painting around 1997 when my back disability caused an unemployable situation. It became more than a fun hobby, it also has been a refuge or relief valve from chronic pain.

Why do you do it? It allows me to express myself and to record some past California history, as I remember it while growing up.

What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to make more people aware of my paintings now, and sell some more. I’d like to have a gallery show up here in Grass Valley because my paintings are best seen in person. I would also like to expand into commercial arts perhaps.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive? I paint lots of little messages or stories into each of my paintings: I like the viewer to find them, and discover the details in each one. As one buyer put it, he felt he could just walk into the painting and be part of what was going on there! I have action going on everywhere in them, and I also have fun with lighting, shadows, line and color. And you never know who will show up: faces of people I have met here in Nevada County reappear in the faces of characters in my paintings.

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions, and where your works are seen? I paint all the time when I can. The Web site is good exposure to start, but I’d like to have a gallery show now, or see some in other galleries. In 2003 I won a Nevada County fair ribbon and sold that painting, thanks to the fair exposure. Another painting I did of 1915 San Francisco was purchased by a history book author and will be included in a book due to publish this year. Another painting purchased for a private collection hangs with some famous impressionist artists. The whole thing has been thrilling for me in 2003! Next I would like to try expanding a bit, I may try illustrating for history books, book covers, post cards, commercial art.

What kind of special training did you take? If not, how did you learn the art techniques or processes? I am self taught. It took years of practice to grow and develop the style I paint in now, plus I received encouragement from my family, friends, neighbors and Pioneer Arts.


You can see my paintings online at You can go to or just go to and type Wendy Detweiler in the Search box. If you see one you really like, you can call me at 273-5588 and we can set up a time to view the painting in person.

“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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Geraldine Kothe: Thank you, first responders


From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.

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