Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hidden Talent is Not So Hidden

The best part about what I do is getting to meet some really interesting and talented people.

Sometimes,  I am aware of a person's hobby or career but I never really get to see exactly what they do. Other times, I do get to see what they do......and I am pleasantly surprised........
....amazed even....

Meet my friend Duke. 

.... a local artist that has recently won my affections.
His real name is Richard Kruse, but everyone calls him Duke.

I met Duke one Tuesday evening while working at ArtWorks in downtown Kenosha. Tuesday evenings are pretty important to Duke. Not only because he might run into me and I might giggle at him, but because it's the night he gets together with other local friends and artists for figuring drawing class in the basement studio gallery at ArtWorks.

My favorite piece by the Duke.....

It's the colors, the shadows, the way her hair is blowing. I can almost smell the summer air.

The funny thing is, even though Duke has been around for 88 years and coming to ArtWorks for figure drawing classes for over 3 years, not many people were aware of his tremendous body of work, and not many people outside of his own family were aware of how magnificent his work really is.

That all changed last month after Duke had a solo showing at the ArtWorks gallery. The show featured the majority of his entire life's work including paintings, drawing, prints, and sculptures.

Duke paints in such a way that at first glance you would swear they are done in pastels.

This piece titled "Black Bear" immediately brought to mind the last issue of Elle would look amazing anywhere, but especially in an environment such as this....

 I love the contrast and the shadows in these two pieces!


Another piece I am dying for.....

The red sweater and the red me!

One piece that sold very quickly......

It's his sassy humor that gets me!

Love the colors in his prints.....

A lino print titled, "Lost in Thought" also sold.

And the pieces my husband and I purchased from the show.....

"A Polish Princess"


"Love That Tie!!" because I'm such a sucker for bow ties! This piece will find it's home in my front living room that will hopefully look similar to this one by the time I'm finished with it.........

I would love to own more pieces and someday I most certainly will.

I hope all of these pieces find a beautiful home and I hope I can help at least a couple of them find new homes with my clients! It was a little baffling to us all that such a great artist has been right under our nose!!

I hope I have inspired you to go in search of the hidden talent in your neck of the woods! 


  1. Kelle he is so talented and @ 88 he is finding success...WOW, that is inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What an amazing artist. How lucky you are to know him.

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  4. Kelle, Thank you so much for featuring Duke! He is an amazing person that is an inspiration to so many! The reason I know this is because he is my Grandfather. I grew up in his basement right along with him painting away! Reading your article about my grandfather brought me to tears. Thank you for your kind words! He is still at it even now at 90! Thank you again... Gina


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