Posts tagged Oil
Illusionistic Environments by Katie Neece

Katie Neece (b. 1989) is an artist and educator living and working in South Bend, Indiana. Katie is a third year MFA candidate in Painting at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in drawing and painting and a minor in art history from Indiana University, South Bend. She also works at the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame as program coordinator for summer high school educational programs for aspiring art students.


Using traditional oil painting techniques that rely on nuanced physical touch and demanding material execution, my work incorporates imagery from computer graphics software programs and related digital ephemera. I create an artificial pictorial space using gradients, drop shadows, and flat areas to construct an illusionistic environment­ within the conventions of the screen and digital manifestations of space. Choosing to paint the digital constructions draws attention to both advancements in technology and the advancements in the historical trajectory of painting.

I use the pictorial language of geometric abstraction among the early 20th century European avant-garde, while simultaneously focusing on 90’s American mall aesthetic as a site to incorporate these forms as a reference to an inherent optimism in a utopian future that has continually failed to materialize. This re-contextualization is an attempt to illustrate that the past continually reminds us of the future’s failure in the form of haunting.

Sarah Detweiler

Sarah Detweiler is a Philadelphia-area based, mixed media painter whose most recent works incorporate embroidery with watercolor, gouache, and oil. Sarah has a BFA from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited in group and solo shows in various locations including New York City, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Pennsylvania.

My work explores narratives around themes of feminism, female empowerment, and the human experience through figurative, mixed media paintings. I integrate the traditionally feminine craft of embroidery to challenge the boundaries of feminism. The embroidery allows my work to be revealed in stages and acts as a visual invitation to take a closer look. My art reflects the feminine experience through personal and global issues because, in many ways, a woman's experience is universal.  Whether it acts as a mirror to the viewer or as a window into another person's narrative, ultimately, my art is about making connections.

The First Love: Interview with Jenni Stringleman

Interview by Sarah Mills

After twenty years of working in graphic design and animation, Jenni Stringleman has returned to her first love - working in oils.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, she paints contemporary, bright expressionist florals, fresh, abstracted nudes and portraits.
“For me, painting is an expression of joy. I simply love the act of applying oils to canvas, and this has lead me to explore a heady mix of thick oils, and semi transparent washes of colour, high detail combined with gestural strokes.”

Jenni's recent pieces focus on the figure drawn from life in charcoal, erased, rotated, and attacked with brayers and solvents with slabs of flat colour finally applied to obscure and reveal. 

Jenni sells and exhibits at Gallery De Novo and Endemic World Gallery in New Zealand, as well as shipping pieces to international collectors.


You came back to painting after 20 years of working in graphic design and animation, what drew you back to oils?

I painted almost religiously at high school, partly to get out of PhysEd but mainly because I was obsessed with art! At our school, we had hessian or paper stapled to walls and never-ending acrylic paint, and it was heaven. I wanted to be a full-time artist but decided to go for something practical - graphic design. I assumed I’d paint in my own time after work, but I never did! Instead, I worked on a bungee jump for years, in New Zealand and the UK, then painted murals and eventually ended up in graphic design in the City in London. I was having too much fun to remember to paint (or practice the flute, but that’s another story)!

Eventually, after 11 years in London, I returned to New Zealand, got married and retrained in animation which I adored, but after falling pregnant with my eldest daughter, I decided to give up work for a while. I played a domestic goddess for some years, then sadly a friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a year to live. It was absolutely tragic as she was a mum of two, and it made me reassess my life choices. I felt it was too late to retrain as a brain surgeon so instead I decided to jump back into painting to leave a legacy for my two young daughters. It was one of the bravest things I ever did, walking into a painting class under the tutelage of artist Robert Campion, however, he was nurturing and kind and downloaded his years of education and experience into my brain, and from there I had a new career!


You work with such a wide variety of subjects ranging from florals to portraits to abstract work. What do you see as the connecting factor between all your work?

Yes, I do! I am probably like that as a person. I want to be trying new things, learning, stretching myself. Most people call me a colorist, and I do love color, it’s hugely instinctual for me, I feel what goes where and get great joy from the marks and drips and combinations. My first love in painting is the figure... life drawing, nudes, faces. But my mum asked me to paint hydrangeas for her, and they were my first sales to friends and locals.

The nudes were put on the backburner for a while. The galleries who approached me, came to me for my semi-abstracted florals, so that’s where most of my energy went. I painted a portrait of my daughter just for fun then ended up getting commissioned to paint other kids. I love the opportunity they afford me to sit down for once! I like being challenged to capture the real essence of this child, in a more classic way that will stand the test of time. They take ages, and they give me a break from the physical effort of the large pieces. Last year I studied under Martin Campos, and he inspired me to combine my love of color and paint with my charcoal sketches of the figure. A new aspect to my work developed, and now I think of myself as working happily across these three strands.


Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?

Definitely nature, usually in the small details of plants and the effects of light. Also all of human life. I store away images from magazines and TV, fashion shows, of people on the street. There’s not enough time in my day to paint the things I want to. I screengrab so much of Instagram. Today my art hero Andrew Salgado posted a shot of himself in an orange raincoat against an orange wall, and now that’s all I want to paint! As well as the pieces I sell through galleries, I paint on A3 size Arches paper and that’s where I experiment, and they’re all stacked up in a cupboard! I need to have a sale.


What is the first thing you do when you sit down to start a new oil painting?

So this depends a little on which one of my themes I’m working on. For the big textured botanical pieces, I almost always start with a fast, loose acrylic underpainting. I stand, listen to podcasts or music, move around and go on instinct. I may use a ref photo but often don’t. I start from a position of wanting to use certain colors or shapes, and this informs what I’m working towards. For the portraits and nudes, I tend to sit at the table and use a desktop easel. The nudes are from life or ref photos, I sketch multiple times in charcoal, rubbing out marks and rotating the support. Eventually, I will introduce a limited palette of oils. With the portraits, I dive in from a ref photo. I don’t grid up or anything. I paint the whole face at once and gradually refine.

Your paintings have a beautiful textural quality to them. What is your process like to achieve that texture?

Thank you! That came about mainly through laziness. I use so much saturated oil color that washing out my brushes each night was doing my head in. I tried a painting knife one day and got hooked! I rarely use a brush now except for the portraits. It helped me simplify, and I love the geometric quality.


What is your favorite part about working with fluid paints?

Oh, it’s just so fun, it’s exciting. It’s a proper thrill to squeeze paint from a tube, mix it with the knife. With the washy underpainting, I love the unexpected blends. With my oils, I enjoy the thick texture and sheer glazes. The only thing I don’t like is how messy I am. Each tube is lidless, covered in paint, etc.

What advice do you have for our readers who are struggling to change their artistic paths?

My week with Martin Campos did genuinely change my life. I’d say if you can afford it, seek out artists you love and admire and try and study with them. Even a weekend will help! Give yourself permission to play, don’t feel the need to show everything. Expect changes to take time. Your audience may take time to catch up to your new style. Imagine you had a year left, what would you do with it? What is your true passion? But be practical! You need to survive, and there’s no shame in working for money to allow yourself the luxury of time to explore.

Beauty and Toxicity: Interview with Meganne Rosen

I just moved back to Springfield, Missouri after residing in Oakland, California for two years where I recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. I completed my Master of Arts (MA) in Studio Art and Theory at Drury University in 2011.

My recent projects include my thesis exhibition at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco; the publication of “Isoluminance, Racial Trauma, and the Stamina of Perception: Amanda Wallace’s Field | House” for the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts and; my curation and participation in Artifice & Nature, a four person exhibition at CCA; and my inclusion in group exhibitions in Davis, California; Ventura, California; Woodstock, NY; and Newport, OR.

I just returned from artist residencies at LACAWAC in Aerial Lake, Pennsylvania and Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, New York.

My next solo exhibition will be at Bookmarx in Springfield, Missouri and opens December, 7, 2018.



Observation and curiosity drive my studio practice. Through the investigation of and experimentation with different kinds of materials, I express discontent with the current political climate as well as reflect on my experiences growing up in the American Midwest. My work explores entropy, artifice, consumerism, and my place in the lineage of abstraction in contemporary and modern painting and its relationship with installation art.

I compose mixed media pieces which are layered in visual dialogues. Some of the works reference the body in scale and are costume-like. The work evokes an intimate recollection of garments worn, skins shed, and packaging discarded. Each assemblage or installation is a partnership between the materials I work with and the sociopolitical, cultural context of our times.

Currently, I am working on a series of oil paintings on transparent acetate. For these works, my palette is inspired by the alluring sheen of oil spills on pavement and the iridescence of polluted sea foam. The intersection of the natural and the artificial is a site of challenge, conquest, and cohabitation. This work explores toxicity through artifice and decay. As light filters through the paint and acetate, ephemeral auras are projected on the walls creating an additional layer of color. When the works are rolled, they become core samples. Black holes of color with little universes enclosed inside. When the various iterations of this series are placed in proximity to each other, a visual conversation emerges between painting and sculpture, density and light, toxicity and beauty.


