Bringing bright color to a dreary Iowa winter through art

UI graduate student Alexis Beucler creates colorful landscapes through oil paintings.


Wyatt Dlouhy

Alexis Beucler poses for a portrait in her office in the Visual Arts Building in Iowa City on December 12, 2018.

Madison Lotenschtein, Arts Reporter

Oil painting is often seen as a classic form of artwork that uses muted colors that are used to describe a landscape. University of Iowa drawing and painting graduate student Alexis Beucler challenges this muted art form; her most recent works of art include elaborate oil paintings of people, mountains, and rivers, all which are incorporated with bright colors. Beucler recently held an art show at the Art Building West.

“I’ve been shifting my color palette and have been using different patterns metaphorically,” Beucler said. “The colors are more acidic, there’s a jolt to them. I’m from Florida, so that plays a huge role in my color palette. We live in an environment that does so much to us on a subconscious level.”

She draws inspiration from the Roman god Bacchus, who is celebrated for wine, fertility, agriculture, and leisure. For her most recent art, she has also focused on patterns. However, creating works of art requires more than the magic wave of a paintbrush or inspiration; there are basic rules and thoughts that guide the artist in composing the next masterpiece.

“Landscape blurs the direct motive or narrative,” Beucler said. “There are two ways of camouflaging: one is actually hiding, and the other is making something stick out so much that you are too confused to be seen.”

As a child, Beucler was fond of drawing and knew that the creative field would make the perfect fit for her. Through her undergraduate years at Florida State University, she found a passion for oil painting, and she has also become a well-rounded artist through lithography — a form of art in which the artist draws on limestone ceramics — and drawing.

The artist made the journey from the Sunshine State to the Hawkeye State for the UI’s well-known art program and resources it has for its students. Not only does she enjoy her peers’ work, she also enjoys teaching Elements of Art, a course designed for nonmajors.

“This semester, I’ve been taking my students to the Biology Building East’s greenhouse and Natural History Museum,” Beucler said. “It helps them become inspired by their surroundings. A lot of this section ties into my own work, which helps me bring more energy to my class, and that benefits all of us.”

Along with her university classes, she teaches a free course for the community that helps people learn how to draw the human figure.

“Being a studio artist is important to me, but I’ve found a passion for teaching since I’ve come to Iowa,” she said.

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