Prairie Breezes Become Brush Strokes

Grand Island resident Tammy Schuett holds an MFA in studio painting. She’s married with two grown children, and can often be found in her basement studio at 1am passionately adding paint to a new canvas.

Why are you an artist?

I knew I wanted to do something involving art since grade school; my college painting instructor was the most influential person along my path to becoming an artist. I’m an artist because of the God-given talent I was born with, the beauty that surrounds me and the excellent teachers and mentors who have inspired me.

I love the feeling of holding a brush in my hand more than any other tool; the act of moving a brush full of paint around the canvas has become second nature to me. My distinct brush strokes and color choices have become who I am, and as hard as I may try to break away from it and do something different I still end up back there, with a brush in my hand.

How does the Grand Island, Nebraska, landscape inspire your paintings?

Most of my adult life has been spent living on the Nebraska prairie, which means the horizon is all around me every day and the wind has free reign. This movement is shown through my lively brush strokes that define the objects as well as the horizon line in my work. Some of my historical influences are found in the impressionist painters Van Gogh and Monet. I’m also intrigued by the fresh way the Fauvist artists used color. 

What are a couple of your favorite things about Grand Island?

I enjoy having the amenities of a bigger town while still keeping the country feel with the open spaces of the surrounding farmland. I also appreciate the friendly, down to earth people of Grand Island. I must say that I’m still amazed at the diverse and interesting people who live in and visit this town.