RED WING -- Danielle Flicek owns Staghead in Red Wing. When she's not at the restaurant she can frequently be found painting. Because many restaurants in Minnesota and Wisconsin closed this spring because of the pandemic, Flicek has had more time to focus on her painting. Her love of creating food is never far from her, though, as food is one of the most common features of Flicek's art.

What type of art do you do?

I do oil painting, mostly of food and portraits.

What draws you to this medium/media?

Oil paints are great if you need to spend more time on the painting because you can control the dry time with different thinners. For me it works great because I am busy with a lot of other things so I can leave it alone but start back up where I left off.

How long have you been creating art? Is this a new skill or something that you've been focusing on for a long time?

I have always played with art from a young child to tons of sketchbooks and journals filled with doodles. My high school art teacher, Lisa Wand, was a huge influence for me to dive deep into art but I didn't start oil painting until my senior year of high school. I did post secondary enrollment option at Rochester Community College, the instructor was Simon Huelsbeck. This is where he forced me to try oils and its all I do since.

Are you working on a piece or project now?

I just finished up four commission pieces and am working on four more right now.

Danielle Flicek is the owner of Staghead and an oil painter from Red Wing. While her restaurant is closed due to COVID-19 she is focusing on her painting. Photo provided by Flicek.
Danielle Flicek is the owner of Staghead and an oil painter from Red Wing. While her restaurant is closed due to COVID-19 she is focusing on her painting. Photo provided by Flicek.

What inspires you to make your art?

I am inspired to make art because of how it makes myself feel first of all. But, when people see my paintings in person, especially when they're dining at Staghead because it's all of my own art on the walls, the smiles and wonder they get from them is exciting. I love painting portraits because I feel they offer soul to a photo of a memory. When I finish a piece and give it to them, it's just a really warming feeling.

Who are your biggest influences?

My mom is my first and biggest influence. She used to do amazing art, way better than myself! I remember as a kid when she would dig out her college work and I always wanted to do what she did. My two art teachers have been big influences to me and now with the internet, I'm finding people that I'm really drawn to their styles, like Daria Callie.

Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your art/work at all? How? Have you been able to work around it or adjust your creation process?

Since we had to close the restaurant due to the coronavirus, I have had a lot of time to paint. I miss work but its been nice to focus on painting for once.

Anything else that you want to share about yourself or your work?

Besides selling originals and giclees, I do commissions as well. Anyone can see my art hanging at Staghead or on my webpage www.danielleflicek.com. I will also start hosting painting classes (some with wine) at Staghead once we reopen.