CeCeile Hartleib is an accomplished representational artist who has been painting professionally for over 30 years. Her love of nature is evident in her plein-air landscapes which include some of her favorite subjects: water lilies, garden scenes and people in nature. She paints outdoors year-round in Minnesota and in other parts of the country. Because of her exceptional ability to capture personality on canvas, she is also in demand as a portrait painter. Hartleib maintains a studio in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Classical Realist tradition in which Hartleib has been trained began in the seventeenth century. Rigorous training in the basics – value, composition, accuracy of line, and impressionistic color – is the hallmark of this method. Hartleib’s search for such training first led her to Allan R. Banks, a nationally known naturalist painter with whom she studied part-time for 4 years in Sandusky, Ohio. In 1987, she moved to Minnesota to further immerse herself in the Classical Realist tradition and continued her training at Atelier LeSueur in Excelsior, Minnesota, graduating from the program in 1991. She then spent an additional year of intensive study with renowned artist Stephen Gjertson of Minneapolis.
Hartleib began teaching plein-air landscape for The Atelier in 1996. She began teaching cast drawing at the school in 1997 and was instrumental in beginning the Saturday morning cast drawing classes. She has been teaching watercolor classes and workshops since 1998.
CeCeile also teaches privately and holds classes in her studio in St. Paul. She is a member of Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Outdoor Painters of Minnesota, Minnesota Watercolor Society, and Northstar WaterMedia Society. She has won numerous awards for her work, which is exhibited in galleries and hangs in private and corporate collections in North America, Europe, Russia and Japan. CeCeile’s Portrait of Nikita Khrushchev hangs in the collection of Sergei Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev. Garrison Keillor owns CeCeile’s Cathedral of St. Paul.
For me, painting is about seeing – about telling a story, conveying a mood or feeling, or simply expressing my love of nature. I am happiest when I get lost in my work, spending hours without realizing any time has passed. I enjoy getting to know people while they sit for portraits and I think that my work reflects this. I love landscapes, especially beautiful sunsets, gardens and the many moods that nature creates. Often the way light falls across forms is enough to capture my attention and make me want to express my experiences or feelings in paint.