Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Final Art Crawl at the Tilsner!

Just when I found my groove again in the studio, we made the decision (a few months ago) to move! Much of my life (kids, grandkids + day job) take place on the other side of town, so living in St. Paul wasn't always making a lot of sense. Besides being tired of the commute, I was missing having green space and really yearning to have a more quiet and peaceful living space. (Living in a building with 66 units has some drawbacks).

But moving didn't seem imminent until a lovely opportunity to rent/cartake a home of an old friend fell into our lap. Amazingly, we are moving to the burbs! Folks seem startled that we are making such a dramatic change--from a downtown, urban environment to a spot located in a quiet, residential neighborhood. But I couldn't be happier! I am looking forward to having my own peaceful space--with plenty of green space! And I will still have a home studio!

But there is nothing like a major move to turn your life upside down! And this move comes in the midst of Art Crawl preparation! Life has gotten a little crazy!

So here I am--packing for a move and preparing for Art Crawl! It's a little chaotic, but I welcome the opportunity to open our loft/studio to the public one last time. We have been moving some things to our new space so that we can open the loft up and have more wall space for art! And there's nothing like moving to make you realize how much art you have!

So stop by during the Crawl--check out our space one last time (or maybe for the first time)! There will be new work alongside some of my older pieces. And because we're moving, I will be pricing much of my older work to sell! I always try to offer some affordable pieces and this Crawl, there will be even more affordable work for visitors to purchase!

Here are the details:

St. Paul Art Crawl

Friday, October 9th  6-10 pm
Saturday, October 10th  12-8 pm
Sunday, October 11th  12-5 pm

Studio 107
300 Broadway Street 
St. Paul, MN

For more information about the Crawl (including maps and a link to a free transit pass), check out: http://saintpaulartcrawl.org/

Hope to see you at the Crawl!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Back in the studio again

Finn Alexander at just 2 days old

Let me apologize for my absence--

The first half of 2015 has been something of a blur for me. My primary focus thus far has been family. Up until March I was juggling work + watching my #1 grandson a few days a week. Then in April our family grew by one. My second grandson--Finn Alexander--entered the world on April 3rd. Even though my daughter is now staying at home with her boys, I've been spending lots of time helping during the transition. To be honest, I have a hard time staying away. Rowan is at such a fun age--just under 2. And it's a joy to hold a baby again. These moments in life are fleeting...and I want to soak up and savor every moment with these little ones that I can. 

Finn just 1 week old

Rowan enjoying chocolate ice cream

Finn at 1 months old

With June just days away--and the year half over--I've been thinking alot about some of my goals as an artist for 2015. My first and foremost goal is just to get in the studio more. Sometimes when you have a break from the studio the hardest thing is just to get into the routine again. So with that in mind, I am setting a goal for June to be in the studio every day at least 30 minutes. I don't expect perfection. There will be days when I will miss my studio time. But if I can sit down and start painting, I think more often than not that 30 minutes will stretch to 60 minutes...and even longer. Today I spent several hours in the studio and it felt so good.

I hope to share more work in the studio with you soon.

(Follow me on Instagram @ risatritabaugh.artist to see more work in progress as well as finished pieces)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Museum Monday: Lights Out

Untitled, Ernest Whiteman, 1991.

After working at the museum nearly 3 years, most of my work days are fairly routine. After a while you fall into a certain groove and any job becomes work after a time (For instance, it is a very physically demanding job....it's not unusual for me to walk over 10 miles a shift). 

But I really do enjoy my job (most days) and still have plenty of those moments when I feel grateful for a job where I actually get paid to walk around looking at art and helping visitors. That's an incredibly simplified snapshot of my job, but really....how bad can that be? (Just don't ask that question after my 10-hour day!)

Possibly the best part of the job is getting to see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that happens at the museum. My favorite time of the day is when we close the museum...when the visitors are gone and the lights have been dimmed til another day. There's something sacred about walking thru the space in that quiet.

The other night after close, as I was walking off the floor, I turned and saw one of my favorite pieces in a very different light. The gallery lights were dim, but the neon light that is part of this piece was still lit. It made for a stunning sight. This sculptural piece by artist Ernest Whiteman has been a favorite of mine since long before I was a guard. It was just recently re-installed in the Art of the America galleries. I couldn't resist stealing a picture of the piece as it looked in the darkened gallery...and just had to share it with you.

