Butterbread. 2012

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“Butterbread” may just be my favorite painting yet. It’s not one of those pieces that everyone always comments on, it doesn’t really photograph well, but it holds a very special spot in my heart… and on my bedroom wall. I can’t really explain why this piece speaks to me so much, but I shall try my best.

Of the people I’ve spoken to about this piece, I’ve gotten a few different critiques. The general consensus has been that it’s a sad/depressing piece. I was actually really surprised to hear that one. After reflecting on that for a while, I can see where they’re coming from.  This painting was a completely organic creation (unlike most of my pieces that are based on photographs or other pieces that stir inspiration). So maybe when I painted this piece I was subconsciously feeling very alone and isolated. But then again, a lot of my current pieces feature an isolated subject. Some people may read into that. I’m not going to psychoanalyze myself through my paintings. I have plenty of other things to worry about (like what I’m going to paint next or when I can go rock climbing again).

Whether “depressing” or not, I am very proud of this piece. Butterbread (named after a fish I won at the dodge county fair when I was real young) is a good example of the new voice I found in Colorado. It’s super minimal with a whole lot of negative space. I love the simplicity. Some people feel you need to fill the whole canvass and sometimes I feel like it’s cheating, but it’s my painting and I can do whatever I want to (The perks of being the painter, amiright?). I’m also really proud of the transparency I was able to achieve as well as the detail I achieved with the scales.

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A progression of “A-Bay Opening Day”

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I took this photo on my phone for Opening day at Arapahoe Basin for the ’12-’13 ski season.For some reason this picture just really inspires me. I’m not sure if it’s the composition, the colors, or maybe it’s just the spirit that it embodies, but I love it and so I wanted to paint it.

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The hardest part, no matter how extremely excited I am about a piece, is putting the brush to a completely empty canvass.  Painting a blue sky seems pretty easy (and in this case it was), but I almost dreaded everything else that was to come.
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The mountains were much more challenging than they may look, but I’m real happy with how they turned out. Painting “happy trees” may be one of my favorite things to do and they definitely added a lot to this piece.

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The part that I dreaded the most about this piece was all the color and intricate details of the people and their snow gear. The fun thing about painting (that I need to remind myself more of) is the fact that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The point of a painting is that it’s not a photograph; things can be more stylized. And that’s exactly what I did. I actually had a lot of fun being more abstract with this piece.

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I’ m really happy with how “A-Bay on Opening Day” turned out. Definitely not my usual style, but I think I could take on more pieces like this in the future.

Night Owl.

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Had an idea in my head so I went and purchased a new black canvass from Meininger’s

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Can’t paint without some sort of stimulant. Since it was early afternoon I made a french press rather than opening up some Malbec.

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Sketched out a basic outline and then started a base layer.

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I have a problem of working too closely.  I need to remember to step away, rest my eyes, and get a new fresh look at dimensions and highlights and make sure it looks good from far away.

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Finished!

“Night Owl” 2013. Acrylic on canvass. 12×16

“Across the Divide” in the works.

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I am so excited about my current collection, “Across the Divide”. I had the most epic snowboard season this past winter and I wanted to capture some of the excitement and solitude I experience in the mountains. I would describe what the mountains do for my soul each weekend, but I am a painter, not a writer. I not good with the putting of the words together. Ergo, I paint the mountains. Sadly, neither paintings nor photographs can capture what sort of heaven I experience when across the divide, but I try.

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“Berthoud Backcounty” 2013. Acrylic on canvass. 36×40

I paint pieces that speak to me and for the most part, I can never explain why. It’s just a feeling. It wasn’t until my friend, and impressive writer, Jeff wrote a blog piece about my collection that I realized something about myself. I knew that I liked playing with minimalism, but he made me realize how isolated my paintings were. All of my pieces seem to have an isolated figure, but it was in Across the Divide that it hit me over the head. Berthoud (pictured above) is the most blatant of those. A single rider in the backcountry, looking ahead to the path ahead of her. A lot of pieces that speak to me the most (especially in this collection) are usually of a single rider or two, from the back and a great almost overwhelming expanse of mountain ahead of them. “Berthoud” speaks to me in a lot of ways, but those are for me. I want this piece to speak to others in their own way and not have to rely on what I get out of it.

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“Vail Pass” 2013. Acrylic on Canvass. 16×20

Vail Pass is another prime example of the isolation and solitude one can find in the mountains. If you look real close you can see a single rider in the vastness of vail pass.

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Close up of “Loveland Pow” 2013. Acrylic on Canvass. 18×24.

