Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sneaky, sneaky...

Tonsillectomy, 2013, oil on canvas, 30" x 9"
 I still have my own tonsils, but this painting doesn't. 

Belly Shirt, 2013, fabric over oil on canvas, 12" x 13"

Fabric from Sew Dayton, impossible to resist in it's cheetah-ness.  It makes a little crop top for this painting.  Inspired by the rabbit hole of Tumblr and all the amazing outfit blogs out there along with the idea of letting a little bit show. 

Most creepy and sneaky, last.  All photos, Francis Schanberger.
Peep Sho, 2013, canvas over painting, 26" x 19"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Your Turn Now

Francis on the left, Bridgette on the right. But which came first?

I feel like I have so much to say about the collaborative exhibition, Your Turn, that Francis and I just took down today from the Blue Sky Gallery.  I don't want to regurgitate the press release here, you can check our actual Your Turn blog for that!  But I do want to reflect a bit on the experience.

1) Collaboration was an unexpected joy.  When you are predisposed to gloomy internal narratives like me, the idea of working alongside your significant other is slightly terrifying.  To elaborate, we have a pretty solid home life, but some of the most intense arguments we've had have been about art (and Valentine's Day which is another story). Therefore, the idea of taking aesthetics, something we both have strong individual-type feelings about and trying to come to consensus seemed daunting - like someone could be sleeping on the couch at some point during the exercise. The experience, however, was extremely productive and it was easy to slip into a working routine with Francis. Which really, duh!  We work together on stuff all the time, I don't know what I was so nervous about.

2) Having ownership over our own individual works in the show helped make the process of working together positive.  In some ways, this feels like a cop out, maybe?  That we both used each other as inspiration, but didn't actually physically work on the same pieces together (except Lost Horizons).  But this way of working did allow us to each exercise some control over what we would be putting out in the world.

3) Francis is really good at framing up interesting compositions. Painting from his photographs gave me the freedom to not have to laboriously build up an armature to hang my composition on, as generally seems to be part of my painting process.  It was so refreshing, and interestingly made me feel able to stop early on if I liked the results of a few brushstrokes. I am generally able to get this kind of freshness in a drawing, but have trouble striking that balance in a painting, because they just seem weighted differently. But why do they need to be? I think it's my own hang up, and maybe also a parsimonious relation to resources as well. If I'm going to pay for a big canvas, then I bloody well better get to paint a whole bunch all over it.

4) And last but not least, Charmaine roller skated!!!
The Future of Art Viewing by Issa Randall, starring Charmaine Griffith

Hairy Armpit waves goodbye! detail, Hairy Armpit, oil on panel, 10" x 10"

all photographs by Francis!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mistakes and Repurposing

I've had ups and downs in my studio - some spectacular failures, some quiet ones that didn't reveal themselves till a few years down the road (those are the worst because then you feel like a bit of a fool).  I've made work that is out of step with the zeitgeist, received copious rejection letters; it's all a little painful when you're a consummate people-pleaser like me.

I'm not really sure how other people fare.  We don't seem to often lift up our shirts and compare the thousands of tiny scratches.  Maybe other artists don't suffer those little cuts as much as I do, or maybe it just doesn't make professional sense to be constantly revealing your soft pink underbelly.  I find myself wanting to distance myself from those feelings even as I write this.

Like any good story about weakness and failure, this one has a redemptive ending.  

Twelve Little Mistakes, 2012, oil on canvas, 34" x 46"

Twelve Little Mistakes is in the 56th Mid-States Art Exhibition at the Evansville Art Museum in Evansville, Indiana.  The juror for the exhibition is Peter Plagens - one of my most favorite painting / art critic / curmudgeons ever. It was his involvement that made me want to submit for the show. Cherry on top?  Mistakes won an award!

This work was born out of disgust with a series of paintings and I like that it has a second life as an illustration of frustration.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Printmaking Possibilities

Meanwhile back at the monoprint.  

I took one printmaking class back in the 90's and spent the majority of the time flirting with the guy I had a crush on and trying to subtlety shock my printmaking instructor by putting my block prints on underwear and carving curse words into my etchings (nothing looks dorkier than the word "bitch" with one of the letters reversed). 

So it's been a bit of a revelation to get back into it at this stage in the game.  After taking Kevin Harris' monoprint/drypoint workshop at the Dayton Printmaker's Co-op - stencils! selective wiping! I was hooked.

After Kevin's workshop, artist Ryan McCullough generously offered to put together a little monoprint session, and taught me a very sensible method for doing multi-run monoprints.  It involves mat-board and masking tape and is so common sense that it hurts my head a little.  So today was the second time we got together, along with the lovely Janelle Young who was doing fancy printmaking with white ink on a dark ground and Shannon from the gallery at Stivers who was working on a magical multi-layered feather.  

The image above is of my favorite print of the afternoon. It's not a color balanced photo; it's actually on a light coolish gray ground and the pink is Barbie Dream House trim color.  It was of course the first one and took the least amount of time, but I really like the jaunty awkwardness of it.  Also, the sentiment is something I've been feeling a bit lately what with all the different irons and different fires.

Incising text into ink is such a different feeling from constructing it in a drawing or painting; cleaning something off instead of building something up.

Working in tandem with other artists is fun and freeing.  We're really on a roll! (printmaking also  opens up the pun possibilities).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's Fairtastic (yes, that is really the slogan for the state fair this year)

It's thirty-four days, eleven hours and ten minutes until the Ohio State Fair swings open its gates!  

I'm glad to say that Dayton artists will be represented in the pavilion including: Francis Schanberger, Amy Kollar-AndersonRick Jurus, and Lloyd Greene.  Go Gem City! I'll be showing "Fun in the Sun" and "Twelve Little Mistakes."

Fun in the Sun, 2012, water-soluble oil on canvas, 22" x 28"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Magic Beans, aka my ode to Easter candy will be on view!

I was trolling around on the CAA website, opportunities listings (that's a fun Friday night in our household) and came across an exhibition op that looked promising.    Abstraction - check, painting - check, artists in the Midwest, including Ohio - check.  Wait a second, where is this place? Downtown Dayton? What? 

So anyway, that's how I found out about Distillations a show of contemporary abstractions, at Tejas Gallery that is attached to K-12.   I love the name of the gallery, especially since I have a soft spot for the years I spent in Texas.  I always have to do a double take and remind myself, that indeed this gallery is right down on Third Street and not someplace back where I came from.

I talked to Rebecca Sargent, the Tejas Exhibitions & Programming Coordinator when I went to drop off my work.  She admitted that the show was painting heavy, now I seriously can't wait to see it!

Check out the May exhibition at Tejas: Distillations: contemporary abstractions. Opening reception: First Friday, May 4, 6-10 pm.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It should come as a surprise to no one that I'm in this show!  Since cake frosting is a major inspiration for the majority of my paintings (and my life), it seems fitting.  I was glad to note that dessert was highly represented in the work I saw when I dropped my drawings off at Rua.

Hope to see folks at the opening on March 24th!

My melty ice cream friends will be on view.

Ice Cream series, gouache, colored pencil, gesso on paper, 2010