Beauty, balance, simplicity, contemplation and reverence for creation are not only the focus of landscape artist Ann Haberl’s original oil paintings and prints in her exhibit, “Contemplative Landscapes,” but also describe the Benedictine values of the hosting venue, Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 Highway M, Middleton.

Haberl creates natural landscape images that capture a fleeting moment of light, and pull the viewer in to contemplate the feeling of time standing still as it races by in the same breath.

“The content of my work is about the transitory nature of images, indeed of life,” Haberl said in her artist statement. “The light is moving, and in a breath it will be gone. I paint to catch that moment, the moment before the light goes.”

Haberl and her family have photographed their favorite camping and fishing spots over many years. She uses these images as references when painting her landscapes. Some subjects may be familiar to Wisconsin viewers.

“Two different views of Otter Creek were painted from photographs my husband took while fly fishing west of Madison. Another image, ‘Cisco Lake,’ is from a photo of a lake in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as are both ‘Lake Inlet’ and ‘Dusk,’ ” Haberl said in an email. “Many other images will evoke memories of the ordinary beauty of Midwestern fields, such as the painting ‘Tiered Fields,’ which combines two different photographs — one for the sky and one for the land — both taken out of a car window while driving through southern Wisconsin.”

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At the age of 9, Haberl began her path to a career in art when she took oil painting lessons. She has been painting her “ethereal and evocative landscapes since her father commissioned her first large painting of a favorite lake,” she said in an email. A print of that first commissioned painting is part of her “Contemplative Landscapes” exhibit.

Haberl earned her bachelor’s of arts in art education at Eastern Illinois University. At one time, she worked professionally as a mural painter in Chicago. After having taught art to students of all ages in public and private grade schools, high schools and colleges, she is now a substitute teacher in the Madison School District.

Seeking a lifestyle change six years ago, Haberl and her husband chose Madison as their new home. She says they have appreciated and enjoyed the vibrant community, bike paths, coffee shops, great restaurants and everything the university provides.

— Robyn Norton


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