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CPS Studios-Summer 2010

MN Women's Press-Oct 09




TnT: An Art in Action Pop-Up Gallery


Come check out --

T n T :

An Art in Action Pop-Up Gallery


One week only--

August 7th - 13th

2401 University Ave

(University Ave at Raymond - St. Paul)


 Art filled happenings all week!

Up-to-the-minute daily events include...

-Tuesday, August 7th 
10-3 pm: Art of Pewter Casting with Renata Fossett;

-Wednesday, August 8th  11:30 am - 9:00 pm
6-9 pm: TnT artists Tara Tieso and Risa Tritabaugh
will demonstrate encaustic and acrylic painting!

-Thursday, August 9th
12-3 pm: Abstract painter Marcia Soderman
will demonstrate her painting process 
and invite us to explore art!

-Friday, August 10th
Surprise Event - watch for details!

-Saturday, August 11th
6-10 pm: Open Art Night

-Sunday, August 12th:
A full day and night of events...

T n T -

It's a gallery,
it's a salon,
it's a performance,
it's Art in Action -


I am joining forces with fellow artist, Tara Tieso, to operate a week-long pop-up gallery/art space. It promises to be a jam-packed week of art-related happenings! There will be art on the walls, demos, pop-up sketching opportunities, music...

It fits in nicely with my summer of spontaneous art activities!
Check back here often for updates about daily activities. Or follow my Facebook page, Twitter page, or our FB event page!



Last chance!



I haven't really written about my two-person show that has been up since June 18th--it's been just so busy...and now it's almost time for the show to come down!

It has been a challenging experience in many ways, but valuable in many more ways. It forced me to finish a substantial number of pieces with a coherent theme and do all that busy work that comes with putting a show together (marketing, hosting a reception...). I feel good about the work I am exhibiting and hope there will be more opportunites to show the work again in a gallery-like setting. 

The most difficult part about this show is that the building itself (an office building) is not open to the public--not even during business hours. This is something that changed after I submitted my work to be considered for a show.  A bummer, to be sure. But as I wrote forced me to pull this show together.

But it has not been feasible for many folks to see the show. So I am hosting a last-chance opportunity to check out the exhibit before the work comes off the walls! Tomorrow evening--Tuesday, July 24th, I will be at the Women's Building at 6:30 to open the doors to anyone who would like to stop by. It will likely be a small, intimate gathering...which will allow me to give sort of a walking tour of the exhibit. I will talk about my work, my creative process...What I would really welcome would be the opportunity to hear your thoughts about my work! So here's the scoop:

Women's Building 550 Rice Street St. Paul, MN

Tuesday, July 24th

6:30 - 8:30 pm


Once A Year...


Every year around this time I get excited and more than a little anxious about my State Fair entry for the Fine Arts competition. The Minnesota State Fair hosts a Fine Arts competition each year. The Fine Arts division has their very own building where the exhibit is housed each year. It's been my dream for a number of years to get in this show.

But honestly, it's not an easy show to get in. Competition is stiff (there is no jury fee and anyone from Minnesota can enter).  They tend to select more pieces with a Minnesota or State Fair "flavor", so my work isn't an automatic fit, but what can it hurt to try...right?

This year the jury process has changed a bit. In the past, all work (you are allowed to enter only one piece) had to be brought in to be juried in person. It was a bit of a hassle, but a big part of the ritual of entering--standing in line with all the other artists hoping their piece will be selected for the exhibit. (And if you don't get in, there is the sad little email that says "sorry, but you're not in!" and then you have to stand in line again with all the disappointed artists who come to pick up your rejected piece).

But this year there is a first round which involves registering your piece online, along with a photo of your piece. You have to make it past that first round to be asked to bring in your piece to be juried in person.

I always have a hard time deciding what piece to enter. This year was no exception. Today is the deadline for registration. Last year I'll admit that I decided to take a pass and not enter. But I promised myself that this year I would give it a shot. There is no entry fee, for god's sake. And this year, all I need to do is send in a few images.

I try not to overthink these decisions, but I generally do. I decided to go with this series of abstract watercolors that I titled Ripening. To be counted as one piece, they needed to be framed as one--which is how I wanted to present them, but does make it more challenging to get a good photo. Besides the one image of the whole piece, I was able to submit two detail shots. For the detail shots, I picked two images from the series that I hope will peak the interest of the juror (and usually it is just one juror for each category). Honestly, I really wish I could have taken the piece in, even if it meant standing in line for several hours, to be juried in person. But it is what it is.

I enter the piece with no expectations (but plenty of hopeful anticipation). I just didn't want to pass up the opportunity to enter this year. 

So the registration is done. And now, along with thousands of other MN artists, I will sit and wait for an email that either says, "sorry, but your piece..." or "your piece has been selected..."

Regardless of the outcome, I will check out the exhibit--like I do every year! And then I will start dreaming about what piece I will enter next year!


Why Abstract?



This past year my work has become increasingly abstract in nature. It is what speaks to me. But as I approach the opening of my two-person exhibit Vantage Point, I have been thinking more and more about how to talk to others about abstract work in general and my abstract work specifically.

I understand that abstract art is not for everyone. Some folks feel they just can't make "sense" of abstract work. I think it can be more difficult for viewers to understand abstract work when they stand in front of the piece and look for something they can readily identify--a face, an object or perhaps a landscape. Some may say it is "human nature" for people to look for that recognizable object, but I would challenge you to look at abstract work, and really all art, in a different way. 

My suggestion when viewing abstract work is to "step away" from looking for that landscape, or recognizable form. Instead focus on colors, shapes, energy, movement... Notice the brushstrokes or how the paint is applied to the canvas/panel. Pay attention to layers of paint and texture.

How does the painting make you feel? What kind of emotional response do you have to the piece? Does it convey a dark, somber mood? Or is it filled with light and energy? 


In my abstract work, I am trying to explore moments/events in life that are emotional in nature, but difficult to express or explain with words. We have all experienced significant life events that burn an impression in our memory. I hope to give a creative voice to those moments of despair, terror and even joy that we carry deep within.

And how do I do that (or try to do that?)

When I am painting, I feel as if I am communicating very intimately with the paint and canvas. Often times it is as if the painting reveals itself as I work. Sometimes that happens very quickly and sometimes it takes a great deal of time--it can be a back and forth process.  Working with a palette knife or a brush, I lay down many layers of color and texture, often using a cloth or even my fingers to blend or wipe away colors to reveal the mysteries of what lies beneath.




Local Artist Interviews


Head on over to Local Artist Interviews to check out my interview:

LAI does a great job of promoting local Minnesota artists. You can follow them on Facebook to be in the loop!