Retired health official has hobby in watercolors

Steve Lackore does most of his painting at the dining room table in his northeast Rochester home.

Steve Lackore'sretirement hobby has really taken off.

After working 23 years in environmental health for Olmsted County Public Health, Lackore retired and decided to paint watercolors to keep busy.

Though he'd only painted bedroom walls before he got to retirement, Lackore has found a lot of success as watercolor painter. Earlier this year, he received an award of merit from the Minnesota Watercolor Societyfor his painting "Artist Point Reflection."

Lackore has work displayed in galleries in Burnsville and Grand Marais.

Why watercolors?


I really think it has to do with the fact that, growing up, I lived on the Mississippi River in Iowa and on the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin. My wife and I lived in Grand Marais on Lake Superior, so there has always been a lot of water to influence me.The inspiration of a local artist in Grand Marais, Howard Sivertson. His medium is watercolor, so I felt influenced by that. It's magical.There's so much that you do, so many techniques that you can employ to look at color and reflections and shadows to create the paintings or images.

You seem to have kept for most of your work. Do you plan on selling some pieces?

I didn't set the goal to be a commercial artist. I did it for self-expression and value and the pleasure I receive from painting. If I can develop my skills enough to have some aspect of my hobby turn into a commercial venture, I'll pursue it, but it's not my goal to sell paintings.

Why do you enjoy painting landscapes?

I think reflecting on the experiences we had in Grand Marais, Lake Superior changes moment to moment. The reflection in the sky. The wind movement, the seasons. I just think the landscapes can be so interesting during any season. I've painted still life. That I enjoy, too, but I really like to paint landscapes. The good news is that there's a lot out there in southern Minnesota: the bluff lands, the farmsteads, the trout streams, the Mississippi River.

What's next?

I want to practice and learn new techniques. I want to take on some different challenges. There are so many different styles out there. I just want to enjoy the hobby and my interest in it, as well as enjoy my associations with other artists in the watercolor society and Grand Marais Art Colony.


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