The Art of Pumpkins, Watercolor…and Beer Making


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A watercolor of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) I have long admired is that of — Pumpkins.  Mother painted it in 1971.  It now belongs to my four-years-older sister.  Peggy lives in Michigan and was traveling to Iowa last fall.  I went out on a limb asking her if she might consider bringing her Pumpkins painting to Iowa so I could have it taken out of the frame, scanned, profiled, and a print made for me.

Pumpkins prints are readily available in two sizes.  Medium LImited Edition prints are 6" x 16.25", $25.  The smallest Pumpkins prints are 4.5" x 12.25", $15.

"Pumpkins" (painted in 1971) prints are readily available in two sizes. Click photo to enlarge. Medium-sized limited edition prints are 6" x 16.25", $25. The smallest Pumpkins prints are 4.5" x 12.25", $15. (For prints and/or more information, contact me at, or Mona at Wild Faces Gallery.)

Peggy was immediately up for it.  She brought the painting to Iowa without me knowing where I was going to get all of this done.  I only knew I was going to ask Mona at Wild Faces Gallery if she would reassemble the painting, frame, etc., after I’d had a print made … somewhere.  Until I asked her the “reassemble” question, I had no idea that Mona’s husband, Mike, makes giclee prints from original art in the Wild Faces Giclee side of their business.

When I made this discovery via talking with Mona, both Peggy and I were at the gallery.  Peggy then gave Mike permission to make prints of Peggy’s Pumpkins painting.  Mike did all of the scanning/profiling/printing work.  I got to decide the quantity and sizes of prints I wanted within my budget.  Mona then shrink-wrapped the prints.

Last fall, little did I know we would be going “public” by offering prints of the Pumpkins as part of a fund-raiser for the Rolfe Public Library.  (In case you didn’t know, Mother worked at the library for thirty-five years before passing away in 2004.  She was Marion the Librarian.)

The first bottle!

Jim and Bill with THE FIRST BOTTLE! (David Weiser was involved with the yeast and other initial steps of the process. Scott Finneseth will join them in their brewmeister efforts.)

What does Mother’s Pumpkins painting have to do with this photo? Let’s see — pumpkins mature in October, beer –THAT’S IT —OKTOBERFEST!  (Most of you who know me are aware of my loose associations!)

Actually, I just couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.  Last night Bill and our good friend Jim Eaton bottled their first batch of home brew.  Every step was an adventure with resulting satisfaction.  On their first attempt, they ended up with some pretty darn good (and quite hoppy) IPA.  They named this batch “Bear Spit.”

Besides that definite pumpkins/beer “connection,” another connection is that Mother always said one of the many things she appreciated about Bill was that he’d sit down with her, have a beverage with her, and have good conversation with her.  Here’s to Mother.

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4 Responses to “The Art of Pumpkins, Watercolor…and Beer Making”

  1. Katie Says:

    I like the pumpkin painting that Nanna did. 🙂

    Bear Spit…interesting.

  2. Peg Says:

    Ahhhh, fun to see “my” Pumpkins featured! And to relive our first (together) jaunt to Mona’s. I have great memories of that time. Not the least of which is due to both Mona and Mike–as individuals and as a team. You guys rule! 🙂

    Also love the mention of “Marion the Librarian.”

    Loose associations–I guess! 😉 This one was quite the stretch! But went from one great place to another great place!

    Like getting to be a mouse in the corner of the home brewing, including the pic. Must’ve been a blast. As you said–an adventure! But . . . “Bear Spit”? Eeewwww.

    And the last paragraph. Wonderful. I didn’t know Mother thought that about Bill, but it makes total sense, and I’m glad you let me in on it. Yes! Here’s to Mother! And Bill for giving her those pleasant times! Good camaradeie, as she would say!

  3. Joan Says:

    Hi Louise,

    Kudos!!!!! The blog is great and I would definitely like to have a medium “pumpkins” print! Tell me how! I have always liked your Mom’s work…great, bold color. Glad to hear your Dad is 90-years-young! Hi Bill….cold Bear Spit sounds good…it’s hotter than hell here…


  4. Joan Says:

    Hi Louise,

    The ‘pumpkins’ arrived today and we ALL love them! Cannot wait to get them framed and on the wall. I will send along a picture. THANKS!!! And thank you for your note…loved hearing from you.


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