Meet the Artist: Sonja Oldenburg

Sonja’s tools of choice are colored pencils and ink pens. She uses them to create her drawings and illustrations, often working with established subjects and spontaneously letting them develop and grow as she draws. She prefers a lush and colored aesthetic for her work, full of energy and detail in every corner of the canvas.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum: The piece is a collage of families who are enriched by the museum and the activities it offers to help visitors learn, grow and play together. The colored pencil offers a soft quality with detailed vibrancy in the areas of the piece showing imagination and exploration. I represented the great diversity of visitors to the museum and the importance of parent-child interaction.

Milwaukee County Zoo: The piece is a showcase of the variety and beauty of animals that can be seen and appreciated at the zoo. The colored pencil lends itself to vibrant color and detailed rendering of the patterns and textures of the many animals. I hope the dignity and majesty of the animals, both large and small, can be seen and people will be inspired to be involved with the preservation of this great organization.

What does this project mean to you?
I feel that by completing these pieces I have a chance to make a large impact and hopefully inspire others to become involved in their community, which is a great honor.

Could art save a life?
Art has the power to touch us on a deep emotional level where there are sometimes no words to express a feeling or idea. Art could save a life inspiring someone to take action from the emotions stirred by a piece, causing them to go out into the community to help others.

Who or what makes you laugh?
My cats never fail to do something hilarious every day.