On the blog...

August 28, 2015

Material Studios And Gallery

A little more about my new studio space...

I am still in the Marshall Building which is in Milwaukee's Third Ward, but now I am on the 6th floor. I'm now part of Material Studios and Gallery, which is one huge space divided up into smaller studios where each artist can show or work as they please. The decision to move and be part of this group was a little scary because I tend to like working alone, however, it's actually been really nice to be able to peak out of my room and chat with people when I need a break.

There is always someone working on their own thing so the energy is always alive. It's a great environment to come to everyday. It kind of reminds me of my days at MIAD where all of us art students were hard at work in our cubicles, but we could visit and connect whenever we needed.

So I have the best of both worlds right now. I can work alone, which I need, but there is movement and noise outside of my studio, which I always like.

I've been busy setting up my space and making it just right. I'll show you as soon as I'm done. I cannot wait to get back to painting!!!

August 26, 2015

Why I Moved Out Of My Studio

This is the "before" pic. Stay tuned for the "after".

It's chilly outside today. 61°. That's not that bad, except that it's a reminder that the summer is coming to an end soon. I'm not gonna lie. This summer kinda felt like I someone completely pulled the rug right from under me and everything was just floating up in the air waiting to settle back down.

If you didn't know already, I moved out of my studio. The Taj Mahal of studios. It was a beautiful beautiful space that I always felt so lucky to have. It was grand and had cool angles, great light, plenty of storage, brick walls, etc. etc. Anything you could ask for in a studio. However, when it was time for me to turn in my keys, I was very happy to give them up. I thought I would be sad about it, but I wasn't at all. It was like a weight was taken off of me.

Moving is always chaotic but down sizing sure makes you think about what you really need
and what just takes up space.

So why did I leave it if it was so great? When I first saw the Taj Mahal studio I was so taken in by the coolness of it. I saw it and I just had to had to had to have it. So I got it and it was wonderful because of everything it was. I was able to teach bigger workshops in it. I had soooo much space to hang up artwork and a separate space to get as messy painting as I needed to. Friends could come visit and just hang out with me on any one of my numerous comfy chairs or couch. The storage room was so big Johnny had a ton of stuff in there too. But the longer I was there, I started realizing it was never what I really wanted. I just fell in love with the room, but forgot my vision.

I still have great big windows and an even better view this time :)

On a day to day basis I really only used about 1/4 of the space where I actually worked in and the rest was just space to show in. So I'd look around and think "I really just don't need all of this space." All I really wanted was a small space to paint in that felt quaint and just like my own studio, not gallery. That was kind of a hard reality to face because I knew everyone would think I was crazy to leave such a beautiful space, but lets not forget a big space also means a big rent and that was always a pressure. A big space also meant I had to turn over a lot more artwork for each gallery event. So soon, my studio started feeling stressful and there were days I didn't want to even go in. That made me so sad because I have the best job in the world and I didn't want it to feel negative.

After coming to terms with the idea of leaving, another studio kind of just came to me just like every other time fate intervened in my life. Now I am in a studio that is maybe 1/3 or less in size. This being my 3rd studio in the building reminds me of Goldilock's third bowl of porridge and bed that were just right. I think I got it right this time. More to come on my new space...

Beautiful light comes through. Can't ask for more than that.

July 21, 2015

You Will Not Want To Miss Out On This Weekend!

If you haven't heard, there have been a lot of changes in the Marshall Building and Rita Maria Gallery is included in these innovations. Plaid Tuba is now the new Material Studios + Gallery (owned by Pamela Anderson and Melissa Dorn Richards) and this is where you will now find me! So if you go down to the 3rd floor, you won't find me there anymore. I will be on the 6th floor starting this gallery night in a much smaller space and having a fabulous sale!

All of my paintings will be up to 75% off! These paintings will never, ever, ever by at this price again so now is your chance to get an original piece done by mua!

I'll give you more details on the why I moved out of my beautiful space later. It's all for good stuff to come ;) I'm not even sad about it. I'm so looking forward to this change! Tune back in...

June 3, 2015

Danny Gregory's Sketchbook Skool

I just started taking Danny Gregory's Sketchbook Skool. (No I didn't spell it wrong. That's how they roll.) I haven't really kept a sketchbook since my college days and I am intrigued by the idea of documenting my life in sketches. And it's just for me so I don't feel any kind of pressure that others will or won't like it. I'll share pics from my book as I go along. June is my birthday month so I'm going to dedicate it to this. Something I've really wanted to do for a while. Happy Birthday to me!

Anyone else doing this? Or wanting to?

May 12, 2015

Fuck It Moments

Abstract  (Spring 2015)
36" x 36"
acrylic on Infrastructure Canvas
Email me to inquire about purchasing

Sometimes, errr umm many many times, nothing goes as planned and I get so frustrated. I'm sure you can relate to that feeling. I try to stay in the "just love the not knowing" type of thinking, but my mood doesn't always support that optimistic attitude.  It would be great if I could be in my studio painting everyday and there would be this relaxing, creative energy going on where I just went with the flow with whatever came to my canvas, but that just isn't a reality. 


Reality is there is so much of life that gets in the way of that process. I consider it a lucky day when I am able to have a full painting day and when those days come along, it's not easy to just flip the switch to be creative. There are a lot of thoughts and responsibilities that kind of buzz around me like flies while I'm trying to paint. So a painting doesn't always turn out great no matter how much I want it to. I'll even get super focused on it and work harder only to realize it was better five layers ago.

This is when you just have to say screw it and let go of the preciousness of a painting and go wild on it. My friend Tom calls these "Fuck It Moments". This is a burst of freedom when you slather your brush in paint and completely "scribble" over everything you've done. You say fuck it to the delicacy of the painting in front of you that is trying to survive and you just surrender to it. You stop controlling it and you give it full power to do what it wants. Sometimes, you get something better than you could have even imagined. Sometimes.


May 11, 2015

Critique Sessions

My friend Mary and I during one of our many critique sessions.

When I was in college we had class critiques for every project that was due. Critique sessions were about 3 hours long. (Sometimes even longer!) Critiques took place in a dim room with rows of chairs in it. One by one, my classmates and I would put up our artwork on the white wall with the spotlight on it and stand in front of the classroom and talk about our pieces. After that, everyone including the instructor would have a chance to tell you what they thought about it. During freshman year, this was a terrifying experience. It was nerve wracking and embarrassing even if you thought your piece was good. It was kind of like waiting for the American Idol judges to tell you how you did. By senior year, this seemed to be a whole lot easier. I grew thicker skin to criticism and learned to even appreciate it.

These days, I am fortunate to have friends in my life that share their time with me and lend me their feedback on paintings I'm working on. These are friends that I trust and feel that their insight would help me develop the ideas or techniques I'm trying to define.

It's important who you ask to help you with this. Critiques can really hurt an artist if they aren't coming from a source with good intentions or from someone who isn't sensitive to the artists hard work. I've had this experience many times in my life. There have been a few times I've left a critique feeling confused and frustrated. Now, I've learned that as great as constructive criticism can be, it's just as important to leave some of the feedback behind when it isn't going to help you develop your strengths.

Art really is relative, but what you need in a critique is help knowing if your intended message of your work is coming across. Or you might even just need help discovering this because you might not even know what you're trying to convey.

Now, it feels good not only to hear my friends assessments, but also to trust my own intuition with my work and know what advice fits my language. Sometimes comments that I don't understand or agree with just need to go in my back pocket to never be used or to surprise me with clarity later.