Tell me about yourself. What was your artistic journey like up to this point? How did you arrive at your current body of work?

Art has always been part of my life. My family home is filled with art and books and artifacts. My mother is a fiber artist and teaches weaving at a liberal arts college. My paternal grandmother was an artist and a poet who made stained glass windows and velvet wall hangings (image of one of Barbara Rosen's windows is attached). On family vacations, we always visited art museums. I love museums. Growing up in a family that held art in such high regard and also created an environment embedded with art objects made studying and pursuing art seem reasonable and normal. I met a lot of people in college who were majoring in business or something equally pragmatic who lamented the fact that they had to give up their love of the arts because of familial pressure. I understand that I come from a place of privilege on many levels, but I am particularly aware of how fortunate I am to have parents who value art. Their support has been very fundamental to my pursuit of a career in the arts. As an undergraduate, I majored in art history and minored in fine arts and English. I have a master's of arts in studio art and theory (Drury University) and a master's of fine arts in painting (California College of the Arts).

My current body of work developed while I was pursuing my MFA at California College of the Arts. I relished the opportunity to have devoted studio time and feedback from advisors. I was able to spend a great deal of time experimenting with new materials and concepts to push my painting further.


Tell me about the inspiration behind your recent series.

Currently, I am working on a series of oil paintings on transparent acetate. For these works, my palette is inspired by the alluring sheen of oil spills on the pavement and the iridescence of polluted sea foam. The intersection of the natural and the artificial is a site of challenge, conquest, and cohabitation. This work explores toxicity through artifice and decay. As light filters through the paint and acetate, ephemeral auras are projected on the walls creating an additional layer of color. When the works are rolled, they become core samples. Black holes of color with little universes enclosed inside. When the various iterations of this series are placed in proximity to each other, a visual conversation emerges between painting and sculpture, density and light, toxicity and beauty. A large source of inspiration for these works comes from the material itself. Working with acetate opened up a new realm of possibility in the studio for me. I had the opportunity to further explore this work in a natural setting during two artist residencies (Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, NY, and Lacawac in Lake Aerial, PA). I attached a couple of photos from Lacawac and one of me in my studio at Byrdcliffe.


Describe your creative process. How does your work come together from inspiration to execution?

This is a tricky question to answer. I work in a few different ways. I am sometimes inspired by something I read or see external to my studio and I then start working with the theme or concept until I come up with an idea for a painting. Other times, I work intuitively with paint and other materials until something starts to take shape and then I start to steer the painting in a particular direction.

Your work is visually beautiful but has an important underlying message for the viewer. What do you hope those experiencing your work take away from it? What questions should they be asking?

I love the Helen Frankenthaler quote about a really good painting looking like it "happened all at once". I think that applies to my paintings as well. They tend to have an organic, haphazard feel to them like perhaps they came together out of a series of spills or accidents and then ended up strung from the ceiling somehow. In reality, they take me months to create a endure quite a lot of meticulous editing and arrangement. I suppose I want the viewer to been drawn in and to question what they are looking at and how it came to be. I tend to give hints (or in some cases greater enigmas) by the titles of the work. I hope the viewers end up thinking about beauty and toxicity. About the ethereal and the tangible.


What do you love to do when you are not in the studio?

When I am not in the studio I love to read; to play trivia and do crossword puzzles with my partner, Ken; and to play with our cats.

What's next for you and what do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?

I am teaching fiber arts and 2D design as a per course instructor this semester at Missouri State University in the art and design department. Next semester, I am teaching art history and art appreciation as an adjunct at Ozarks Technical Community College.

Since my MFA thesis show last May (2018) at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, California, I have exhibited work in several group shows (in California, Oregon, New York, and Missouri). I am preparing for two upcoming solo exhibitions. For Blips this December (2018) I am painting one-hundred small, four-inch square paintings for BookMarx in downtown Springfield, Missouri. I am also starting work on several large acetate installation paintings for Transparency and Toxicity, a solo exhibition at Artlink Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana that will open in November 2019.

My proposal for the 2019 PCA/ACA conference in Washington D.C. was recently accepted, and I have begun writing “Craft, Color, & Contours: The Influence of Pop in Contemporary Art” to present next April in the Art & Design Culture section. This paper represents another area of interest for me: craft technique and media in fine arts. The last five years have seen an unprecedented uptick in the appearance of fiber art and ceramics in blue-chip galleries, international art fairs, contemporary museum collections, and graduate level fine art curriculum. Techniques and materials previously relegated to the realms of craft and hobby arts publications are now presented front and center in ArtForum. The common thread (no pun intended) between these works seems to be a heavy reference to the paintings and sculptures of the midcentury Pop Art Movement both in terms of palette and subject matter.

