Calaveras Enterprise

Underwater creatures catch the eye in Sutter Creek

“Dancing Alone”

Art and creativity have always played a big part in the life of Mary Sue Palmquist, the Sutter Creek Gallery’s featured artist for February. Her works can be seen all month at the gallery at 35 Main St., Sutter Creek, and a reception opens the show on Feb. 3.

Palmquist majored in art at Midwestern colleges, concentrating on watercolors, printmaking and graphics (before computers overtook the industry). She earned a bachelor’s degree in art in 1982.

Life, however, as it often does, took her in other directions. For 20 years, she worked in the performing arts sector as the manager of the historic Midway Theatre in Rockford, Ill. She then worked as a business manager for Mendelssohn Performing Arts. During this time, Palmquist kept her creativity alive by studying calligraphy and Chinese brush painting.

Her artistic journey led her to study art therapy in Milwaukee. She eventually worked as an after-school arts teacher for the Rockford Area Arts Council.

In 2005, Palmquist moved to Lake Camanche, where she has been continually inspired by the beauty, history and uniqueness of the Gold Country. She eagerly started painting again, most recently studying with Sabina Turner of Fiddletown.



“The medium of watercolor, with its translucency and immediacy, gives me a feeling of a mystery in the making,” Palmquist explained.

A fascination with sea life and ancient creatures that inhabit the ocean has led to a series of paintings depicting jellyfish, octopuses, shells and other sea beings.

“Watercolor is the perfect medium to reveal the movement of these creatures,” she enthused. “I find it exciting to see how each image takes on a life of its own. My intent is to impart a sense of wonder and joy through my paintings.”

The gallery throws a free opening reception in Palmquist’s honor from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. She is one of many area artists who exhibit at the cooperative nestled in the heart of Sutter Creek. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but is closed on Tuesdays.

For additional information, call 267-0228 or visit

WHEN: 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 3

WHERE: Sutter Creek Gallery, 35 Main St., Sutter Creek

COST: Free

MORE INFO: or 267-0228

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