EAU CLAIRE - Ever since she was a child, Kristi Schumacher has been discovering her artistic talents one by one.
Schumacher — who calls herself a city girl with a country heart and passion for horses, antiques and gardening — is a self-taught natural in many genres of the art world: artist, woodcarver, photographer and even children's author.
This Eau Claire farm wife says her passion for creativity began as a young girl.
"Pencil drawing has been a favorite past time since childhood, and I've discovered a new passion-colored pencil drawing," Schumacher said. "Although I've worked in oil,acrylic and watercolor, I'm more at home with a pencil in my hand at my drawing table."
Every year Schumacher creates a new Santa portrait using either acrylic, watercolor or pencil for her annual Christmas on the Farm Folk Art Show and Sale.
"I've developed a new style by taking a photo of the moon, printing it on canvas photo paper, then drawing or painting over it," she said. "This year's portrait is a combination of my photo, pencil drawing and painting."
Another favorite medium that Schumacher uses for her folk art is wood. She taught herself to carve more than 25 years ago when her sister asked if she could carve her an old world Santa.
"I've been carving ever since," Schumacher said, adding that her folk art carvings of Santas, horses, dolls and more have been purchased by people all over the country.
She says the family farm is a muse for her artistic endeavors. Located just east of Eau Claire, Schumacher says the dairy herd was dispersed back in 1996 and now her husband, Jeff, now grows corn and soybeans on the farmstead's 240 acres including a few acres of hay for her paint mare, Shone.
"The farm has all the inspiration needed for all my artistic endeavors. Wildlife, including birds, deer, racoon, bear and wonderful scenery are perfect targets for camera shoots," Schumacher said.
Nature photography is one of Schumacher's passions that she's been able to share with readers of the Our Wisconsin magazine and Wisconsin State Farmer. Her photos are also on display at the Eau Claire Charter Bank and on the pages of the Beaver Creek Reserve calendar. She has also been featured artist in Wisconsin Trails magazine.
Schumacher has also used her artistic eye to beautify the farmstead.
"Jeff says I'm in charge of 'farm beautification' since I've created the many garden areas on the farm and do the majority of lawn mowing," she said.
When she's not wielding a paintbrush, camera, pencil or dremel, Schumacher can be found with a book in her hand. That voracious appetite for the written word would soon manifest itself in the literary world.
"I started writing children's books because I would like to see kids reading more," said Schumacher who also serves as illustrator of her horse trilogy.
The trio of books focuses on a herd of Appaloosa horses that teach kids life lessons. the books are titled: "The Legend of the Fancy Horse"; "The Coming of the Dark Horse" and "The Legend Lives On". A fourth book, "Out My Front Window" takes place at the farm and features the interaction between a grandmother and her granddaughter.
Schumacher had two grown daughters and three grandchildren.
See Kristi's work
Schumacher's full range of talent will be on display as she hosts her 23rd annual Christmas on the Farm Folk Art Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Schumacher Farm located at 6901 Schumacher Rd., Fall Creek, WI.
Shoppers will find one-of-a-kind woodcarvings, fine art originals and prints, nature photography, note cards, puzzles, bookmarks, children's books and more.