By Patricia Colby Nakamura
Article originally appeared in the Muskego Chronicle
The small private dining room at Tudor Oaks Retirement Community is a miniature art gallery, whose exhibits, usually of local artists, change every few months. Currently its walls bring the outdoors inside, with paintings and photographs of birds and beasts, fields and woods, mostly from our own part of the world. The photos of Terry Molter of Mukwonago and the paintings of Jim MacDonald, who lives in East Troy, alternate around the room.
Molter, a retired custom wood worker, mounts and frames his pictures of eagles on the Mississippi in Iowa and cedar waxwings in Lake Park. “We have a family tradition of being outdoors,” he said, so the photos are an extension of that, and “motivation to get out.” Getting the shots takes great patience, stillness, and “a telephoto lens out to there.” They are much more intimate than the views seen by the average bird-watcher. “You see the details through the photos.”
His nest challenge will soon be upon us. “I have to learn to enjoy winter.” He said. I don’t like the cold.” Look for a new and brilliant series of birds and animals.
Jim MacDonald is “artist, illustrator, educator, igniter.” He likes to start things – events, a seven-county Creative Alliance, children’s books, fine-art painting. “Illustration I can do in my sleep. Art painting, colors – that’s a new challenge.”
MacDonald spent 30 years as an instructor and administrator at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He works on Name Games children’s books; written in “Dr. Seuss prose and full of food puns.” A new title will debut soon.
He sometimes finds himself in the unofficial role of art therapist. During an activity session at Tudor Oaks, he was working with a patient who had endured a left-hemisphere stroke, leaving him with right-sided weakness and trembling. “The tremor disappeared when he was drawing. He got lost in another world.”
The Molter/MacDonald show is open to the public, although the room is sometimes scheduled for private parties or meetings.