Owen Grommeís daughter encouraged
Anne Reinke to
Artist Francesca Reinke is an
illustrious example of what great things can come from simply a word
or two of encouragement. Although Reinke had drawn as a child, she
believed that her sister was a better artist. So she put away her art
supplies until she met Owen Grommeís daughter, Ann.
"Ann encouraged me to start
painting," says Reinke. "She sent me books. Iíve been
lucky to have had people in my life whoíve been encouraging."
On Annís recommendation, Reinke took
a continuing education class at Brookfield East High School 17 years
ago. And she hasnít put down her brushes since.
The Waukesha resident is known for her
oils of landscapes and figures. Some of them can be seen at Oconomowocís
Griffin Gallery. "Iíve never done watercolor," she says.
"Thereís a richness about oils and itís a very forgiving
The petite artist, whose ancestors hail
from southern Italy, has garnered a lot of her inspiration from her
travels. She and her late husband, a design engineer for an
Illinois-based firm, traveled the globe as part of his work. Not
surprisingly, she counts Florence as one of her favorite cities.
"I was very fortunate," she
recalls. "My husband had business all over the world. He would go
to meetings and I would be taken around. My very first trip anywhere
was to Japan." Reinke notes that her husband and her four
children were also very supportive of her painting.
Art has been a passion all of Reinkeís
life. In addition to the childhood competition with her sister, she
remembers going on field trips to the Art Institute in Chicago when
she was enrolled in middle and high school in Kenosha. "Art is
wonderful and itís frustrating and itís inspiring and every
emotion you can think of," she says. But she admits that art in
the Midwest is very underrated. "Artists donít get the
attention that they would if they were on the coasts," says
Reinke. "In Europe, people grow up seeing art all around them. In
Europe, artists are respected."