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Artists Bio's - Meet some of our Instructors

Jan Forbes
My passion is Painting.  My paintings are some where between my visions of beauty and reality. Watercolor seems to be the best way for me to express my love of spontaneity and color.  The excitement of watching colors flowing freely into each other is a never ending thrill.  I love to gently coax and push it along and see the painting almost paint itself and come alive.

Teaching to me is a way of sharing my love of the arts, as so many of my past instructors have so generously shared with me.  "To teach is to touch a life forever".  Teaching is very spiritual to me.  My goal is not to have anyone paint like me or to enjoy the subjects I paint, but rather to learn the tools and tricks that will enable students to find their own path. And while on this journey enjoying the camaraderie of others also learning on all different levels.  Never competing only trying to improve our own works, we all have different reasons for taking classes.

My classes are open to all ages. We all have to start some where regardless of age and this is a never ending process.  We can always find a new tool, new color, new subject or new instructor to challenge us.  I hope as a teacher I can excite And challenge you.  "An Artist isn't a special kind of Person But every Person is a special kind of Artist".


Julia Jones
Julia started her watercolor adventure in 1989.  She joined Leech Lake Arts League of Walker, Minnesota where she eventually found her niche: The Birch Landscape. She has now painted so many birch landscapes that she is referred to as the "Birch Lady".  

During her membership with the League she participated in many workshops, demonstrations and the annual Northern Reflections Fine Arts Show. After moving to Longville in 1996 she continued her painting and started her business, “Watercolors, etc”.  Part of the etcetera is doing her own matting and framing using barn board and birch bark as well as her fascination with birch crafts. 

Julia has exhibited and sold her artwork in galleries in Walker, Remer, Hackensack and is currently in the Gallery of New Creations in Longville. She also does commission work. Her most challenging commission was a 24" x 48" summer scene that now hangs in a private home in Sacramento, CA.  Julia usually likes to paint for the smaller rooms in the house. 

Julia has demonstrated her painting technique to many organizations and age groups including Deep Portage, Ah Gwah Ching, the Northern Reflections Show, and Longville Elementary School and has donated countless painting for fundraisers for local organizations. Julia maintains she will always be a beginner as there is always a new magical effect or technique to discover when water-coloring.

Tom Kutschied
Tom Kutschied received his Bachelor Of Science Degree in Education with Broad Area Art Major from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He taught Art in Junior High School in Tomah, Wisconsin for five Years and before that he was an illustrator in the US Air Force for four years.

Tom moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1976 and opened an Art Studio where he taught oil painting and did custom picture framing for 32 years. During this time he established himself as an accomplished Wildlife Artist. He has done oil paintings for most of the major wildlife conservation organizations including Ducks Unlimited, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever.

Tom retired in 2008 and moved back to Longville where he enjoys being an active participant in the arts activities in the area. He started "Nature Inspired Art" out of his home, where he specializes in pet portraits, mostly in oil. He also works in the mediums of scratch boarding and wood burning.

Saundra Martell

This will be Saundra's second year offering classes for Longville Lakes Arts Alliance (LLAA).
During the past winter, she offered classes in Baxter.  For several years, Saundra has taken
Jan Forbes' watercolor classes and Tom Kutschied's oil painting classes.  With the strong base they have provided, she has been teaching herself watercolor pencil painting and Inktense painting.  She has taken classes on-line, read books and most of all painted.  Saundra is offering to share what she has learned. 

When Saundra married Ron, she moved from Alexandria, Virginia to Minnesota.  The bonus turned out to be a cabin on Blackwater Lake about 7 miles south of Longville.


Cathy Ratliff Finley

As far back as I can remember I have been able to see things others didn’t see. As a young person this made me different. I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to fit. This not so appreciated gift grew up with me. Along the way it screamed to be heard in ever so many silent ways. I found that during my years of marriage, raising children, managing a career and being a part of the community, I began to take whatever was present and made it more. A piece of cloth became clothes, window treatment or maybe a soon to be reupholstered sofa I found on the street. Beads and string became jewelry. A wall in my home became a canvas that I would change with the seasons by painting or even at times removed. My neighbors and friends would join me on adventures to flea markets and garage sales and I would help them create a new look for their home from found objects that still had life in them. My DIFFERENT became my art. I found where I fit.

Fay Yochum
Fay enjoys creating art with paper, wire, vintage dishware, beads, glass and stones.  She has a small space in her home where she solders, breaks dishes, cuts glass, rips and cuts paper and then glues the paper back together in another way.  She uses ink, water base paints, ephemera and other sundries to create stained glass, scrapbooks necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, garden fairies, dragon flies and more.  She has exhibited her artwork at the Common Grounds Coffee Shop, in Longville, for the past three years.  She also participates in local art fairs.

Fay has taught in our local school district for the past 28 years and has a B.A. and M.S. in Elementary Education.  Although recently retired, she volunteers in the classroom weekly.

Fay has taught classes for the Longville Arts Alliance for two years.  She thinks this is a big opportunity for our summer community and local community to try something new, have some fun and maybe discover the artist inside all of us.

Fay lives in Longville with her husband Danny.  They built their log home about 30 years ago and it is still in process.  Danny is an artist as well and has inspired Fay to give more time to art work.


Myles Wagner

I've been knitting since I was 5 years old.  My mother taught me how to knit so she would know where I would be for hours on end when she had work to do.  I was one of those kids who always had to be doing something,  By teaching me how to knit, things were easier for her.  I have been knitting ever since. 


Mailing Address:  LLAA  |  P.O. Box 271  |  Longville, MN  56655  |  Email: