City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
MarySue Krueger

Featured Article

Artists for a Cause

Top Dog Foundation Brings Together Four Minnesota Artists to Support Our Canine Companions

Like few things in this world, art brings people from all walks of life together. Similarly, Minnesota-based artists Richard Merchán, Stephanie Dillon, MarySue Krueger, and Michelle Plombon are coming together to support a cause: Top Dog Foundation. Top Dog Foundation, a branch of Top Dog Country Club, works to rescue senior dogs and provide loving homes for the rest of their lives. This month, Top Dog Country Club will host a “Party at the Pond” to benefit the foster and adoption programs of Top Dog Foundation. Each artist is donating original art for the event's silent auction to support the cause. I sat down with each artist to learn more about who they are and what inspires them. Want to know more? Meet them at the "Part at the Pond" where they will be in attendance.

Richard Merchán
Richard specializes in paintings, drawings, and sculptures inspired by his everyday life. Always observing, Richard’s work reflects his fascinating life.
How would you describe your art style?
I would call it post-Impressionism. If you look at the work of Matisse or Monet or Degas, it’s kind of that era that I tend to be inspired by. So my work is figurative - interiors, some equestrian, landscapes - but it’s all very loose.
How does your everyday life translate to your art?
I’m constantly collecting images that would inspire me. I am the person on a hike or on the road who says ‘pull over, I want to take a picture of that!’ I’m constantly observing things like mountains in the distance or a little flower that I’m going to incorporate into something else.
Do you hope to achieve a certain feeling or experience with your art?
Ultimately, I want to produce, create paintings or drawings or sculptures that are enjoyed by me because I get a lot of enjoyment out of what I’m doing. To me, selling art is not the ultimate validation of if your work is good or not.
Can you provide a sneak peek of the art piece you are donating to the upcoming Top Dog Foundation event?
I think one of the auction items is a trip to the wine country, so I may create a vineyard or I may already have one I want to donate.

MarySue Krueger
MarySue specializes in watercolor portraits of animals, people, still life, florals, and homes. MarySue captures the spirit of her subject in a way no one else can. Take a look for yourself!
How would you describe your art style?
I would describe my style as realistic with a touch of whimsy. I do mostly watercolor animal portraits. Watercolor is very spontaneous, it’s transparent, and you don’t know how it’s going to behave all the time.
How does your everyday life translate to your art?
I paint every day because I can’t not paint every day. I always have my pallet open and my brushes ready to go. I just find that I’m drawn to it and I do it every day because it’s just part of who I am - to create art.
Do you hope to achieve a certain feeling or experience with your art?
Yes, it’s actually why I started doing pet portraits as commissions. I love seeing the expression on the person’s face when they see the portrait that I’ve done for them. I love returning a permanent image to that person of the animal, and I hope that I imbued in that painting the spirit and image that the animal had for that person.
Can you provide a sneak peek of the art piece you are donating to the upcoming Top Dog Foundation event?
I think I’m going to donate a custom portrait. Which means it will be created after someone purchases it. I will have examples of my work on display though.

Michelle Plombon
Michelle is newer to the art world but is in no way behind the times. Michelle specializes in abstract painting and pottery and loves creating history within her art. 
How would you describe your art style?
I feel like I’m heavy-handed. I like things that have a human imprint on them. I like looking at things that look kind of primitive and rustic. I like history in my work and the work of other artists. My process is very spontaneous and I want my work to have depth.
How does your everyday life inspire your art?
Listening to music makes me want to do a painting. I basically have to drive everywhere so if I’m driving around and a good song comes on I’m like, ‘oh, that’d be fun to paint to that song!’ I’m also often inspired by seeing other people’s artwork.
Do you hope to achieve a certain feeling or experience with your art?
I would love people to feel joy, fun, and relaxation from my art. I would also like to continue to explore and experiment, and come up with expressions that I enjoy and that bring me pleasure.
Can you provide a sneak peek of the art piece you are donating to the upcoming Top Dog Foundation event?
I actually have a white piece that is part of a collection called ‘More Than Wishing’ that I’m going to donate. I think with what’s in style right now, the white pieces will be really popular.

Stephanie Dillon
Stephanie specializes in abstract canvas paintings that truly make you think. Stephanie’s art is eclectic and thoughtful. Take a look!
How would you describe your art style?
My art style is seemingly all over the map. I’m not that interested in being recognized for having a painting style. I’m more interested in painting as an expression of what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking, and how I want to express myself.
How does your everyday life translate to your art?
I would say that like art, you have to think about your daily life as starting over. I may be at times, full of hopelessness or despair, but the idea of being able to create something with my day that is joyful or hopeful or positive reminds me that none of us should ever give up. As an artist, that translates into life.
Do you hope to achieve a certain feeling or experience with your art?
I hope to achieve the idea that what’s old is still beautiful, what we have is enough, and maybe we need to see the art in things before we throw them away. I think that is an important vein that runs through a lot of what I’m trying to achieve.
Can you provide a sneak peek of the art piece you are donating to the upcoming Top Dog Foundation event?
I’m crafting a t-shirt where I’m hollowing out the Top Dog logo and inside of it I’m putting hundreds of little photos of all the dogs Jean has been charged with for the last 20 years.

  • MarySue Krueger
  • MarySue Krueger
  • Michelle Plombon
  • Michelle Plombon
  • Michelle Plombon
  • Richard Merchán
  • Richard Merchán
  • Richard Merchán
  • Stephanie Dillon