HOLLAND — Local artist Elizabeth Wertman, also known by the artist name, Blondebrush, got her start in the world of murals in 2021. Since then, her creations have popped up on the walls and windows of many local businesses and spaces throughout the community.
Wertman is a 2013 graduate from the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.
She always thought she would travel to New York or stay in Indianapolis for her career but love brought her home to Dubois County. She moved back with her husband, Chad, to support him in his dream of continuing his family farm, just as he had supported her in her art career.
Beginning to work in the medium of murals was first a way to jazz things up during COVID-19, and schools were out, and at that time, she was working as a teacher’s aid. So, creating murals helped to bring in money the only way she knew how, which was through her artwork.
Getting into window painting is something newer for the artist. She was inspired after seeing other artists doing it on Instagram, and thought it was a great idea. While she is still learning, it’s been a lot of fun and it’s good to do whenever she’s not doing her larger scale mural work.
She has painted at least over 100 murals since starting her journey and when you include the window paintings, the number is closer to 400 pieces of work done by Blondebrush. Locally, she has completed works in Dubois, Spencer, and Perry counties.
This week marks one year that she has had a studio space within the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center in Jasper, to work out of for her art-centered business.
For Wertman, the world is one big coloring book, so when she sees something that is blank, she gets super excited to add that pop of color. With her work, she always wants to leave someone with a smile or change something in their minds when it comes to art.
When creating murals for businesses, it’s important how a mural can really help to show off their brand and get the message of their business out to the community.
While all murals can have their challenges, creating the snail mural off of the square in Jasper is one mural that Wertman and the team who worked to get it there, are proud to have completed. This is because that mural is on a historical building, so there were hoops they had to jump through but they made it all work out flawlessly in the end.
A lot of the times, a client will contact the artist with an idea in mind for their mural, other times they won’t have an set in stone idea but Wertman will work to create a vision.
She begins with measuring the space for the piece, puts together and discusses the quote with the client and she will send out contracts and a few sketches for them to decide on.
Once a sketch is approved, Wertman will move forward with the fun part of painting the final design for the space.
The amount of time it can take for her to paint a mural can vary depending on the surface or the weather conditions for outdoor spaces.
As much as possible, she tries not to disturb the area she is working in, so she will work as quickly and with as much quality put into the piece as possible. An interior mural can be done in two days or less, an exterior mural can take three to seven days of work, depending on its size.
This medium of art is so fun for Wertman because murals are different from working on a blank canvas in her art studio, where she can struggle with artists’ block. So, she loves when people come in with an assignment or an idea for her to work off of for a mural or window painting. Wertman thinks it’s very important for the local community to support the arts and artists. She highlights how artists are entrepreneurs too, and they are no different than any other business trying to run in a small town. She explains how art adds to the wonderful culture of a community and the message the artist is trying to send.
“The whole point of art is trying to create a connection with that viewer, and when you can gain that it’s just a wonderful respect, I believe,”says Wertman.
Her future goals are to expand and be able to work nationally as a muralist. But right now, she’s working to expand outside of Dubois County and to grow from there.
Wertman’s website can be found here https://www.blondebrush27.com/. The best way to reach her about commissioning a mural for your business or woman, or for a window painting is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her Instagram at blondebrush27 and Facebook at Blondebrush show many more examples of her completed colorful and creative works.
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