Andrea Schloemerís favorite recent paintings is
"Delphiniums at Dawn." The bright colors and layers
of oil paint are much different than son Andrew Doyleís
An art show last fall at Robert
Guenther Studio in Milwaukee featured two artists. One worked in
brightly colored, lushly detailed oil paint, concentrating on flowers.
One drew people with oil pastels, using spare lines and blocks of
A casual observer would not have
expected them to be mother and son.
But Andrea Schloemer and Andrew Doyle
share their art as well as their genes, although they took different
paths to their joint show.
When Andy was still a preschooler,
Schloemer says, "Weíd have people over for dinner, and heíd
be hanging around, playing and looking at them. Then heíd go
upstairs, and heíd come back down and hand the people a picture that
looked like them."
Doyle was precocious and kept drawing.
"If I had a pencil and a napkin, I was pretty happy as a
kid," he says. But his mom didnít start painting until he was
grown. She had always been a fan of art, but timid about trying
herself. Then, she says, when her mother was dying, "she said to
me, ĎDo the things you want to do.í I started to explore how to do
it, instead of the reasons I couldnít do it."
So she began taking lessons, enrolling
first at Cardinal Stritch University. "School teaches
technique," she says. "The love of color and imagination is
my own. I love flowers, landscapes, being outdoors. I donít like art
thatís really sad. If you want to get depressed, turn on the news. I
prefer something thatís visibly pleasing, comforting."
Looking on the bright side is "one
of the biggest similarities in our artwork," her son says. But
although Doyle doesnít show or sell pictures of sadness and pain, he
draws them. "Itís almost therapeutic," he says. "When
youíre dealing with the subconscious so much, some of those things
are going to come out." After a few drawings of "people who
look like theyíve suffered," heíll put them away. "I
wouldnít want to send mixed signals."
Mother and son support each otherís
work, although theyíre different. "I try to be careful,"
Doyle says. "I try to be very positive about everything." Heís
been doing art longer than his mom, but he doesnít lecture. "We
both are each otherís biggest fans."
Unlike his mother, Andrea Schloemer,
Andrew Doyle does
not rework his paintings. "If itís not right, itís
never going to be right," he says.
Schloemer lives in a spacious house in
Fox Point, which she decorated, with her husband, Jim, and their two
school-age children, Tom and Tessa. She is an active volunteer with
local charities, but her art gives her a new outlet; she also donates
paintings to charity auctions.
The joint show with her son helped to
raise money for After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a charity with special
meaning for her because the disease claimed her mother.
Family and volunteer work mean that
Schloemer has to squeeze in painting time. "Sometimes I go two
weeks without getting up to my studio," she says. "But some
days, Iíll paint all day long."
Doyle, who now lives in Chicago, has a
day job in property management, and also plays bass and writes lyrics
for a rock band, Not Us. The time thatís left over for drawing is
very late at night. "I work best from like midnight to 4
a.m.," he says. "Then the next day at work, I get a cup of
"His work is interesting to
me," says Kathleen Lyons, whose Milwaukee gallery represents
Doyle, "because he only uses two or three colors, all pastels,
and very minimalist. Itís very quiet, but yet his women have a lot
of integrity." She hopes to sell more of his work in Florida
soon. "Milwaukee homes are very heavy, dark, traditional,"
she says. "But in Florida they use pastels. Itís a whole
different interior approach."
Schloemer works in oils, laying down
layers and layers of paint, sometimes with surprising results. One of
her favorite recent paintings, "Delphiniums at Dawn," has a
brilliant peachy-pink background that she first intended to paint
over, before deciding it was perfect as it was. Or sometimes sheíll
scrape paint off, producing a different kind of effect.
"Her work is very upbeat and
bright," says Katie Gingrass, a Milwaukee gallery owner who
represents Schloemer. "Flowers are her specialty. Itís very
brilliant color, very well executed."
Most of her pictures are realistic and
lushly detailed, but sometimes she tries a more stylized effect. A
picture of the trees near her house came out as little more than white
dappled trunks against a blue background. "I didnít want to
touch it," Schloemer says. "I kind of liked the way it
And sometimes things just donít work
out. A canvas swarming with orange koi fish in blue water has been in
Schloemerís studio for more than a year as she tries to get it
right. "Thereís way too much orange in here," she says
critically. A friend admired it, she says, but "I said I canít
even give it to you, because I donít think itís right."
Her son, however, doesnít believe in
messing around. "Once itís done, itís done," Doyle says.
"Every line has to be 100 percent confident. If itís not right,
itís never going to be right. My momís always horrified" when
he tosses aside a flawed picture.
The next joint project for mother and
son is a shared show in Florence, Italy, where Schloemer recently
spent a year with her husband and younger children. Itís set for
this coming fall, but thereís already a lot to do. "I donít
know anything about shipping art yet," Schloemer says. "Iím
going to allow a lot of time."