August 11, 2014

Racine & Vicinity Art Exhibition 2014

My painting "Ready Steady" was selected as part of this year's exhibition at the Wustum. In 2012, my painting "Slaughterman" was one of 4 works awarded in this same show. 

Here's the show info from RAM's website: 

Racine Art Museum's Wustum Museum
August 30 - November 29, 2014
The Awards Ceremony and Opening Reception is Sunday, September 7, 2:00 to 4:00 pm at RAM’s Wustum Museum, which is located at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, Racine. Awards will be presented at 3:00 pm.

Wally Mason will jury the selection. Wally Mason has been the Director/Chief Curator of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 2007. Mason has curated over 90 exhibitions, includingDark Blue: Water as Protagonist, Whatever is There is a Truth: Robert Rauschenberg’s Prints, and Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky: British Pop Art.
Awards Juror Harry Wirth is an Emeritus Professor of Art and Design from Northern Illinois University. He is an accomplished artist and architect and won the first place award in Watercolor Wisconsin 2012.

Resto-Mod: I Turned A Rusty $10 Salon Hair Dryer Into A Lamp

In the spring and summer, I almost completely abandon all types of art and painting. Being in Wisconsin, the absolute last place I want to be after a 7-month winter is indoors staring at a canvas or a piece of paper. F thaaaat.

Instead, I turn my attention to other types of fun projects. Like this one. 

I bought it at a rummage sale for $10 --  stripped it, took it apart, refinished it, and then modified it into a working lamp. It was a 1930s or 40s salon hair dryer.

I posted the project to Reddit and it got 1,664 upvotes and made it to #77 on the front page. 
Here's a link to a photo step-by-step of how I did it.

January 25, 2014

New Painting & UW-Parkside 'Figure Studies' Exhibit

Just finished my first painting of 2014. And actually, it's the first non-commissioned painting I've done in over a year.  The title is "Ready Steady."

I had to transport it the same day I finished, so no real photos yet, but here she is in my backseat on her way to ArtWorks. No seat belt! F the law!

Now she's headed to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Foundation Gallery for...

"Figure Studies" 
An exhibit highlighting "Two Nudes with Oak Stool and Canvas", a lithograph by noted realist artist Philip Pearlstein. In the UW-Parkside collection, artists present their own figure studies. Images in the exhibition invite discussion of the cultural meaning of sexuality, censorship, violence and abstraction. Curated by Kenosha artist and business owner Chet Griffith.

Show dates: February 4th through March 23rd
Reception: March 7th,  6pm-8pm

January 15, 2013

Breaking News: Anderson Cooper Sniffed My Arts

On Thursday, January 3rd 2012, THIS aired on national television:

And-- sitting on my couch that morning in my pajamas -- this is what happened to my mind:

Seriously though-- the girl who starred on Clarissa Explains It All (aka Melissa Joan Hart, the coolest girl in the entire world when I was 9 years old) held my painting and Anderson Cooper SAID MY FULL NAME and did not butcher my long Polish last name (the audio of which is now my phone's ringtone.) And they both complimented my artistic skills and proceeded to sniff a portrait that I painted. And all for a good minute or two on national television.

Mind blown. No words. :)

December 20, 2012

Coffee Portraits: Anita

I finished these commissions this week -- two 20x24 coffee portraits of my art student, Anita.

Right now, these are on a plane to their permanent homes in Portugal.

In Portugal, people will refer to these as "Retrato de café". And when they talk about me, they will say "Katie é um pintor, ela gosta de purê de batatas. Com cabelo como xarope de bordo e os seios como leitelho biscoitos! Feliz Natal!"

Eu sou ciumento que minha pintura começa a viajar para Portugal. Eu estou preso em uma tempestade de neve Wisconsin. Você quer aprender a dizer palavrões em Português? Ok. O coelho é um idiota. Odontalgia bastardo! Fazer xixi e cocô no fogo!

November 21, 2012

Illustration: New Spark Coaching

A couple months ago, I did a handful of retro/line-drawing illustrations for a California company called New Spark Coaching. It's a life-coaching website run by a really nice woman named Kimberly Beck.

I've done illustration work for life coaches, wardrobe stylists... man, I should really start trading artwork for services. Right now my life coach/stylist is Google....i.e, "Are leggings considered pants?"*, "Is it dorky to wear a swim cap in Miami?", and "Can you go blind from sleeping in contacts?"

* Leggings are not pants. Apparently I've been walking around without any pants on. Luckily I'm in my thirties now and may be blind soon, so I don't care.

November 15, 2012

Anderson Watch 2012: Update

Still waiting to see the portrait on Anderson Live. Fingers-crossed.

The producer says they may have it on this week but want to keep it a bit longer. Meanwhile, I'm anxiously watching Anderson Live everyday - every time he reaches for something, my stomach drops.

Today he started talking about energy drinks and caffeine with his co-host Snooki...even brought up coffee, and I almost had a heart attack. Nothing yet.

But!! He did post a photo of my painting on both his show's Twitter and Facebook! Woo! 
Check it out...

