FAIRMONT - Truman residents Marie Schutter and her husband Tom decided to take a class at Sleepy Eye Stained Glass almost two years ago.
Today, the couple has converted a bedroom in their home to a glass studio, produced commissioned works, and Marie also participates in art exhibitions.
She is one of two artists showing their work this month at Red Rock Center for the Arts in Fairmont.
The work Marie has chosen to display shows a range of styles, from simple rectangular pieces with clean lines and traditional shapes, to intricate round pieces that took her hours and hours and special tools to complete.
Marie feels all the work has its own beauty.
"Some-thing simple is just as pretty as something more intricate," she said. "That is part of the fun."
Marie works in the billing department of a nursing home in Mankato, and she started working with glass as a creative outlet, after deciding she had knitted enough stocking caps.
"When you start out, you make as many as you want for your own windows," she said. "Then you start giving to your friends. Then you start figuring out how to sell, because you just want to keep making."
Marie uses the copper foil method to create her stained glass - a different method than was used on the windows of the Red Rock.
"(The windows) are lead came," she said. She has used both methods in her work, and finds what she chooses depends on the size and style of the piece.
She has found herself fascinated with glass itself, and how she can use the different colors and patterns in her work.
"It is endlessly fascinating what glass can do in different lights," she said.
Most of Marie's work is original, although she has used patterns. She said even with a pattern the end result is different from what anyone else would make with the same pattern, because of varying skill levels and each creator's eye for color.
Marie loves to experiment with the glass, and has produced work on both small and large scales with bold, vibrant colors, and even a piece with no color at all - just different textures of glass.
"Understated can have quite an impact," she said.
The couple attends a studio class at Sleepy Eye Stained Glass once per week. They typically do most of their work on the weekends.
Marie said sometimes she'll plan to work on a piece for a few minutes and realize more than an hour has passed, which she describes as "a feeling of bliss."
"There is always a project ongoing," she said. "It is a lot of fun. I am learning my craft."
Marie is available for commissioned work, and her pieces on display at the Red Rock are for sale. Contact her at (507) 776-4615 or call the Red Rock for more information.
From a distance, Michael Eischen's paintings seem like photographs. Water flowing over logs obstructing a forest stream, the sunsetting over a Native American teepee, men crouching together in a foxhole.
The acrylic works are labors of love for the artist, who sketches everyday, despite running a family farm in Comfrey.
Eischen is the other artist of the month at Red Rock Center for the Arts.
Eischen was trained in commercial art at an art school in Mankato. He continued his education as the years passed through correspondence courses, although much of his growth was a matter of simply doing.
"Most artists learn on their own," he said.
To create his paintings, Eischen uses computer software to create the scene before he begins to work on canvas, and sometimes he uses a photograph.
His work is permeated by themes of Native American life, war and nature - life-long interests for the artist.
Although he sketches every day, Eischen typically does most of his painting in the winter, but a new artistic medium has caught his attention as of late. Instead of painting, he spent his winter learning 3D printing.
"What you can do is endless," he said. "I am doing sculpture on the computer, and it is printed out in 3D."
The technology is new, and Eischen considers himself lucky to have been able to find a printer. He currently can only print out pieces smaller than a 5x5 inch cube.
He has printed out anatomical figures to help him visualize the human form while he paints, as well as a model of just a head for the same purpose.
The printer produces plastic models that are relatively durable.
At the historical center in New Ulm, the printer was used to make figures for dioramas, which can be printed and then painted.
In addition to his traditional and cutting edge work, Eischen has dabbled in watercolor, and he has written and published a children's book, "Clever Pheasant."
His work hangs in the Brown County Historical Society museum in New Ulm. It is only on display at Red Rock for the month of June.
For budding artists, he gave the following advice: "Learn how to draw if you want to paint. Just draw all the time."