About the Artist

Painting in time honored, representational, and prismatic traditions, Cheryl LeClair Sommer’s paintings have oftentimes been labeled as sensitive to the subject matter. Her affinity for the natural world seeps through, as time is layered upon the canvas. In some way, her art is a sort of self-reflection and a longing to make an eternal mark.

Cheryl’s main focus, painting landscapes directly outside, originates from her spiritual connection to the land and reverence for nature’s raw beauty. Studio paintings of nostalgic still life objects and figurative pieces feature the natural world as observed through the human imprint. Cheryl continues to strive to develop a sensitive eye and practiced touch – it is this ongoing challenge of art to which she is truly drawn.

Cheryl has been interested in creating art since she was a young child in Upper Michigan but life delayed that immediate pursuit. As a young adult, her desire to create was again sparked after purchasing a painting from a local artist. Since then, painting in oils and soft pastels became her fundamental focus. Numerous workshops and ongoing private studies with internationally known artists including Joseph Paquet, Albert Handel, and Jim Robinson along with ongoing figure drawing have provided her with the crucial educational underpinnings.

Her efforts have produced recognition for her paintings with artwork regularly juried into national exhibits, a Kolman & Reeb Gallery Project Space Grant and solo exhibition, awards at outdoor painting competitions, a Master Circle award from the International Association of Pastel Societies, an award of a two-week residency, and a feature on the television show “MN Original.”

Cheryl lives and works in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, and also enjoys painting in western Minnesota after purchasing a farmhouse and renovating a shed studio. Cheryl can be found throughout Minnesota, Michigan, and the Tahoe area painting landscapes outdoors. During inclement weather, her home and farm studios inspire still life and academic works. Cheryl is a member of Outdoor Painters of Minnesota, Oil Painters of America, and a past President of the Lake Country Pastel Society.