Ten Years Later

Ten years ago I received a pretty amazing grant from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The Robert D. Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship paid for more than a year of my studio rent and allowed me time to figure some things out without worrying about how I was going to afford a key piece of my art business.

It also connected me with some mentors who still influence and inspire me today. What a boost for a recent college grad. Since receiving the fellowship I've grown my business, had art work in a feature film, a national television show, self-published a book, and shown in multiple group and solo shows. I believe in the mission so much that I also now work for the Arts Council.

I hope you'll join me on Friday, June 2 at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council in celebration of ten years of the Beckmann fellowship.

Curio

Curio: a rare, unusual, or intriguing object.

I have been drawing a lot of human vertebrae since injuring my back in December... like, a lot. It's resulted in a set of four completed graphite and watercolor drawings. Here's a sneak peek at two of them.

The full set will be part of the Curio Cabinet show at the Indianapolis Art Center, opening on Friday, June 9. I hope to see you there for what is sure to be an intriguing, unusual show.

Indy Cartography

A few months ago I set about planning and mentally laying out a new show for the City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts. I knew almost right away that it would revolve around maps. I would tie these maps to important places in Indianapolis, my home.

And, the work would be big - the first piece I started for this show was 4 x 3 feet. I had been itching to do larger paintings for a while. 

Sketchbook layout of the City Gallery  

Sketchbook layout of the City Gallery  

Three weeks ago, several paintings were in progress, some more than others, but nothing was finished. Also three weeks ago, a disc in my lower back herniated. Great timing, right? 

Spine model from my doctor's office, showing the offending disc  

Spine model from my doctor's office, showing the offending disc  

Many things became uncertain. For a time after I couldn't go to work, drive, walk up stairs, and certainly couldn't get to the studio to continue these big pieces. But, with everything I couldn't do, I needed a goal (besides all the things listed above) and that was to commit to this show, even if I wasn't sure I could make it to my own opening.

What you will see at tonight's opening and throughout January was created, in large part, in the last two and a half weeks. And I love it all. 

'North Split' in progress  

'North Split' in progress  

The work is much smaller, and all on paper, things I could work on from home. And I'm really proud of it. It's not what I originally planned. It's better.

'Herron Morton Place' in progress, from the couch. 

'Herron Morton Place' in progress, from the couch. 

While I wish I could have avoided injury, it pushed me to re-examine my approach and the results are on view this month. 

Deadlines drive us.  

Home Studio Tour

My home studio (also known as the spare bedroom) is up and running. It took several days to collect all the stray art supplies that were littered about my house, but the work was worth it and I'm ready to get painting, drawing, collaging and more in this newly organized space.

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Become a Sponsor!

Who wants to be a studio sponsor?! 

If you've ever thought "Hey, I really like Kate's work. I wonder how I can add to my personal collection on a regular basis for a minimal amount of money?", I have the answer for you. Okay, infomercial voice off.

I've just launched my Patreon page. Patreon allows you to support creators in a world of genres, media, and style for a monthly fee that you set. In exchange, each creator will offer some rewards. Sounds fun, right?

Here's my goal - through Patreon, you become an official sponsor of my studio, located at the Harrison Center for the Arts. Having a defined space to work and create, and being among a bustling community of fellow artists, is vital to my work. Your monthly pledge will go directly to studio rent, equipment, and supplies. 

So what do you get in exchange for your pledge? Here's the list:

Pledge $5 or more per month

You'll receive a handwritten, personalized thank you note and a 5x7 inch piece of original art on paper following your first month as a patron + you'll have access to my patron-only feed on Patreon, where I'll post insider, for-your-eyes-only content, AND I'll add your name to my sponsor wall in my studio so everyone will know how awesome you are!

Pledge $10 or more per month

I'll send you a monthly mailed art mystery package. Your package could contain a sampling of original art, stickers, postcards, recipes, doodles, or other goodies + the above.

Pledge $20 or more per month

You'll get 15% off all purchases for one year in studio or my Etsy Shop. I’ll send you a custom non-transferable coupon code good for anything in my Etsy Shop as well as a non-transferable gift certificate for in-studio purchases (Offer cannot be used for purchases in galleries through which I am represented/exhibiting) + the above.

