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Watt featured artist in Neighborhood Artist Review

May 6, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

It would be quite easy to say that Mike Watt's art is as organic as the materials from which it's created.

For Watt, those materials would be native Iowa green ash and American elm from which he did detailed woodburnings of the lodge at Fort Defiance State Park. Interested in nature as well as art, Watt is donating the pieces for a fundraiser the Friends of Fort Defiance group plans on holding during Fort Defiance Day in September.

Watt is exhibiting the woodburnings and other artwork as this month's featured artist in the Neighborhood Artist Review at NorthStar Bank at 2202 Central Ave. in Estherville. He work will again be featured at Little Swan Lake Winery in June.

Interestingly, Watt has something a lot of artists don't - patience. A case in point would be a motorcycle he made from matchsticks - a job that took two hours a day for three and a half months. It's accurate right down to the type of brakes on the bike, Watt observed.

He also did a farm scene from memory, as well as a country road scene and the two lodge pieces. Watt says he likes to work in perspective and nature.

So what kind of training did he have to go through to do such fine artwork?

"I just kind of started doing it two years ago," said Watt. He said he did the lodge pieces from photos while the farm and country scenes were largely from his imagination. In the farm scene, for example, he initially visualized the farm buildings and country church in different pieces.

"That's a lot of what I do," said Watt. I see something and then I remember it."

A city scene with strong use of perspective is totally from his imagination, and one of his paintings is an abstract rendition of The Conversion of Saul from 400 years ago.

Watt, who works as a graphic artist at the Daily News, will also do artwork on commission.

He's available at (712) 209-3410 or



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