Filling a Blank Canvas with a big splash of talent

In the Northwoods we are blessed to have a wealth of gifted people who share their talents in many ways — sports, business, tourism, arts — to name a few. One of these such individuals who seems to exude talent in many fields is Erica Wick-Johnson.

Erica is the eldest daughter of Kathie and Ed Wick and Erica looked as if she might follow in her father’s footsteps at Pitlik and Wick when she followed her love of rock and machinery. There she worked her way into the operating seat of heavy machinery — not a typical line of work for a young mother of four young boys aged 7 to 13.

Then again, Erica has never been typical. While in high school, her Three Lakes High School art teacher, Jane Nieuwendorp, was very impressed with Erica’s art talent and entered her pieces in competitions.  In one such competition, her winning entry ended up hanging in the halls of Congress in Washington, DC.

Then there was her love of snowmobiling — actually racing. While still in high school in 1997, Erica joined the Z Redline Snowmobile Racing and competed in cross country racing. In 2000 she won the first Amateur Race at the Eagle River Derby. Not only did Erica race snowmobiles, she also was her own mechanic, along with some family help, on her competition sleds.

Her post high school years she attended Nicolet Technical College where she begrudgingly took art classes. Her love for art was yet to come. She joined her father’s company and worked on heavy road construction equipment until an old injury flared up and she no longer could tolerate the vibration and movement of the heavy equipment. 

While contemplating what she was going to do, Erica found relaxation in turning to art. Then it hit — she found that her real passion was art, after all. It was then she decided that she was going to share her love of creating with the community in which she lived.

Blank Canvas is not only the name of her new enterprise, it also describes the limitless opportunities for everyone to find in the arts. Her first step is holding Paint and Sip classes throughout Oneida and Vilas counties. These classes are held at various public establishments, businesses and homes. 

Once the word got out, she was rocked by the overwhelming response to the classes. These classes are great evenings out, for gal pal parties as well as fundraisers. “One class will raise money for a 'Relay for Life’ event in La Crosse,” she said of the upcoming event.

There is much more to come. 

“Coming this late fall I plan to teach private and groups in many different mediums along with pottery painting — and Pinterest parties at my location,” she went on to describe.

Sounds like this busy mom will have her hands full! To learn about what Paint and Sip parties are planned as well as all the new exciting plans for the Blank Canvas, follow her Facebook page at:, call 715-892-2697 or email Erica.


Jayne Blasier on June 2, 2015 at 06:30am
I am looking forward to attending one of your "paint and sip" events!
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