It really is a magical place.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Museum Monday: Visiting Vermeer

Before the BIG Reveal

It seems like a good time to revive my Museum Monday series--the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (where I work as a guard) is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2015. The museum is planning 52 birthday surprises...one each week of the year. Just 3 weeks in, it has been quite a party so far!

Birthday surprise #3 was a biggie. Museum staff have known for months that throughout the year, we will have three different masterpieces on loan to the museum. (Each one will be on display for 3.5 months--solo, in a small gallery in the first floor lobby). While staff have known about the masterpieces, just a handful of folks know what paintings will be on exhibit or even what artists will be part of this special series. It has been a very well-kept secret!

The BIG Reveal took place last Friday morning,,,and even though I don't work on Fridays I went over to the museum first thing in the morning with my grandson. I was not disappointed.

Woman Reading a Letter, Johannes Vermeer, 1663.

It is quite a treat to have this lovely Vermeer visiting from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The painting is quite small, but the color, composition, and details are quite exquisite. There are only 34 known Vermeers in existence and you can view this one at the MIA free.

( If you would like to stay in the loop about the MIA birthday surprises, you can sign up for a free membership here!)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Au Revoir Decembre

Before I turn my focus to 2015, I need to wipe my hands clean of December. It was a long, difficult month that drained me. First off, my open studio event was pretty much a bust. Virtually no one came, which of course, equalled virtually no sales. I should have expected this--there were just too many competing events going on around town. I think it knocked me for a bigger blow because it was my birthday weekend and well, you know...

But it got me thinking about seeking out other opportunities for showing my work and I think it is time to explore other venues. I will be exploring this topic more in the coming year.

And then before I recovered from my failed Open Studio I got hit with the flu...hard. It completely knocked me on my ass and I was pretty much out of commission for a few weeks. The timing was awful--right before the holidays. I was struggling to get projects done for the holidays and all I wanted to do was nap. 

But somehow I managed to pull it together just in time for Christmas and got to enjoy a wonderful holiday with this little guy. 

And now I'm getting ramped up for a New Year. 2015. 

Bring It On.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!

Let Them Eat Cake!

Birthday Celebration/Holiday Bazaar

Open Studio Event

Friday, December 5th  6 - 9 pm

Saturday, December 6th  Noon - 5 pm 

300 Broadway St. #107 Tilsner Bldg

Lowertown St. Paul

I am very busy here preparing for my final Open Studio Event of the year. Part Birthday Celebration (my birthday is December 5th) and part Holiday Bazaar, I will have my home studio open as part of the Lowertown Art District Annual Holiday Bazaar. Artist studios throughout Lowertown will be open for this event.

Bring friends and family to enjoy holiday cheer along with warm conversation, birthday treats and plenty of  art! It will be the perfect opportunity to pick up original artwork to make an unique gift for someone special. I will be offering a wide selection of original paintings on canvas or wood panel, ranging in size from 6"x6" to 36"x36". For this event, my 6"x6" paintings (such as the ones pictured above) will be offered for $35--making them an affordable gift that cannot be found at the local mall. They will not be offered for this price again.

I also have available a large number of framed watercolors, ranging in price from $20-40. I offer unframed watercolors at deeply discounted prices. I've been busy painting one-of-a-kind holiday cards starting at $3.

Also joining me in my studio will be my sister, Nancy Davis-- who will be bringing along her sewing/crafting creations, including wool mittens, scarves, quilts and much more. You'll find plenty of items to keep you warm and looking good!

This is a great opportunity to experience the Lowertown neighborhood--come check out artists' studios and neighborhood galleries, take in an evening musical performance at the Black Dog or grab a bite to eat at one of Lowertown's many restaurants. 

Available Street Parking is free after 5 pm on weeknights. Off-street Parking is available in the Union Depot Lots at Broadway/Kellogg. Or consider taking the Green Line (get off at the last stop and walk 2 blocks east to Broadway and take a right, heading south towards Kellogg.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter Fog

Yes, Winter is here...but despite the cold, if you look there is also beauty. Yesterday on my way to work, I noticed the fog that was caused by rising temps with snow on the ground. Fortunately, I had left home early and had time to stop and take some photos (with my iphone).