Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kat Corrigan Paints the Dogs, Cats, and Other Animals with √Član—and Acrylics

“I have been with LOLA from the beginning and have loved every year of it!” says Kat Corrigan, best known for her lively acrylic paintings of pets and other animals, and her whirlwind “30 Days” painting challenges.
She is just finishing up “30 Dogs in 30 Days” this month, painting live at a festive event this evening, 5–6:15, at Piazza on the Mall, 1221 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. 

And Friday, 6–8 p.m., at Diamond’s Coffee Shoppe in northeast Minneapolis is the opening event for her exhibition of this project. “I'll be there with all the dogs, and with new cards of all the recent dogs as well as from past projects!” she says. (Here is the Facebook event page.)

For LoLa, she will once again be at the Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar. “It has been an excellent space and Dave [Bernick], the owner of the Cafe, has been generous with his time and has helped us with setting up and taking down,” she says. 

What media do you work in?
I paint primarily in acrylics, more specifically in Golden heavy body acrylics in the tube, with a healthy splash of Golden gloss medium over them in my moist Masterson's Handy Stay-wet Palette which keeps them wet and ready to use for weeks, dare I say months!  I use woodless pencils with a softer lead (4-6B) to sketch my initial image onto a black-gessoed panel.  Canvas can be too soft for me and I love the brushstrokes I get on panel, plus they are much sturdier!

What inspires/informs your art?
I have loved animals since I was an awkward child and still find great enjoyment in the shapes their bodies make. Along with being great comfort as companion animals, my pets are my muses.  I also find inspiration from other artists, local and international, living and dead. I think you must look at art to be able to understand and create it, and seeing how someone else painted by looking closely at their brushstrokes is a huge education. As a guard at the MIA for a few years in the '90s I had an incredible chance to study from the masters up close.

What do you like about LoLa?
Anita White is one of the best parts of LOLA!  I joined because she was an incredible convincer, and it feels great to be part of something so open and accepting of all levels of ability, and to also be LOCAL!  

Are you doing anything special for the art crawl?

I will be painting live each day, possibly doing "20 Minutes for 20 Bucks" paintings if I feel like it!
(And, of course, the Riverview will have tasty snacks and beverages for sale.)
Follow Kat's painting exploits and see more of her work on her blog, Kat Corrigan: Paint!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Documentary Artist Anita White Draws Her Way through Life’s Joys and Challenges

LoLa co-founder Anita White is rarely, if ever, without a sketchbook, pens, and watercolors. Describing herself as a “documentary drawer,” she is often known to say, “Nothing is so scary you can’t draw it!”

She also paints with Japanese brush pen and watercolor, and with gouache; on handmade Thai Unryu paper and on silk.

Anita's backyard: Plants at the bottom of the stairs. Watercolor and ink (July 2014)

For LoLa she will once again be showing her work in the front and backyard of her home, also known as Amaranth Art Studio, located on Minnehaha Avenue just two blocks north of Minnehaha Falls Park, where her lush garden features amaranth plants and a vine hut.

Showing with her will be her brother, painter Wallace White, and guest artist Christina Plichta, a painter and mixed media artist who also makes colorful garden flags. 

Portrait of Anita's father, James C. White (1972)

What inspires/informs your art?
I find inspiration in nature and my daily encounters with those I cross paths with. I draw every day—ordinary daily moments inspire me. I also make humorous cartoons about life's foibles.

Time Flies Cartoon; image for silk banner for  Puppet Show

My journaling and chronicling is the mainstay of my work; my blog, Anita’s Visual Journaling, is my evolving expression of this. I feel compelled to document, draw and bear witness to life as it unfolds. I like to depict the natural narrative that life brings—and when things get tough, nothing is so scary you can't draw it!!

However, I also like to sit back and do formal compositions of flowers and beauty, wherever I encounter it.

