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!

Sketchbook Sunday: From Start to Finish

Keeping a sketchbook is all about the process for me. I use it to jot down notes, ideas, quick sketches, or to doodle patterns for hours. Only rarely does a finished piece resemble an actual sketch. This is one of those stories...

One of my favorite recent paintings is called the Water Bearer. It's about the things we carry with us. These things are heavy and in motion and even though we shouldn't be able to carry the weight, we do.

Here's the original sketch, done in August of 2013 while I was visiting Portland, OR:

And here is the finished painting:

As you can see, the title changed, but little else. You can see Water Bearer in person in my studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts on First Friday, April 1 (no joke!) or at the Indianapolis International Airport from June through September.

 

Find me at the Indiana State Museum

While you're checking out all the great local art at the this weekend's Indiana Art Fair at the Indiana State Museum, make sure to take a peek inside The Indiana Store.

The Indiana Store is my newest retailer, carrying a selection of Indiana inspired prints and postcards, including two new prints in larger sizes.

You may have seen Midwest is Best and Greetings from Indiana (USA) before as postcards, but this is the first time I've offered them as fine art prints and the first time in 11 x 14 inch sizes. As always, fine art prints are printed with archival inks and paper and each is hand signed. For now, the Indiana Store is the only place you can get these larger prints.

Like what you see? Head over to the Museum Monday through Saturday from 10 - 5pm and Sunday 11 - 5pm. The Indiana Art Fair is this Saturday, February 13 from 10am - 5pm.

NEW in the shop: Valentine's Postcards

They're here! I've created a limited edition 2016 Valentine's Day postcard so you can send your love near and far!

Available now in my Etsy Shop, each card is 4 x 6 inches and printed on a matte card stock and comes from a series of hand painted watercolor hearts.

Order early if you plan to mail one to your sweetheart, or by Wednesday, February 10 if you plan to deliver them in person on Valentine's Day.

 The original watercolor painting that inspired this year's postcard.

The original watercolor painting that inspired this year's postcard.

Happy February

To my fellow February-born, be you Aquarians or Pisces, the amethyst is our birthstone. The word Amethyst comes from the Greek meaning "without drunkenness" and is believed to ward off poisoning. So there's that.

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I'm continuing this series of birthstones each month throughout 2016 with the plan to assemble them into some really cool project a little later this year.

More to come!

"Exposure" isn't enough

Requests for donations is part of being an artist. It happens regularly, I will receive a letter or email from an organization who is out there doing good work on behalf of the arts, animals, the homeless, or the numerous health related charities, requesting that I donate a piece of my art to their auction. Usually, with some form of the phrase "it will be great exposure for you" and maybe an offer for free or discounted tickets to their event.

However, "exposure", while a nice thought, isn't enough and very rarely leads to future sales.

There is a real cost to creating art. It's not just the materials in the artwork itself. It's the time, years of study (whether formal or self-taught), the rent/utilities (for some of us this means both home and a separate studio), marketing costs, insurance, and the list goes on.  Because of this, giving away artwork is not a viable business model... and art is business.

By now, I probably sound heartless and business-y and concerned with the bottomline. I promise I'm a generous person. I do donate whenever possible. This means determining if it's an organization with which I have a meaningful relationship (or the potential for one) and analyzing my finances at the time of the request to see if it is feasible to do so.

It's time to change the dynamic between artists and those requesting art for free. There are reasonable ways in which both the artist and organization can benefit. To that end, I've created a personal donation policy that is now posted on my website. It's below as well.

I can't speak for all artists, each of us will approach this situation differently. All I ask is that you respect my donation policy and understand that if I choose not to participate in your organization's event, it is not a reflection on the worthiness of the cause.

Donation Policy (also found in the 'About' section of my website)

I often receive requests to donate artwork to charity auctions and the like. As much as I would love to give work to each and every worthy cause (and so many are!), I must be selective and contribute to causes and organizations that are near and dear to me.

Please understand that current US tax laws are unfavorable to independent artists, we cannot deduct the full market value of our work only the cost of materials used to create the piece, which is usually pretty minimal when compared to the amount received when the piece is sold at full value.

As much as I wish it were so, “exposure” is not a reasonable offer in exchange for art.

That said, I do donate, but is with certain criteria in mind:

-       The organization agrees to split the proceeds 50/50 with payment within 10 days and the buyer’s name and contact information provided.

-       I am allowed to set the reserve price at auction. This is to honor the value of artwork in my client’s collections and in galleries through which I am represented.

-       If the artwork does not sell, it is to be returned to me within 10 days.

-       Prints, postcards, and other reproductions may be purchased at wholesale pricing by the organization and auctioned at any price (suggested retail pricing will be provided) or used as giveaways.

Sketchbook Sunday: Honeybells

Each winter I get a shipment of Honeybells (sometimes called Honeybell oranges) - a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, that are only in season for a very short time in January and February. It's a welcome bright flavor in the middle of the cold and snow.

This year's shipment hasn't yet arrived, but I've had them on the brain this Sketchbook Sunday.

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I'm also trying out my new travel watercolor set. It's a compact set of cake paints with brush with its own reservoir of water. It's an odd feeling to not have a cup of water standing by while I'm painting, but I like the ability to take paints with me on the road (or to the living room).