It’s not often that you encounter an artist that has the consummate natural ability to render a dream into reality. But, Kath Teufel does just that… and more.

She can take a wall of plaster and turn it into a screened needlepoint design. Or through manipulation of a brush and paint, make plaster look like marble or leather. On another of her walls, you might find beautiful birds clutching onto delicate tree branches. Or, a client’s favorite landscape that came to life in a bathroom.

Under her skillful touch, walls or ceilings turn into something much more. They are works of art. She is a certified advanced faux finisher with a strong foundation in European finishes, plastering, marbling and custom wall murals.

Her plastering contracts have taken some unusual artistic paths, many times successfully exceeding her client’s objectives.

One client, who lived in a log cabin, wanted a Zen bathroom with straw and stones inlaid into the plaster, and it turned out beautifully, Kath said.

“Everybody loves plastering and the art form has come so far,” Kath said. “Now you can actually inlay designs so the designs come out at you or apply beautiful glazes. Although many people like murals, I also encourage to do them on canvas so that can be an investment to be sold at some later time on E-Bay.”

Her work has been seen in the “Parade of Homes” tours throughout Wisconsin and can be viewed at Bethany St. Joseph Hospitals in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The work at the hospitals features wall murals depicting visions of the early 1900’s that are in excess of 75 feet in length.

Kath has also donated time to illustrate five children’s books. She has also designed the letterhead for two school districts.

She has become a master in each of the media that she has chosen, but seems to have a never-ending thirst for increasing her artistic knowledge and adding new skills to her work palette.

In contrast to many faux artist contemporaries, Kath has continued to educate herself not only to hone her own skills and keep updated, but ultimately to be able to benefit her clients.

In April, 2008, Kath took a class with William Cochran, a famous muralist whose work was won much acclaim worldwide.

She currently is finishing up a degree in Interior Design at Waukesha County Technical College, where she is also the president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In addition, she has been nominated several times to be the ambassador for WCTC. In February, 2008, Kath entered the regional Wisconsin Marketing & Management Association competition and placed 3rd in two areas, even though she was the only non-marketing student in the competition. She went on to state to win 2nd, and 4th in the Nationals. In 2009, Kath entered again to place 1st in two divisions, and 3rd in one division.

Her educational credentials also include the Martin Allen Hirsch School of Advanced European Design; the Green Bay Faux Art School; classes in advanced marbling at the Chicago Art Institute; advanced marbling and wall mural classes at the Boston Faux Institute; advanced marbling at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design; and classes at the Atlanta Gradfisher School of Murals.

Born in Walnut, IL, and raised on a farm, Kath had little idea that she would one day be doing all the intricate art that she has been doing for the last 15 years — murals, advanced European faux finishes, Trompe L’Oeil, marbling, plastering and flooring.

But, she did know that she loved to draw.

“When I was six years old, a teacher called my parents and told them that they had to get me into an art class,” Kath recalled, “If I did a drawing of something outdoors, I drew everything, the roots, grass, water, leaves or whatever.”

Like other famous artists, Kath loves flowers and was always taking them apart to analyze and draw their delicate parts. She also loved doing architectural drawings.

On family trips, she would always draw what she was seeing. And, a volunteer trip to Alaska to live with the Athapascan Indians in 1973 proved to be a life-enhancing experience that deepened her inherent love for not only Native Americans and their culture, but also inspired a lifelong interest in doing volunteer work.

“When I came back, all I wanted to do was draw things that I had seen in Alaska like moose and bear, or things I had seen in Arizona,” Kath said.

After school, however, she veered off in several other creative directions including beauty school, dog grooming and becoming a surrogate mother for a family twice, all of which dropped by the wayside as step-by-step, her art became a full-time profession for commercial and residential clients.

Her work ethic is impeccable and reliable. She is unfailing in her determination and desire to fulfill her customers’ fondest artistic footprint, which has given her great satisfaction, not only for a job well done, but something else just as important — a deep gratification.

“I remember doing a ceiling mural for one client, and it was tiring work. My shoulders were killing me, I was grouchy, tired, covered with plaster, smelled bad, and was close to tears from the pain,” Kath recalled. “But, when this woman saw what was done, she gave me a big hug and was crying, telling me how much she loved it.”

Kath lives in a log cabin in Hubertus, WI. She and her husband, Jerry, have a son, Dallas, and have lived there for the last 12 years.

The couple’s home is a reflection of her deep love for anything Native America. It is filled with American Indian artifacts, and all of the furniture and lighting is designed by hand. The front door to the home is hand carved with portraits of Native Americans. She also has a collection of mounted animals, some from the time she lived amongst the Indians in Alaska, that she trapped herself.

Over the past 20 years, volunteering has also been very close to her heart. Kath has volunteered at the Hartford Hospital Ventilator Center; various public schools; group homes for the disabled; the Washington County Coalition for Clean Air, and for the Wisconsin Humane Society by taking animals to see the elderly and disabled. She has also been a foster parent and has spoken to Wisconsin legislators regarding the rights of citizens with handicaps.