Gift of beautiful flowers from sweet Hmong girls at the Market (watercolor, ink, pen; 2014)

My travels to places like Mexico, Ireland and Romania have led me to paint large, introspective colorful paintings in the wake of those experiences.

Woman in Red (Gouache on handmade Thai Unryu paper. 1994. 28"x 36")

How many times have you participated in LoLa?
This is my sixth year. After a conversation with Bob Schmitt in May of 2009, I  put an ad in the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger that artists responded to, and thus LoLa emerged after a meeting in my back yard.

Thanks to Bob’s excellent graphic skills and my social outreach, together with Shirley Neilson, Lola emerged to go from strength to strength.

Nokomis Main Beach: Tuesday night swim across the Lake. (Brush pen and watercolor, iridescent blue paint. July 2014.)

What do you like about LoLa?
I love meeting the beautiful and fascinating artists in this neighborhood. Many have become friends. I adore how richly talented this neighborhood is!!

Are you planning anything special for the art crawl?
Yes, I plan to sketch the people that visit us, and I would like to demonstrate silk painting on an ongoing basis too; weather permitting of course.

Painted silk ties: peonies, tulips, snow shovels (2013)

Anita is also a member of the Jewish Women Artists' Circle.

See (and buy) more of Anita’s artwork in her Etsy shop, Anita White's Artwork. 

Lilacs (iridescent paint on silk, 34"x48"; June 2014)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Beth Kamienski Knits for Babes and Brides in Stitches

A knitter who has recently expanded her avocation into vocation, Beth Kamienski creates handknit lingerie and baby goods under the playful business name Babes in Stitches. “I'm just getting going with this endeavor of mine,” she says.

Detail of a stocking, by Babes in Stitches

She’s obviously not new to knitting, however, as her well-crafted and sometimes surprising original creations attest.

Hand-knit garter by Babes in Stitches

This will be her first LoLa art crawl, and she’ll be joining other artists at the vintage shop E’s Emporium, 3911 Minnehaha Avenue. 

What media do you work in?
Knitting and sewing; yarn and fabric

Part of a custom designed hand-knit bachelorette set by Babes in Stitches

What inspires/informs your art?
Vintage fashion, pin-ups, knitting traditions

What do you like about LoLa/why did you join?
I was encouraged by Ella, the proprietor of E's Emporium. I really love the Longfellow community and am excited to be a part of the crawl with talented artists from my neighborhood!

Follow along with Beth’s creative knitting enterprise by liking and following  Babes in Stitches on Facebook

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Designer and Maker Julie Meyer Creates Handbags with a Flair for Function

Julie Meyer creates stylish and sturdy fabric handbags, performing all stages of the process herself, from design to construction, in her home studio in Longfellow.

This will be her second LoLa art crawl, and she’ll be set up at the home of her brother-in-law, Adam Meyer, another LoLa artist (MPLS Woodworks), located “just a few doors down from Merlin’s Rest” on 36th Avenue. Merlin’s Rest is also a stop on the LoLa art crawl this year.

What media do you work in?
Textile/Fiber.  I make handbags from design to finished bag using new and upcycled fabrics.

What inspires/informs your art?
I'm inspired by quality fabrics and simple designs for everyday functionality when I'm creating my bags. I use a mix of new durable fabrics along with vintage and upcycled pieces. I'm currently working on vinyl and leather bags with upcycled straps from vintage camera straps and leather belts.  

What do you like about LoLa?
I've lived in the Longfellow neighborhood for nearly 20 years and have been making handbags out of my home studio for the past 6 years.  I love the opportunity to discover artists right here in my neighborhood.

Are you doing anything special during the art crawl?
You will find my bags along with my brother-in-law’s woodwork, including jewelry, bowls, cutting boards and more. Stop in for refreshments!

You can also shop Julie’s handbags and more local art this weekend, July 26–27, at the Red Hot Art festival in Steven’s Square Park, as well as online in her Etsy shop.