kristin vogel

in the year 2000

Apparently I am on a 3 blog posts a year streak.

I started another new job and the biggest shock of all is I love it. I feel almost paranoid saying that out loud like I’m going to jynx it but I truly do enjoy my new day job. I work at a school for special needs students and I do admin work and a bit of design, and it is really rewarding.

Lets see what else happened, oh yes got married, took mega road trip honeymoon, got settled into house and job, now there’s time for ART.

photo credit to Pamela Berry   www.pamelaberryphotography.com

photo credit to Pamela Berry www.pamelaberryphotography.com

Wedding was lovely, it was like 97 degrees out that day but the day was amazing regardless. All our family pitched in to make it happen, like legit so many people helped it was so touching to be surrounded by all that love. Drew, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned him by name anyways Drew my now husband was such a trooper that day. He’s a keeper.

I don’t often share photos of myself on here but our photographer did such a good job I had to share at least one. Also we wrote our own vows and damn near wrote the same thing, how does that happen.

taking a little nappy nap

taking a little nappy nap

The honeymoon was amazing we saw so much wildlife! We saw a moose 20ft away.

We also got to be in bunch of national parks with hardly any other visitors, it was amazing. Almost every trail we took we were the only people on that trail. it was John Muri-esque.

lamar valley, my second home

lamar valley, my second home

Ok one more photo from the trip.

We camped all over Tetons and Yellowstone the last night we stayed at pebble creek and camped among the lamar valley wolf pack and heard them howl all night. It was amazing. We then woke up early and met some career “wolfers” who spot with their scopes and track the packs of Yellowstone. A wolfer named Dusty let us look through his scope and we saw the soda butte pack. It is an experience I will never forget, so glad that me and Drew got to share this time together.

So now I have a billion arts I need to art. I have a couple commissions on the docket for holiday season so that’s nice.

I have had a long break from art since my last art show in Northfield. I am a little worried I will be rusty getting back in the swing of things. Strange as it is, it is harder working on a 2nd job when you like your first, when you hate your day job the hate becomes driving force to make your passion job work. Don’t get me wrong I would not trade back AT ALL, I just need to learn to have more discipline to dedicate time to art in my spare time. Maybe the hate of a job that drove art didn’t create authentic art maybe having a job or life that is rewarding will yield more rewards within art. That’s my hope at least.

boom baby

Again another couple months between blogs, per the usual. #notsorry

So I made a cool thing can I tell you about it?

I made dis:

paintings are so hard to photograph, especially when you use reflective colors and metallics

paintings are so hard to photograph, especially when you use reflective colors and metallics

It took me forever, oh my gahhhhhd did this take so long. But I like it so it was worth it.

So my fiancé and I took a canoe down about 7 miles of the Saint Croix River in Wisconsin last September. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done. It was so secluded and peaceful and beautiful the colors were gorgeous. The highlight was seeing a family of river otters playing along the banks. Seeing otters in the wild is pretty darn rare so it was so cool to see them and so close probably only 20 feet away.

So ever since then I have had like I don't know 30 otter paintings I've wanted to do and this is the first one I have finished. I wanted to a mermaid painting as well, and love the idea of mermaid and wildlife together, hence half the artwork I make features it. 

give or take 4ish hours for each step here

give or take 4ish hours for each step here

The background was a learning process. I have done trees and landscape before obviously but wanted to try out new methods of painting for them. Trying to balance values and color pallet and give depth and detail but not too much detail since it is a background, is a fine line to walk my friend. 

water reflections, harder than Bob Ross leads you to believe

water reflections, harder than Bob Ross leads you to believe

I must have tried so many different ways of painting the reflection in the water. Still water reflections are waaaaay easier to pull off. Moving water has motion yet reflects the image above, which makes it hard to negotiate with a paint brush. 

hey cuties

hey cuties

Otters are incredibly hard to take a reference photo of. They move 100% of the time. My photos from my canoe are much to blurry, luckily I went to the zoo on Black-Friday and got a couple of pics while they were waiting for food and sitting much more still than they normally do. 