I have to give a huge giant shoutout to my dear friend, Derek. Without his constant thirst for more epic pow, I wouldn’t have access to so much inspiration (nor would I find myself hiking up ridges to drop down chutes, or conquering multiple 14ers in one day, but I digress). “Loveland Pow” is a great example of the great Colorado spirit that Derek exudes: flying down on fresh powder with his tongue hanging out, just loving pow. Pure joy that only the mountains can give.

One of the current pieces I’m working on (pictured above) may be the most out of the norm for me. 1. It’s color and 2. there’s no isolation. In fact, this piece has multiple people in it. It was actually a picture I took on my phone from opening day at Arapahoe Basin this season. I think the reason I wanted to take on this piece was because of the spirit it exudes. There’s a certain excitement that comes with opening day. It’s more about the people than the actual shredding (just fyi, snow on opening day is awful and there’s only one run that takes, at best, a minute to ride down). “Across the Divide” is about the experience in the mountains. This is one of those experiences I didn’t want to ignore.

There’ll be plenty more pieces in this collection to follow. Stay tuned.

Carl and What Makes Him Awesome.

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Carl. 2013. Acrylic on Canvass 8×11

Carl is my friend’s cat. I was snowed in one afternoon and my friend asked me to paint “an old timey portrait” of his cat to hang in his basement bar. Being the smart-ass I can be when missing a weekend in the mountains, I asked him “oh, with a top hat and monocle?” and he said “yes, the cheesier the better”. I was snowed in my home. I couldn’t make it to the mountains to snowboard, so what else was I going to do other than paint a old-timey cat? So I poured myself a cup of coffee (or two), put on Glee (guilty pleasure don’t judge me), and sat down in front of a blank canvass.

I love this painting for a number of reasons. 1. It is simply ridiculous. 2. it’s black and white (my favorite way to paint) and 3. I’ve come to consciously realize that I love to paint the folds and shadows of clothing. The reason I love painting the folds in clothing so much is because it’s essentially painting abstractly to create a realistic object. It’s highlights and lowlights working together to create shape and movement from a flat empty canvass. I focus solely on how it looks rather than what it is supposed to be. It’s black and white and shades of gray, not a sleeve or a button.

I’ve gotten a lot of really great positive feedback from this painting and it has spurred a number of ideas for a new collection. “Carl” was a really fun piece to do and I’d definitely be willing to paint more commissioned pieces of people’s cats.

Excited Ramblings about Booking My 1st Show

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I’m Booked!

My very first show and I couldn’t be more excited/nervous about it. I went to the RAW showcase in Boulder last year and loved it. I never would have honestly expected that I would be showing at the same show a year later. Hell, a few months ago I was still thinking that it’d be another 6 months to a year before I could hang work somewhere.

On June 2nd I’ll be showing my work for the first time at the RAW Boulder show: Expressions. Fingers crossed it won’t be my last show.

I’m blessed to have friends both in Wisconsin and Colorado who have supported my passion and encouraged me to start showing/selling my work. Without their words of encouragement, I probably would have continued hoarding all of my paintings and secretly imagining hanging my work someday. Ever since I was a little badgerita, I’ve been ingrained with the idea that art was only a hobby. I was lead to believe that art wasn’t a career.  Now that I’ve booked my first show, I’ve slowly started to break down that emotional wall and can start taking my passion more seriously. I mean, look at me…I have a blog!

It’ll be a tough couple weeks leading up to the show since 1. I have no idea what I’m doing, 2. I need to market myself and sell tickets to the show but most of all 3. The show is 1 week before our law firm takes a potential life sentence case to jury trial. Working in a law firm helps pay the bills, but it also means 14 hour days, 7 days a week at the office when prepping for trial. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to take off Sunday afternoon/evening to participate in this show. Balancing trial prep with preparing for my very first show may be suicide, but it’ll be worth it. I can’t wait to show my friends and, for the first time, strangers my work!

WHEN: June 2nd, 6pm-10pm

WHERE: Absinthe House, downtown Boulder, 1109 Walnut street

HOW: Purchase tickets for $10 by May 30th at http://www.rawartists.org/mefrankenstein

For those of you who happen to know my work, I plan on showing my “For the Birds” collection at the show. I may try to do at least one new piece that fits into the collection. I’m playing with the idea of showing some pieces from my current collection “Across the Divide” as well, but I’m hesitant to mix such different collections. I may save that one for a first friday art walk down on Santa Fe. Purchase your ticket and see what I decide to do!