I hope you'll consider becoming an official patron! I'm looking forward to coming up with some great items to include in my mystery art packages. Can't wait to get started!

 

Monument Circle Art Fair, Year Two

I'm baaaaaccck! I grew up hauling art for my mom to and from art fairs, then I worked for one for a long time (shout out to the Broad Ripple Art Fair!), then I took a break from all of that because art fair life is hard.

Even with all of that, I had never done an art fair for myself with my own work. Until last year. I took a chance and got a booth at the first ever Monument Circle Art Fair. And you know what? It was pretty fun. So much so that I'm doing it again.

The 2nd Monument Circle Art Fair is next weekend, October 8 from 10am-5pm and you can find me in booth #7 (same spot as last year). I'll be bringing a new batch of paintings, prints, and postcards, including my new Color Me! series.

And for the second year, MCAF is featuring my 'Monument' mixed media painting in it's promo materials - look for the banner at 30th and Meridian Street! The original can be seen in a show at City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts through the end of October.

Starting Over

Today I started over on three paintings. They have been in progress for weeks and today all progress stopped... or did it?  

They've been painted white again, back to the beginning, but they now have a little more texture, there are shadows of the previous layers, and will be the base for something new... one day.

 

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For now, they are sitting in a corner of the studio. Things like this make me wonder if I'll ever finish a painting again. I hate this feeling. 

New Product Alert! Color Me Art Postcards

I'm jumping on the coloring bandwagon (something that has been my jam for years, YEARS!) with a new line of color-able postcards. 

I've created the black and white line art, you add your own twist of color, or send one off to a coloring page obsessed friend.

Currently, there are three designs available, but watch for more...

Each postcard is printed on matte cardstock that can stand up to markers and even some wet media (think watercolors) and is mail friendly - yes, please feel free to mail them!

Two of my coloring sessions with the new postcards, using Tombow USA's Dual Brush Pens.

Two of my coloring sessions with the new postcards, using Tombow USA's Dual Brush Pens.

These three designs are currently available in my Etsy shop, as well as two retailers in Indianapolis - Silver in the City and the Basile History Market at the Indiana History Center.

Have a shop? Interested in carrying these or any of my postcards (or prints)? Contact me about wholesale pricing!

Nature, Urban, Blogging

Absent from my own blog for a spell, here's what I've been up to. I recently wrote a couple of preview blog posts for City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts. The latest, about one of my favorite local artists, Amy Falstrom, is posted. But you can read it here too:

Natural Among the Urban: Amy Falstrom’s City Prairie

by Kate Oberreich

Once a neglected industrial block along South Street in downtown Indianapolis, the Eli Lilly sustainable garden is now teeming with native plants, recycled bricks, solar lighting, and reclaimed soils. It also serves as inspiration for Amy Falstrom’s City Prairie, an exhibit of new paintings in the City Gallery this month.

Long observant of natural places and spaces as a witness to nature, Amy began visiting this garden on walks with her dog in various types of weather, times of day, light, and season, noting the visual changes to the view of the city as plants grew taller as well as the play between the natural and urban settings with the downtown buildings seeming to be rising out of a vast prairie.

The new paintings for City Prairie differs from Amy’s previous work, which often features a more abstracted and memory-infused view of the natural world, in that it’s the first time she has focused on a specific place. Though she worked mostly from memory from her studio rather than on site in the Lilly garden, Amy took photos to keep a visual reference of the identifiable elements of the garden and it’s downtown views, ensuring a recognizable perspective of the landscape.

Also new for this series, this exhibit marks a change in media. While it includes the richly layered oils for which Amy is known, she has added the use of acrylic paints here, noting, “It’s been fun to work out new visual solutions with this paint that feels a bit strange to me.”

City Prairie opens this First Friday and hangs through September 30.

The Art Assignment (Show)

If you've followed along with me on Facebook where I regularly post in progress snippets of pieces, you might have seen this preview a few weeks ago...

I've been on the hunt for (broken, damaged, out-of-date) globes for years, but only recently stepped up my search - given their use in decor, they are hard to come by.