November 12, 2012


I got a call from a producer at the Anderson Cooper Live show today - she asked me if I could possibly FedEx my coffee portrait of Anderson so they could maybe use it on the show tomorrow!!

In the words of my sister: HOLY SHITBALLS!!!

I almost got into a few accidents (did one of those right turns where you hit the curb and bounce over it) to pick up the painting from the Pollard Gallery and now it's being flown to New York. If it arrives by air time, it will likely be on tomorrow's show. AND he might Skype interview me. AND tomorrow is my 30th birthday.

I swear this is EXACTLY how my ENTIRE day has been. Especially at 1:59. With a lot more swearing:

November 7, 2012

Ohhh Shiiiih Tzu

I got wrangled into painting three Shih Tzus :) Taking a TV break. Figured I'd blog about it. Blog blog blog.

October 20, 2012

Fall 2012 Update!

Brigitta Richter expertly hanging my stuff
     My first show went extremely well. Sold four paintings. WOO!

 Getting crunk on champagne at the opening

Bill Robbins of the Kenosha News did a great article about the show

I'm taking a month or so off from all art-related things because I am burned out and because I'm selling Breaking Bad Halloween costumes. In late September, I realized that no one on eBay was selling yellow Hazmat suits as "Breaking Bad" Costumes -- a little vacuum marketing-wise -- so I bought a few cases of them and the month has been a blur of shipments to Ireland and the UK. 

Since all of my paintings are at the Pollard Gallery right now, my art studio has become my shipping headquarters.

Anywho-- I used a little bit of my eBay profits thus far to renew my website address.

For a short time, anyone who typed "" was being directed to this young lady with search suggestions like: "Carmen Electra", "Drew Barrymore", and "Playboy Single".  Should I be flattered? I am.

September 19, 2012

If Politicians Were 'Breaking Bad' Characters...

Bill Clinton as "Heisenberg"
I did these quickie illustrations for a article but they opted to use actual photos instead.

Here are some of the illustrations that would otherwise live for eternity in my hard drive -- enjoy! Maybe I'll upload the rest later.
Dick Cheney as "Hector Salamanca"

September 7, 2012

Commission: Alexander Duthart

I was commissioned to paint this earlier this year...

It's a portrait of Alexander Duthart (1925-1986); he was a Scottish drummer who revolutionized Scottish pipe band snare playing. (Wikipedia!)

Unfortunately Mr. Duthart didn't take a lot of photographs in his lifetime, and the ones he did take were extremely 1970s-style blurry. On top of that, he also wore about 18 yards of plaid as part of his Scottish drummer outfit.

Painting plaid from a blurry reference photo is pure hell on your eyeballs. It instantly makes you feel like you've been in a Wal-Mart for 5 hours (or 15 minutes, same difference) and/or like you've been awake for 4 days watching Requiem for a Dream on a loop. I won't ever paint plaid again, ever.  EVER.

Anyway, this painting was framed at Artworks and now resides with a former student of Mr. Duthart.

August 19, 2012

First Solo Show @ Pollard Gallery (Sept - Nov 2012)

I have my first solo show coming up in about 3 weeks!
I'll have four or five new paintings; none are quite finished yet. A few ("Slaughterman", "Study of a Girl" and one yet to be determined) will be in nice refinished wood frames. These frames were sold to me by a very nice woman for WAY way too cheap at a yard sale in New Berlin because I told her I had my first solo show coming up; amazingly she just asked how much I had in my pocket and sold them to me for that.

Anywho, I am trying to refinish those frames today but I feel high from heat-gun fumes and am trying to track down a I'm taking a computer break.

Here's the info and the flyer:

Opening Reception: 
Saturday, September 8th 2012
Show runs September 8th - November 2012
Pollard Gallery - 5800 7th Avenue Kenosha, WI

August 6, 2012

Phish Painting

Don't let this painting fool you-- I do not like the band Phish. Not at all. 

That said-- they do have cool concert posters. And I am dating a Phish fan.

I wanted to buy him this particular Phish tour poster for his birthday last year but apparently their tour posters are like $100+ on eBay.  

So I made a huge cradled board out of maple wood and painted the image instead. The original design is not my own (I wish it was) -- it's by DKNG Studios.

And in Phish fan language, this is the poster from 6/4/11 Cuyahoga Falls, OH brah.

July 18, 2012

DVD Menu Designs - Katy Perry "Part of Me"

A couple mock-up DVD menus I created recently for a design firm in Waukesha.

June 19, 2012

Portrait of Anderson Cooper (in Coffee)

After many years of sitting on the floor and propping canvases against the back of my kitchen chair, I finally broke down and bought a nice easel from Utrecht. Painting is much MUCH easier now so I plan to do more of it.

Hopefully uploading more in the next month. Here's one I did for fun...

*UPDATE: He came out of the closet one week after I posted this, therefore I take full responsibility. Congrats Anderson :)
** MEGA UPDATE!  This painting was featured on ANDERSON LIVE on ABC on 1/3/2013! Ahhh!

May 10, 2012

Move over "Toddler waving from trolley"...

               Check it out! My sister just showed me this....


