When Sarah (Glover) Pederson was asked if she was interested in painting a wall mural at Knutson Memorial Library in Coon Valley she couldn’t refuse. After all Sarah, her husband Kurt, and their son Ethan, a second-grader at Coon Valley Elementary School love visiting the library.
Pederson, graduated from Westby Area High School in 1994. She always had an interest in art, but wasn’t convinced she could make a living at it. She elected instead to earn a bachelor of business administration degree at UW-Madison, but never gave up on her artistic dreams. Instead she used her knowledge of business to create her own studio, “Lucid Painting,” where she could expand her creativity and allow others to appreciate her artistic talents.
Pederson specializes in murals and decorative accents. She is self-taught artist and has a flair for design that is extremely pleasing to the naked eye. Her designs show depth and dimension leaving you with a desire to touch the final product, not just look at it.
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Early on Pederson started out stenciling and received such rave reviews from her friends and family that she expanded to murals. Her love of Trompel'œil (French for "deceive the eye"), is an art technique involving realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.
“Trampel’oeil fools the eye, which adds detail to the finished product and makes it unique. I love painting that way and my customers seem to agree,” Pederson said.
Pederson’s art was featured in the Home and Garden section of the La Crosse Tribune in 2012. Since then she has created a number of wall murals in homes throughout the Coulee Region and is currently expanding into canvas painting.
“As much as I love to create my own artwork, I place a high priority on fulfilling the customer’s visions of what they want. I work with them every step of the way so the end product is something they will treasure for years,” Pederson said.
Karen Bernau, the Knutson Memorial librarian, is one of Pederson’s elated customers. The four-season wall mural she created is eye-catching and incorporated everything she requested in it and more.
“It has quickly become a vocal point for adults and children absolutely love it,” Bernau said.
The mural has 14 “I Spy” items painted in it from the library raccoon logo, to birds, caterpillars, deer and more. The colors are bright and vibrant and the snowman in the winter scene has eyes that make you want to touch them to see if just maybe “Frosty” is real.
“It is so fun to watch the reactions of the children and listen to the comments. I love the wildflowers, violets, chickery and birds. The mural is such a great addition to our library. Sarah did a wonderful job,” Bernau said.
Knutson Memorial Library is located at 500 Central Avenue, Coon Valley. They are open six days a week and offer a variety of activities every week for children and adults. For hours call 608-452-3757.