I would like to have a full time teaching position at the collegiate level, at least one additional solo exhibition, and at least three more published articles within the next five years. You can read my first published piece here

I enjoy writing about art and find that the research and analysis that goes into my writing projects often influences my studio work.

A Metaphor For Our Memories: Interview With Mariu F. Lacayo

“The infinite world of possibilities of elementary particles is the basis of human freedom,” says writer Alicia Montesdeoca. In addition, I follow the course of these particles, building the lines of our lives through the emotions attached to the skin, such as my steel and polymer strings, oil, and acrylic on canvas and/or methacrylate. This is the metaphor for the way we pull off memories; I sand off fragments of the overlaying colors, map of multiple experiences that build the crust of our being plotted in this dimension. Contrary to what we believe – that time moves forward – really everything happens in parallel interdimensions, hence the theory of multiverses that I paint, stitch, scrape, sand and chart, weaving, painting and pasting layer over layer. Similarly, our unconscious keeps our every human experience in its dark memory that suddenly jumps into light as the tones of each layer of color that abruptly appear, bringing into light lines that cross over multiple underlying colors, previous experiences learned and inherited. These are my SUPERSTRING MIRRORS, hybridizations, because of their language and symbolism.

Mariu F. Lacayo.jpg

 Briefly tell us about your journey as an artist.

Since I remember, textiles have been an integral part of my life. I started admiring aboriginal textiles when I first got my hands on a Mexican mop. These unbleached cotton fabrics that resist everything and more, and have been part of everyday life in every home in Mesoamerica, symbolize my first contact with textiles and color. So, I started painting them 15 years ago, and then I built an installation with them and then I knitted braids in different fabrics, as models for my paintings and sculptures, before landing into these quantum vibrations that are a hybrid between acrylic painting, spray paint, methacrylate and warps.

The humble swabs were the masters of the weft that I have been retaking with the brush and mixed media these days, introducing myself into the postulates of quantum physics and string theory, which proposes scientifically what the Mayans already said as a motto in their language, IN'LAKESH, meaning "I am you, you are me, we all are One".


How do you feel your cultural upbringing influenced your art?

My artworks are a proposal to learn to live in tolerance and universal acceptance of the Universal tissue we are in charge, and thus improve the quantum maps of the world in which we live. This is also a tribute to my father, a psychiatrist, who taught me to observe my thoughts and emotions, as a whole, and not as isolated events.

Mariu F. Lacayo, QUANTUM LANDSCAPE, oil on canvas, 115 cm. x 148 cm. 2017.jpg

Tell us about your process. How do you come up with each painting? Do you spend a lot of time planning and sketching, or is the process more intuitive?

I get inspired by my love for the invisible world that is happening in parallel to our surroundings. My artwork can be described as an ongoing abstraction of the mysterious worlds of molecular biology and particle physics. My paintings and sculptures and art cubes explore the complexity and appearance of the invisible and unknown to linear reason. I work intuitively and start painting at 3:00 am, feeling that we all are immersed in a vibrational experience.

Mariu F. Lacayo,  Super Brane, aluminum sculpture, resin and acrylic painting,  160 x 0.80 cm. 2017..jpg

What does a typical day look like for you?

I understand that each day is a chance where we all can choose which warp and in what shapes and colors we can knit to live the world we want. Each day is our chance to leave behind our beliefs about ourselves and begin to recreate new experiences in which the different dimensions I represent in my artworks, are in fact the experience of beauty whose reality allows us to immerse ourselves inside.


How do you prevent artistic burnout and get inspired again?

I never get burned out because my thoughts create my actions and words and formulate a vibrational environment in myself and around me that reinforces creativity and the best vibes to feel fulfilled every minute.

Share something important about your work that you want the viewer to be aware of.

My artwork has the purpose of elevating the consciousness of each of you my friends, towards personal satisfaction, inner joy and confidence in yourselves so that each time you observe one of my artworks you can elevate your spirit and your quality of life with a positive vibratory frequency.

Mariu F. Lacayo, QUANTUM TRIPOD, aluminum sculpture with resin and acrylic painting,  74 x 60 x 20 cm. 2017., e.png

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a variety of different textural sensations in every composition. Many of my patterns are abstract in subject matter though they can echo elements of geometry, stripes, or even florals. I love the way the soft movements break up each art piece and bestow visual interest. Washy colors, soft textures, and subtle tone variations are some of the reasons I work poetry with brushes and acrylic on canvas, methacrylate, steel threads and aluminum sculptures.