37-year RN turns artist Nursing the Art


Sue Brockman, a 37-year RN, is now retired and pursuing her painting passion. Her company, Pots, Plants, Plus was set up at the Justin Trails Winter Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Brockman paints her art on Terra Cotta pots, as well as canvas. Her canvas paintings are acrylic. In addition to her talents as an artist, she also has a green thumb. Brockman brings plants that are not your garden variety, run-of-the-mill foliage. Many of the plants she presents in her painted pots are more likely to be found in a jungle-type terrain than in a Wisconsin forest, or a frosty scene.  

Sue travelled nearly two hours, from Milladore, Wisconsin, which is near Stevens Point. She came straight to Justin Trails, to set up shop. Afterwards, she packs up shop, from the days event, and then will go and see her son, Nathan Schultz, and grandson, Tristynn, who live in Sparta. “That is my plan for the rest of the run [for the market],” says Brockman. “It is a perfect little plan for me.”

Brockman paints her designs and scenes on Terra Cotta pots. Terra Cotta means that the pot is unglazed and typically has a brownish-red earthen tone. While she paints the outside of the pot, she also has a knack for what you see inside the decorated container. “I love the air plants,” Brockman stated. “Air plants are from the jungle, and they live on other plants. They have no roots whatsoever.”

Brockman had some of these unique plants in pots, while others were set in terrariums. Terrariums are a tightly closed clear glass container, where plants are put inside. Brockman creates scenes within the clear-glassed exhibits. In one, there were two gnomes with a smiling frog, with small plants creating a foliage backdrop. In another, a giraffe was the focal non-foliage piece of the design.

Sharing table space with the air plants and terrariums were cactuses and aloe vera plants, all in their own painted pot. Acrylic paintings on canvas were scattered amongst the tiny forest. An African scene was present on more than one of Brockman’s designs, including a painting of a giraffe with a sunset scene behind it. There was also a circular canvas piece that had a lighthouse scene, complete with a breaching whale.

When pressed on her process, Brockman said each art piece demands its own time. “For some pieces I will sit down and do them in one sitting, while others may take a few days or more. A favorite for buyers lately, has been the octagon pot, which is essentially eight different pictures or designs. Those take a while to complete. I usually will do two sides at a time, then take a break.” On what inspires her creativity, Brockman said, “I will get a general idea for a piece, then start painting. All the subtleties come through during the session. My creative flow is simple for me, and I just allow whatever comes into my head to transfer to the canvas.”    

Sue Brockman can be reached at (715) 869-0772, or by email at susanbrockman41@gmail.com She does accept custom orders, and will be coming back to Sparta several more times for the event at Justin Trails.

For more information on Justin Trails Winter Farmer’s Market, check out their website, at www.JustinTrails.com, or call them at (608) 397-9708. The event runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through March.

Benny Mailman, Monroe County Herald, Sue Brockman, Sparta, Justin Traila, Winter farmer's market


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