{festival year} Artists

Order by 






The Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts is pleased to welcome Thomas Buchs and Darron Lillian as judges to this year’s festival. Interestingly, both Buchs, a painter, and Lillian, a pastel artist, prefer to work en plein air, working outside in order to capture the light and immediacy of the scene.

Thomas Buchs

I attended Layton School of Art and became an Illustrator, creating artwork advertising, and childrens books for many national and local companies during the last 46 years. During summers I exhibited at Art Fairs and also did Pastel Portraits.

Recently I have been doing Plein Air Painting ( painting from life outdoors). Much of mycurrent work is representative of this discipline. I try to capture the light and atmosphere of a scene within a few hours. I believe that a painting is not just a two dimensional illusion, but also that of a moment in life, captured by an artist on canvas.

I am a founding member of Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association. The WIPAPA has beenestablished as a state wide fellowship of artists dedicated to promoting and practicing the traditional discipline of Plein Air painting. Members seek to honestly interpret the natural and man-made beauty and diversity of Wisconsin’s landscapes and culture. We will strive to enhance member’s skills and reputations by providing regular opportunities to paint outdoors together, and to critique our work and share our expertise with fellow artists in order to maintain the highest standards of the Plein Air tradition of painting.

I have found that while doing a painting outdoors I am immersed in the moment, what I mean is that later when I look at the painting I can remember all the things that went on as I painted, the weather, the birds singing, a small animal moving through the scene, people who have stopped to talk to me. The memories are all part of the painting.

Darron Lillian

BFA in drawing and painting at the University of Utah 1964 to 1967, Salt Lake City,Utah

MFA in drawing and painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art 1967 to 1969, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Instructor of drawing, painting, watercolor, and photography Columbus College Of Artand Design, 1969 to 1973, Columbus Ohio

Architectural photographer, large and small format cameras, Milwaukee Wisconsin 1974to 1977

Owner of Creative Screen, Inc., produced point of purchase advertising for local and national accounts 1977 to 2007, Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Resident artist Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan, October 2010Pastel Journal feature article “The Road Often Traveled” 2016