Apparently my painting "Slaughterman" snuck into one of the photos on the Downtown Kenosha Business Directory pamphlet :)        

April 17, 2012

Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary T-Shirt

                  I was recently commissioned to design a t-shirt for the Girl Scouts.
It celebrates the organization's 100th anniversary (1912-2012; there's a big nationwide celebration on 5/5) and shows the girls through the decades in black white and the modern-day scouts in color.

They're available for presale now on the main page of the Girl Scouts Wisconsin site but they're selling to troops nationwide.


February 2, 2012

R.I.P Apartment

Being a freelance artist means paying work is very unpredictable. To supplement my illustration jobs, I regularly work as an art tutor, banquet server and house cleaner. I made and sold ugly sweaters on eBay around Christmas time; Valentine's week I worked at a flower shop...etc.

For the last two years, my landlord was lenient and let me pay when I could. I assume this is because
this apartment is very unrentable. But today, he told me to get out.

So.... I wanted to just say a few words about my $370/month apartment before we part ways:

  • I will miss my plexiglas windows that didn't fit in the window frames and gave me fresh air year-round.
  • I will miss my fridge. You always looked like you were on the verge of tipping over but you never did.
  • I will miss the shared bathroom; getting up to pee in the middle of the night has never been so exciting/creepy.
  • I will miss the shared shower that I NEVER USED ONCE in 2 years for fear of hidden cameras and spiders.
  • I will miss keeping socks and undies in my purse at all times for showers at my mom's house.
  • I will miss my trusty kitchen sink; such fun we had with emergency baths. Thanks for fitting me even though I'm not 8-months old.
  • Sally's Beauty Supply sink spray hose, what can I say? I couldn't have survived without you.
  • I will miss George from across the hall, a Vietnam vet who always knocks on my door with random questions. He once told me he dated Martha Stewart and fathered JFK Jr.

    Most of all I will miss the piercing sewage smell that filled the hallway each week when my other Vietnam vet neighbor emptied his poop bucket. "Poop bucket?" you ask-- yes, he poops and pees in a bucket and empties it once a week (apparently he doesn't dig the whole shared bathroom thing either.) Most people thought I was exaggerating about this until they came over on the right day. Hot summer days were especially fragrant.
I'm off to the greener pastures now... hopefully I'll sell some paintings and never have to live in squalor again.

January 16, 2012

A Kenosha native was just crowned Miss America 2012!         

       Congrats to Laura Kaeppler!

January 11, 2012

Watercolor Portrait: Caroline

Just found this among my older paintings; it's watercolor on board.
I can't remember what her name is (I took the liberty to rename her) but I really liked the ship tattoo.

December 29, 2011

Favorite Job of 2011

This was my hands-down favorite freelance job of the year.

Task:  10-15 sketches of various types of people fighting with crutches.

They were used in a storyboard for a commercial and, yes, I took the opportunity to put a cartoon version of myself in a crutch-battle with a man in a tank top. I also cartoonified Anita, a girl I tutor; she's fighting a pirate.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Christmas Work

A caricature of Snap-On CEO Nick Pinchuk, and a 40's style illustration for a family Christmas card...

August 23, 2011

A sketch of me by Joey Rose, the person who inspired me to start drawing, on what would have been his 29th birthday.

Miss you tons.

June 16, 2011

January 19, 2011


(I'm going to pretend I haven't slacked on this blog for the last 6 months and rewind us back to last fall so I can show you some pictures.)

Happy October 2010! Can you believe it's October already? Can you believe the stores are already playing Christmas music?! (Etcetra, etcetra.)

Ok, now that that's established... here's my first attempt at pumpkin carving:

My subject, Snap-On Inc. CEO Nicholas Pinchuk, is shown here holding my carving (his head) on a platter.

July 9, 2010

How To Fix A Broken Dell Laptop Screen

Haven't updated this thing in a while. I didn't die but the backlight on my 2005 Inspiron did.

One terrible, horrible day the screen went completely black. The guy at Computer Adventure said it wasn't worth the money to fix it. I told him I don't have money to fix it anyway so HAAA.

$25 later, my laptop is now a working desktop.

Does your laptop have a giant heated coaster that keeps your coffee warm? I don't thiiiink sooooo...

April 19, 2010

Song of the Day

If there's ever a song stuck in my head, I like to force other people to have it stuck in their heads too. Usually it's a terrible song (i.e. "Baby" by Justin Bieber) but today it's actually a good one...

"Later Alligator" by Audrey Ryan.

This would make a great break-up song. Anyway, if you aren't singing this chorus ALL day then you're a robot.

{search terms: see you later alligator song, love games, oxygen, song, audrey ryan, episode 5}

April 1, 2010

NEW! The Coffee Series

Last month, I started a new series of paintings that successfully mixes two of my loves... (no, not sailors and mashed potatoes)...

Portrait-painting and coffee.

Painting with coffee is excellent because :
1) when dry, the canvas smells delicious
2) Folgers is MUCH cheaper than oil paint

I brought my first three portraits (including 'Nesbit', right) to the MESH Haiti benefit and enjoyed letting everyone smell them.

ExposeKenosha's Lester Pitz reviewed them in his column 'Lester Says'!
Check it out here.