Howard Schroedter's paintings restore an experience for the art viewer that has become rare with the passing of such American artists as Charles Burchfield, Marsden Hartley, and Fairfield Porter. His moody, expressionist landscapes help us remember the power of specific places to arouse acute feelings in the sensitive artist. Schroedter's paintings are not the casual pictures of the artist in search of the picturesque.
Schroedter knows the locales of his art as well as Edward Hopper knew Provincetown, Massachusetts, as intimately as Porter knew Southampton, Long Island. He did about a hundred paintings at Myyaka, Florida, while on a year's leave from the UW-Milwaukee where Schroedter has taught for twenty-nine years. He has created a vaster body of work focusing on Hatch Lake in Waupaca County, Wisconsin, where he has maintained a vacation home for more than twenty years.
Schroedter's paintings are his contemplations of the mystery that envelopes these places and his own sense of smallness in relation to the lands. The viewer sees Myyaka and Hatch Lake as filtered through Schroedter's temperament. The air in his Myyaka scene is sparkly and clear, but quite often the atmospheres in Schroedter's pictures are dark and moody and owe something to the art of Joseph Friebert, Schroedter's one-time teacher whom he venerates. Schroedter served as chairman of the UW-Milwaukee art department.
Says Schroedter: I have never felt a strong call to head for New York to try to make it big. I was born in Milwaukee. It is not a good place to be if you're an artist dying to make a big reputation, but otherwise it is a great place to live and work. I feel fortunate that I found a place in the same school where I myself learned to paint. Howard Schroedter taught art education and prepared his art students to become art teachers as well. He was very highly respected in the University system and served on the University committee, the select group of six professors from throughout the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee system that represented and advised the University Board of Regents on significant matters pertaining to the entire professorial staff.