Monday, March 7, 2011

Ellen's Teddy Bear

As a child living in Hamburg, Germany, Ellen received an antique teddy bear from a neighbor. Her mother dressed him up with a homemade sweater and pants with suspenders. Teddy stayed close to Ellen through the war years and travelled with her on the boat to America. More than a toy, he has had a place of honor in the Topelmann household ever since.
Karsten decided to pay homage to Teddy by painting this warm and colorful portrait in oil.  Here Teddy poses with the Topelmann's cherished collection of German children's storybooks. Notice that Teddy is proudly pointing to a page featuring his own portait. Incidentally, the artist's signature is cleverly incorporated in the painting on the spine of the red book. Translated, it says: painted by Karsten Topelmann. 16 " x 20"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Swimming away

Karsten painted these young geese as they paddled across the Tauber River in Detwang, Germany.
Looks like the young ones actually believe they can escape the watchful eyes of their parents. But they'll learn. Notice how the old stone bridge's reflection seems to dance in the sparkling waters on this sunny day.
20" x 24"  Oil

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Historic Anderson Dock in Winter

In this oil painting Karsten catches the morning sun as it lights up Ephraim's popular Anderson Dock on Eagle Harbor. You can see Peninsula State Park's Eagle Bluff and Horseshoe Island in the misty distance.  30" x 20".$1,800.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

City, Gate and Church

Inside the village gate, the town is bustling with all sorts of fun activities. Ellen's charming acrylic painting captures all the excitement. There's even a sleepy rowboat waiting patiently for the arrival of Spring.
20" x 24". $3,600. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Castle Gate in Rothenburg, Germany

In this delightfully detailed acrylic painting, Ellen depicts a moody Sunday afternoon with moms, dads, children and the family dogs all enjoying the freshly fallen snow outside the Castle Gate.
30" x 24"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Warmth of Winter

The evening blues contrast with the warm and welcoming lights of a Door County home in this scene Karsten discovered on ice-covered Green Bay in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. It's easy to imagine a joyous mood inside the house--a homecoming celebration waiting to happen.  24" x 30". $3,000

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Historic Ephraim Home

You can almost feel the summer breeze off Eagle Harbor in Karsten's colorful portrait of the home of Reverend Andrew Iverson, Ephraim's founder. Rev. Iverson built this house for himself in 1853. Constructed in traditional Norwegian style it was used for worship. Believe it or not, it had a barn for animals on the lower level. 30x24" Oil on linen. $2,800.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Moment to Meditate

A hand-carved madonna and child, crafted in Munich, is the focal point of Karsten's creative still life setting, A vision of contrasting textures and complementary colors highlighted by the radiant floral display reflecting in the mirror-like metallic vase. 24" x 30". Oil on linen. $2,500

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Rendered in Ellen's impasto-painting style, these vibrant sunflowers are actually 3 dimensional. Ellen sculpted the golden layers of acrylic with painting knives and finishes with finishes with brushes. 20x16"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Dinner Party

Richly rendered, Karsten's elaborate oil painting is an invitation to sit at this elegant table setting as dinner guests in the Topelmanns home. Notice the delicate touches on the lace tablecloth, the lively ivy, lustrous china and the subtle, shimmering reflections in the glass and silverware. 24x30". $2,600

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Snowy Eve in Rothenburg

Ellen celebrates her memories of the warmth and good cheer of a winter's evening in the quaint and picturesque village of Rothenburg, Germany. 30" x 24". Acrylic.

Monday, February 14, 2011


While on their annual winter sojourn to the Spanish Canary Islands, Karsten and Ellen often enjoyed the spirited performances of the island's traditional dancers. Karsten has captured the action in this colorful oil painting--!Ole! 20" x 16". $950

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Last Sunflowers

A melancholy moment in black and white. This original etching by Karsten captures an emotion felt by all who experience the season changes in Door County. A sad farewell to the sunflowers of Indian summer... followed quickly by longing for the rebirth of Spring. 63/4 x 123/4"  Mouldmade paper of 100% cotton, pH natural, chlorine free.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yellow Roses

 “Yellow Roses” features 3-dimensional acrylic petals creatively sculpted by Ellen. This painting is enhanced by its circular, one-of-a-kind frame--color-matched to the glowing yellow roses. Imagine all the unique wall d├ęcor possibilities. 24 x 28-1/2”.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hollyhocks and Hinges

Old-fashioned Hollyhocks are a favorite choice for Door County gardens—planned and otherwise. These towering flowers often pop up next to antiquated barns and weather-worn fences--much to the delight of an artist like Karsten, who is always in search of a visual surprise.  16x12”. Oil on linen.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Skating in Russia

A beautiful winter’s eve in Russia?  It is in Ellen’s painting—a snowy scene filled with fun, good cheer, the greens of pines and a colorful domed church set against a warm cloudy sky. Can you feel a hint of mystery in the air? A visual memory of Ellen's and Karsten's trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. Acrylic. 24x30”.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

School's Out!

Night comes early in wintry Door County. The teacher waves good bye to the students of this one room schoolhouse in Ephraim (Pioneer Schoolhouse). Not wanting to waste a precious moment of playtime, some of the kids add finishing touches to a snowman in the background. Ellen's acrylic painting is 24" x 30".

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vierzehnheiligen - Fourteen Saints Church

The spectacular interior of this  Bavarian baroque church would be a challenge for most any artist to convey on canvas. With his disciplined technique and the artist's eye for the nuances of light and shadow, Karsten captured this glorious setting in oil. 24" x 30".

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Madonna and Child

A spiritual painting in the traditional Icon style, richly textured by Ellen in gold leaf and acrylic on a wood panel. 16"x12".

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

This delicate watercolor by Ellen lights up winter-weary eyes with the promise of Spring.  12" x 17"  Arches rough natural white watercolor paper.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flowers, Copper and Apples, Too

A sparkling painting with vibrant colors, gleaming copper and glass and fresh-fruit textures. An image so real you can almost reach out and touch the frilly flower petals. Oil painting by Karsten. 24" x 30".

Monday, January 17, 2011

The End of a Day in School

It's happy hour for the school kids in Ephraim. School is out and the sandy beach of Eagle Harbor is calling. Lots of time to laugh and play on a summer's day. Pictured is the one room Pioneer Schoolhouse in the village. A joyful acrylic by Ellen. 30" x 24".

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wintry Wonderland

A family at play on a winter's day. This tranquil acrylic painting by Ellen is filled with surprising focal points of warmth punctuating a snow-white landscape of frosty field, forests and a distant village. 20" x 24".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Old-Fashioned Watering Can with Daisies

This rusty watering can doesn't hold much water anymore. But filled with cheerful daisies, it does hold the delightful center of interest for a lively watercolor painting by Karsten. 18" x 12". Arches rough paper.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Southern Sun

It's a lazy siesta-afternoon on the Spanish island of Tenerife. Ellen artistically expresses her impressions of the whitewashed walls, an abundance of  flowers; a sleepy donkey and the island's colorful people. Acrylic painting. 20" x 24".

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stanley in Colorado

While in Colorado, Karsten met a rugged individual whose face was creased by a lifetime of working outdoors. Certainly it was a life filled with harsh challenges. And yet Karsten noticed that this man's eyes spoke of his love of the land--the great plains and the Rocky Mountains that are his home. Karsten strove to capture those strengths and express them in oil on canvas.  24" x 30". 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spanish Town Square

A place to work, to walk and to meet the neighbors. This little town square in front of the local church has been the scene of many such everyday happenings for hundreds of years. Ellen's acrylic painting captures the town's mood on a sunny morn in Spain.  20" x 24".