Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Fellerer puts her painting talent on display


September 5, 2019

Lois Johnson

The Fellerer family in the art studio. From left are: Colby, Carla, their dog, Sadie, Zachary and David.

Art has been part of her life since Carla Fellerer was a child, and now she finally has a studio to display her paintings and where she can teach classes.

"We rented this space in February and had to do a lot of work to make it usable," Fellerer said in a recent interview. "But now it is done and I can just focus on my artwork."

In the studio, located on Folz Boulevard in Moose Lake across from the Blacklock Gallery, the studio has paintings hanging on the walls, with notecards and bookmarks displayed on shelves. Behind a screen in the back of the room is a table with easels and painting supplies set up, waiting for students.

Carla showed something new that she just finished, a Santa face painted on a piece of driftwood.

"I plan to make a lot of them for people to purchase," she said.

Fellerer's talent started to develop because of her father.

"When I was seven, I discovered that my father had an oil paint set," she explained. "He had tried it on one painting and gave up. I took over his oil painting set and art books. One was a Learn to Draw book. When I was 12, Dad got a set of acrylic paints. I experimented with them."

In school, Fellerer preferred art.

"When the other kids were out playing during recess, I was content to stay inside and do art. Art became my world."

However, Fellerer didn't find encouragement in her art in college, either at UWS nor at UMD.

"Some of the professors wanted me to do art their way," she said. "I feel that art is supposed to be about you. Later I tried to go back to UMD for art. I had the same problem."

However, Fellerer did get a degree in psychology and spent 18 years working in the mental health field, she said.

"I did a post baccalaureate in special education at UMD. That's when I realized that I had no time to do my art," she said. "It took a lot of time and energy."

Fellerer tried to continue her art during her first marriage but it wasn't supported by her husband. She signed her art pieces with her first and middle names, Carla Marie, she said.

"I'm amazed at how much art that I was able to do," she said.

Her second husband, David, is very supportive and builds frames for her art in his workshop, as well as helping make her new studio a comfortable workspace and display area.

"This is the place where I can come and have some peace," said Fellerer. "I can't hear a fight going on in the next room."

The couple has two active boys, ages 9 and 11, and they have kept their parents on their toes.

"One time, I looked up and one of the boys was covered in black paint," she said. "Another time, there was a trail of notecards going out of the room. That's when I realized that I needed to take a break and focus on the kids."

But the talent for art is being passed down to her oldest son, Zachary.

"He draws well," she said. "He likes to draw trains, airplanes, and military machines."

Nature and the country are some of Fellerer's favorite subjects for her art.

"When I am painting, I go into another world," she said. "I have always been super attached to nature, old barns, and farms. I went through a period where all that I painted was trees for two years. All of my life I have loved walking in the woods and spending time at my grandma's farm. I will get a picture in my head and I have to put it on canvas."

One of those pictures came to Carla in a vision.

"During a meditation class, I kept seeing a horse running," she said. "I had to paint that."

The picture now hangs in the gallery.

"I want to paint what I love," she added.

Fellerer shared her talent with elementary students at Carlton but has since retired.

She has taught three-hour painting classes at Five Sisters in Moose Lake for the last couple of years and found a new subject.

"Jenny (the owner of Five Sisters) wanted me to paint a city during one of the classes," she said. "I didn't want to do it but it was actually kind of fun. I love color and I like to push my color a little bit (make the color more intense)."

Fellerer is looking forward to this new chapter of her life, where she can really get immersed in her art as she teaches others.

Classes at her studio begin Sept. 9. Students can learn sketching, drawing landscapes, and the basics of painting with acrylics. Art supplies are available for purchase at the studio.

"Art is therapeutic," she said. "People can just relax and have fun. Art is really healthy for the mind. The students will get to enjoy the whole process."

She also plans to start a coloring group at Five Sisters, where students can just sit and color on pages that she will provide.

"It will be fun to just gather together and just color," she said.

"Painting the World a More Beautiful Place," is a motto of Carla's. She invites everyone to join her in creating a more beautiful world.

Call Carla Fellerer at 218-393-4110 or email at Visit her website at


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