By Rachel Hollingworth, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
Bruce Braun is a longtime member of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and has been a part of our board for over ten years. A photographer at heart, he began to also paint in the early 2000s. Our 30th anniversary silent auction will feature one of Bruce’s paintings, pictured below. Read on to learn about Bruce, his time with the Natural Resources Foundation and how he finds inspiration for his artwork.
Q: How did you get involved with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and how long have you been with us?
A: I’ve been a member since the creation of NRF. I was the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and urged the creation of the Foundation in the mid 1980s to allow the WDNR to seek private funding and funding from businesses that WDNR regulated. I’ve been on the NRF Board since 2003.
Q: How long have you been painting? Do you enjoy working with other types of art?
A: I only started painting in 2002, shortly after I retired. I always enjoyed art but never thought about painting until my sister encouraged me. She had been painting for a number of years. So I took some courses and learned how to paint in watercolors, then in acrylics and now I’m painting with oils. I’ve been a lifelong photographer and always enjoyed taking pictures on trips and ventures into nature.
Q: What do you enjoy most about painting, and how does your daily life inspire your work?
A: Well, it’s a challenge. It enables me to interpret the many photos I take into a different media. I’m a landscape painter primarily, although I do some wildlife. My acrylic painting of a sea otter is hanging in the NRF office. I took the photograph while on an NRF trip to Alaska. Daily life doesn’t inspire my paintings as much as the many trips I’ve taken in the United States and abroad.
Q: What do you see in NRF’s future? Is there anything you are looking forward to?
A: I see great things ahead for NRF. The past 30 years have been amazing. The growth we’ve seen in the past ten years has been phenomenal. I’m proud that I was in a leadership position for NRF for eight of those years. While we’ve had some bumps in the road along the way, it always made us stronger. I see the endowment program continuing to grow and support conservation in the future. We have a great board, staff and membership, so there’s no reason not to be positive about our continued growth and leadership in conservation.
Want to learn more about our 30th anniversary celebration, or other items featured at our silent auction? Read up on it here.