Artist Weatherly Stroh fondly recalls the very first oil painting she ever created. “I was in sixth grade and had been at Disney World with my grandparents and best friend. I took some photos of a duck and was inspired to paint it,” she says, laughing. “My mom (Susie Stroh, also an artist) still has the painting.”
Today, the celebrated artist, who spends time in both her native Michigan and Florida, captures everything from pastoral landscapes and water-themed pieces to equestrian beauty and even the occasional flower.
After graduating from Bloomfield Hills’ Cranbrook-Kingswood (she attended from sixth through 12th grade) and the University of Colorado, and spending years in Colorado and at her Birmingham home and studio, Stroh opted to change up her scenery and inspiration a bit after finding a suitable studio in Florida.
At the University of Colorado, Stroh majored in art with a photography emphasis. “My first real art classes were at Cranbrook, where I took some amazing drawing, painting, photography, weaving, and jewelry-making classes,” she says. “My classes at CU paled in comparison!” After receiving her first college degree, she returned to CU to obtain a master’s in teaching. For a time, she taught third and fourth grade in Colorado — but fast-forward to now and Stroh’s happy to report that, for the past 12 years, she’s been painting full time.
“I told myself I’d give it a year full time and see what happens,” Stroh remembers. “A friend had lost her yellow lab and asked if I’d consider painting a portrait of her dog. I’d never done anything like that, but it all went from there.”
“My style’s evolving. I’m loving more teals and greens and aquamarines — vibrant colors — rather than the more traditional palette I used to use.”
As for her love affair with Michigan, it’s never-ending and goes back to her childhood. “My favorite memories from growing up were when my family used to spend time on the water,” she says. “My dad was a big boater and would take us on adventures along the Detroit River in his beautiful old wooden Chris-Craft. We would overnight in some faraway port and wake up to the deck covered with dew and fish flies!”
She also has a special spot in her heart for northern Michigan, especially Harbor Springs. “My parents would pick up my brother and me from camp Up North and we’d go to Harbor Springs for a week or two and enjoy our boat out of Walstrom Marina.”
Today, Stroh regularly packs her bags and with dog Gus in tow, the two enjoy road trips to Michigan to see family and friends, exhibit art, and teach an occasional workshop.
“Nothing beats Michigan and its four seasons,” she says.
More information: weatherlystroh.com