Notice the water is different again for the 4th time and I changed it again before finishing. 

scales are hard work

scales are hard work

Finally the mermaid. I love shiny and iridescence, and wanted to use a lot of that in her. She has a lot of gold in her scales and face. I knew I wanted dark hair but wanted it to have almost an iridescent sheen to it so I used a lot of metallic blue and green. I haven't a person in a long while, I want to do more so I am happy with how her body and face turned out, I am finding retarder with acrylics helps with that a lot. It gives you time to blend but not sooo much time like oils where you have to wait days to paint over. Also... Hands are hard okay, don't look at them!

So I have to crank out a few more of these if I am to have my solo show and do art festivals this summer. It is going to be a busy spring!

running out of sand

So I've made a bunch of cool stuff lately. I've been playing with different styles and techniques.

wild goose island in the lake there, isn't he cute?

wild goose island in the lake there, isn't he cute?

So I love this painting. I love the colors so much, the clouds I struggled with I need to up my technique for that still also I think I need to learn to use retarder for my acrylics for clouds since it dries so fast I don't get time to think before it dries down. But all in all I love how it turned out. I want to do more like this, it was a lot of fun even if it is more conceptual than my normal stuff. 

this one is hard to photograph

this one is hard to photograph

This bison also is something new I am trying. I have a bunch of old halfworked canvases that I am trying to incorporate into new artworks. I had a lot of fun with this one too. I think I should have made the orange background darker more like burnt orange to make it more like the actual prismatic spring but I still like how it turned out.

compare.jpg

Here I just painted over the original and tried again at the same composition. This is what I call a half day painting. That's what the original was as well, a painting you work on for a half a day for fun while watching a movie. Opposed to a normal painting which is worked on in days and several sittings. The original was also a half dayer so it is nice to see even my quick art skills have improved since starting to pursue the "art dream" as they call it. 

So there is a month left of the year. I think I want to make a goal of 4 paintings in this last month. This year has been not the best in general for me but if I am looking at the positive I have made more art this year by at least 3 fold from the previous 2 years. So if art is my positive takeaway from 2017 lets make the last month have even more art to try to balance out 

i want my garmonbozia back

So Twin Peaks... It was all just crazy dream logic and I was wrong, I'm not okay with it! Laura is the one! Why would Coop try to save her [aka not save her] and destroy everything?! I hate alternative realities and un-canonizing the original series. Oh well, I'm just gonna pretend season 3 never happened. Or I'll just pretend Twin Peaks ended with Eddie Vedder's song, cos I flippin' loved that. 

So I finished a painting I have been chipping away at all summer. I am so about it.

the bison I added but the rest is as it was when I was there in June

the bison I added but the rest is as it was when I was there in June

I love it but with the canvas was just a little longer. The bluffs went off so far and vast into the distance. What I remember most about the place was the rocks were so cold. I have a slight... obsession with feeling a place. Well more I really want to lock the place into a memory to store in the vault if that makes any sense, and feeling a place helps ground that. I guess because I am literally touching the ground. It was the edge of dusk where the sun is warm on your face but the air is cool. The breeze carried the pine-coney juniper scent of a million pine trees that filled out the canyon. It was quiet there, like crazy quiet but it wasn't scary like it is when your in your house and its super still it was a calming quiet. That is part of my weird memory "photograph" of the place and helps me get there in my mind and helps me paint it. 

Some of the places I've felt and kept in my memory vault are now gone. A good chunk of Glacier National Park has been lost and continues to burn. My cedar trees I felt and remember are being taken from the ages. While I never got to Sperry Chalet it was always a goal and partially why I started this venture in my life where I decided I was going to pursue art. The goal was to one day be able to be an artist in residence there. Having that goal be destroyed by outside forces does pain me a little bit but I think my drive or goal has become a larger force that can't be taken down so easily. 

Wildfire is also something that costs us many things like 100 year old buildings, the iconic vistas, the natural life of the area but it also allows for re-growth of new life. Glacier had a big fire the year after I was there on the East side of the park that scorched many of my places there. But it now has new life beginning to take the area back from the ashes.