I have always loved maps, globes, atlases and the like and have incorporated many in my 2D art. While 3D art making has never been a "thing" for me, I've longed to paint globes.

And now I have a place to show the finished piece! No more previews until then, okay? Okay.

Join me on IDADA First Friday, August 5 at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis for the Art Assignment Show. The group show is centered around the PBS Digital series, The Art Assignment, hosted by Sarah Urist Green who also curated the exhibit.

I chose fellow Indianapolis artist Brian McCutcheon's "Customize It" assignment as inspiration.

Hope to see you out First Friday-ing!

 

Revisiting the Past

I'm in process of decluttering both at home and in the studio in an effort to own less stuff and have what I do own mean more or at least hold a regular, useful purpose. 

This has resulted in quite a bit of rediscovery of art that was abandoned mid-creation. Rather than tossing out bits and pieces of my starts and stops, I'm throwing them in one place with a goal to finish them out, even if it doesn't follow the original plan (because I'm not in that place anymore anyway).  

Here's the first of this blast from the past clean out project - I came across a short stack of small (5 x 7 inch and smaller) bits of paper from a time when I was experimenting with more saturated layers of watercolor. This was before my obsession with gel inks that can easily by applied over dark backgrounds. I combo'd another recent subject matter - hands - with a nod to a client's illustration project by circling the wrist with ranunculus.  

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I love the result and joining the past with present. Look for more to come here, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Floral Meanderings

Don't like the weather in Indiana? Just wait a day.

So goes the old Hoosier saying. Lately it's been rain, cold, rain, cold... we finally have a week where things seem to be drying out a bit. At least long enough for me to get my spring garden clean up and new planting done.

When I wasn't digging in the dirt this week, I was working away on new watercolor samples for an illustration I'm doing for a wedding. If I can't plant the real thing, I'll draw and paint it!

Here's a bit of a preview of the evolution of this project so far.

Good Bones

Home improvement TV junkies probably already know, but for others, my artwork made it's TV debut on HGTV's Good Bones (formerly Two Chicks and a Hammer) last night!

After a studio visit back in December, ten paintings were selected for this Bates-Hendricks neighborhood home, renovated by the mother/daughter team from Two Chicks and a Hammer.

Photo credit: AJ Mast/AP Images (HGTV)

Photo credit: AJ Mast/AP Images (HGTV)

Photo credit: Leslie Segrete

Photo credit: Leslie Segrete

Photo credit: Leslie Segrete

Photo credit: Leslie Segrete

Photo credit: Leslie Segrete

Photo credit: Leslie Segrete

NEW IN THE SHOP: 'Let's go Racing'

New item alert! There's this little race that Indianapolis hosts each year at the end of May, you may know it.

In any event I've created an original painting, 'Let's Go Racing', in honor of this years running and am now taking pre-orders for fine art prints.

You can sign up for a pre-order of this 8 x 10 inch print in my Etsy shop, here, now through Monday, May 9 with prints shipping out by Monday, May 16. Prints are $25 (plus a bit for shipping).

Vroom!

 

Sketchbook Sunday: Paint Edition

I've worked in mostly acrylic for a long time, it's what I would consider my primary media. I combine it with collage, drawing, textures, and more. I've also to a lesser extent kept up with watercolor. Usually though, watercolor has been reserved for planning sketches for other paintings and projects. 

Recently, I have been bringing it back to the forefront to stand on its own. I'm still working back in with ink and graphite and other materials, but am also relearning to love watercolor all on its own again.

Here are a few color wash starts for a series of "floating neighborhoods", now underway. They will be available, both framed and unframed at Open Studio Night at the Harrison Center for the Arts on IDADA First Friday, May 6.

 

 

Sketchbook Sunday: Cat Lady Edition

It's been a rough week. I lost my buddy, Buddy, on Tuesday night. He almost made it to fifteen (which after some scares surprised a lot of people) and my house feels strange without him.

For this week's #SketchbookSunday drawing, here's a little doodle of this cool cat...

And here he is during healthier times...

And on a lighter note, happy first day of Spring!