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Honestly, I've always been a painter over everything else. It's like getting to know the real me. Not just the experimental artist.

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purpose to be drawn to realism. I bring in light colors, things that are maybe a little unexpected. The flamingo has blues, colors you wouldn't expect but somehow they work. I want people to ask 'Why does that work?' I'm playing with the color wheel a little bit, not making anyone uncomfortable.

I chose acrylic because of their little hands (touching the paintings.) I'll give them a painting that I have finished and a dry paintbrush. And then theywill paint on my paintings. I'll set them on the floor Eric's horrified by that because there may be a little stepping on the canvass.

Elise, my youngest, will even grab paint tubs. She doesn't know how to get the lids off yet because I screw them on pretty tight. She'll rub her paintbrush over the top and put imaginary paint on it.

Wimmer goes by the artistic nom de plume Maria Rose. A native of Montana who arrived in Wyoming by way of Colorado, she is now a fixture in the Casper art scene.

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Sitting at her kitchen table, Wimmer doled out snacks to her daughters as they clamored for attention. Four year old Cordelia showed off a pamphlet of her mom's work. Elise, 1, made quick work of a Ritz cracker.

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painting shows a flamingo wearing a small crown, a thin string fixing it to the bird's head like a party hat. In another, an oversized golden crown sits skewed over the ear of a deer as the animal gazes at the viewer.

Wimmer: [Laughs.] I knew you were going to ask that first. The first piece was this one of the flamingo, "All Hail Chestnut." In high school I was kind of a character, and I had this lawn flamingo tied to my backpack. It was one of those backpacks with miles of bungee cord on it. For some reason, I put my lawn flamingo on it.

WImmer: I don't think they've seen my painting unless they know me and have come to the explosion of my basement.

´╗┐Casper artist juggles new show as stay

CST: This is a rather substantial show and you're also looking after your girls. How do you juggle those two things?

Wimmer: They're realistic to a degree. I definitely look off a model and do sketches and stuff like that. Ultimately I play with color and just sort of follow my artistic instinct as I go along. I don't focus too much on being real to life. That is what photography is for. I'm trying to capture the spirit of the animal, as I perceive it, not as much make an exact rendering of an animal.

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Wimmer: It's actually really challenging. Doing the interview with kids running around, it's kind of how life is. It's very challenging. Eric's been very helpful. He works full time and he has been letting me Air Max Penny Db

I could never get rid of it. It's downstairs in our basement today. It lived in our van. Anyway, one day I was looking for something to paint so I started painting a flamingo. And it was not quite right. I started thinking about not only what the flamingo meant to me, but other people. I kind of put a crown on there just for fun and silliness. And that's what this is, itis very whimsical. But then I started thinking of how these animals are really ambiguous. They mean different things to different people. But I also wanted people to this might be a stretch kind of think about why we think animals are ours. I like to think of animals being their own masters. We're interacting with their world, but it's not as though we own them or possess them. I kind of wanted to emphasize that in a light hearted way.

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And her paintings are commonplace in group shows at the Nicolaysen, the Goodstein Art Gallery, The Corridor and others.

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In a wide ranging conservation with the Star Tribune, Wimmer spoke about the show, her career and balancing motherhood with her profession.

Exhibitions of her free hand collages, in which she cuts a silhouette of a figure from a piece of blank paper and then splices them together, have appeared at Casper College and the Nicolaysen. Her husband, Eric, is the Nicolaysen's curator.

But Kingdom is the first solo exhibit of her paintings. The medium is Wimmer's favorite and so the show carries added personal significance.

In a typical week, Maria Wimmer teaches art lessons, works part time at The Corridor Gallery, writes a daily blog and paints all while balancing the duties of raising two young daughters.

Take the simple act of giving an interview about her upcoming show, "Kingdom," which premieres tonight at The Corridor Gallery in downtown Casper.

She pauses to doll out another cracker.

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Wimmer: Yes

CST: It's interesting because you've chosen everything down to the acrylic (paint) you use because of the girls.

Before kids I would take months to finish a single piece because I assumed I had the luxury of time. Now I know that I don't so I'm working now and getting it done. I don't mess Air Max Nike Sneakers around. Perhaps with motherhood I have a new confidence. I don't have so many questions about myself. I know this is the type of art I make and I do it.

Casper Star Tribune: The first question, the obvious question is why the crowns?

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Wimmer, 32, talked about the show as she cleaned a small pile of crumbs building on the table. "Kingdom" will feature about 30 of her paintings. All depict animals adorned with crowns. One Air Max 72

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CST: The flamingo, the zebra, the birds they're very realistic depictions. Then there is a crown on the top of their heads.

CST: For folks in Casper this might be a new side of your art. Can you talk about that?

letting me, we've agreed he gives me Saturdays to work. He comes out with the girl's sometimes they are a part of my whole day, every day. They take forever to eat so I take the easel and set it up and paint at the table because that was the only option.

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