ABOUT

Hello!

Welcome to my website. My name is Pipka. I was born in Czechoslovakia and came to America after WWII. My father was a doctor and dreamed of practicing in the land “where streets were paved in gold.”  We were sponsered by the Catholic Church and sent to a little farm town in North Dakota. The streets were not gold but my parents thought it was heaven.

Much later, we moved to a bigger city in Minnesota where I grew up, married, divorced and raised my two little children as a single mom. At that point, I was looking for some kind of job or career that enabled me to be with my children. It was a tough time. My mother was visiting my grandmother in Munich, Germany and befriended a folk artist in the neighborhood. Thinking I would enjoy painting, she packed up a box of paints, German books about Bauernmalerie (peasant painting on furniture), wooden boxes to decorate and mailed them off to me in America. The mailman brought the box to my door. I opened it on the dining room table…and started painting. I didn’t stop. I’d paint late at night after my children were asleep. All my pajamas were covered in paint smudges. Soon I was painting my very primative flowers on furniture, old humidors and tables that I found discarded on the sidewalk, transforming them into colorful decorated pieces. Each piece was a rags to riches story, much like our family’s life.

Eventually I open a little shop in the neighborhood and soon was asked by customers to teach them how to paint. Thus began a long teaching and learning career. I taught folk art painting but mostly I taught women how to have confindence in themselves. In turn, these beautiful women taught me how to be a better painter and teacher. Soon my shop, Pipka’s Workshop, had five enthusiastic creative employees who helped prepare the furniture for my decorative painting. It was one of the most rewarding and exciting times of my life, working with like-minded creative women as we shared our talents and dreams.

One blizzardy winter day in my studio, I painted a German Santa for my mother as a Christmas gift. She loved it, my students loved it and soon I was painting old world Santas and traveling to different countries at Christmas time to research Christmas customs and traditons.  The festivities and songs of Christmas were similar but each country added their own heritage, rituals and foods to their Christmas celebrations. As I traveled, I realized Santa was a very spiritual figure, crossing cultures and borders to bring  Christmas joy to children all over the world. My career took a turn that winter day in my studio and depicting old world Santas, or Father Christmas, as he is also known, in my painting became a major focus of my art. Eventually, my Christmas designs were made into Pipka Collectible Figurines and sold throughout  the country in specialty shops. But that’s a story for another time….

I now live in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin, with my little dog, Angel.  Lake Michigan surrounds our peninsula. Cherry and apple orchards dot the land like a lush green patchwork quilt. Many artists, authors and entrepreneurs have made Door County their home,  providing a rich and inspiring enviroment for all of us who live here. As an artist, my work is evolving.  Collage, journaling and  altered books  has been my focus in recent years. Baking has turned into a full time hobby. But I’ll never forget the box my mother sent me from Germany, filled with paints, boxes and books of Bauermalerie… it opened a new world for me. Every day is an opportunity to share, bake and create something beautiful.

I invite you, dear reader, to join me on the rest of my journey.

Pipka