[Photo by Saturated/iStock / Getty Images] Post-Fire Regrowth Near Gorge Trail

[Photo by Saturated/iStock / Getty Images] Post-Fire Regrowth Near Gorge Trail

Waiting on my regrowth here to overshadow the burnt, I feel like wildfire scorched my life some years ago and the regrowth has started but its a slow grow, and I'm impatient. But what else is there to do but keep going at it and wait.  

I think when I paint these places I've locked away in the mind vault, a big part of it is longing and romanticizing these places in my heart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I'm okay with it though. When you get to revisit these places via art or in person it is never disappointing or not living up to my memory palace of it. It is almost like the memory palace has improved the impression or feeling these places give me. So maybe that is why I still do landscapes even though I've been told they aren't my forte. [well at least yet they aren't] I want to share that place with people I want to capture that place in a box and be able to go there when I physically can't. 

Another rambly blog, but ramblin' is what I do best. #sorrynotsorry

can we talk about twin peaks for a second?

So this is weird... my dad died about 2 weeks ago. It's really strange times. Half of me for most of my life has been prepared for this moment to come due to his alcoholism and the other half of me is like sad / sorta angry but subdued, like its dulled out in the far distance. It almost feels like it didn't happen sometimes. It is a very weird and awkward space to live in. I just want to watch and talk about Twin Peaks all the time recently so I guess that is how I'm coping. Coping seems like a strong word but Twin Peaks is just my solace right now. 

First off, the finale is tonight people. I CANNOT WAIT. Even if we wrap up nothing and it was all unconnected dream logic I don't even care. 

I am obsessed with the imagery of Twin Peaks. The show has a very weird color pallet of muted and jewel tones. It evokes a natural and ancient kinda of feeling with its sound-work and how vast everything feels with the wide open shots. I just love it. The characters are the best part and they've made me step into fan art.

This is art just for me, not even to display just for me just put it on paper. I don't know why that is even a kind of artwork for me now, it used to be art to sell art to learn, and art to experiment. I had this a little bit with Big Little Lies, where it was like omg they're so gorgeous I just have to put them in my sketchbook, but Twin Peaks bringing it to a new level. I just love drawing them.

candie aka: the best new character of the new season, like I could watch a show just about her

candie aka: the best new character of the new season, like I could watch a show just about her

So Candie wears this amazing just pepto -bismol pink cocktail dress and nylon gloves OMG its just so good like the costume and her totally space cadet personality thing going on, its just so great. I need to start bringing more colors to work because I actually love this sketch but wish it had that intense pink in it.

audrey and coop, so sad they never hooked up

audrey and coop, so sad they never hooked up

I am really into sketching more cartoony stuff at work lately, like I love this. I've also noticed sketching more cartoony helps me loosen up. Mentally and physically well physically as far as art wise. It helps my artwork feel more loose and natural and not overworked? 

laura palmer pin up, since this doesn't already exist somewhere

laura palmer pin up, since this doesn't already exist somewhere

I've been wanting a pin up tattoo on my thigh for a long time, it will probably be a while before I get it done anyways but I am in love with this Laura Palmer pin up. I've always thought of doing a pin up calendar sometime but don't know what kind of market there is for that kind of thing anymore. I also tried my watercolors on this one, I am still pretty new to the media but I love how trees look in watercolor, like fading in the distance. Or if I never get around to getting it tattooed I might hang this one just cos I love it I rescind my past statement about not displaying it, because how cool would it be in my Twin Peaks themed den in my future imaginary house when I decorate it. 

Well there was a weird blog rant about my Twin Peaks fan art this week. #sorrynotsorry 

great faces, great places

For a hot minute I thought I should talk about the art festivals I've done so far this year or the gallery shows I've participated in their have had their ups and downs and take home positives and things I've learned, for me that is the logistical side of business and...logistics bore me! Hence why I haven't blogged since May. So I am just gonna talk about MY process which is A. My inspiration and B. How I make my stuff. Because I'm into it and could talk about it all day.

So I went to South Dakota, ya know that place you went with your family in 2nd grade and you'll probably never go back to until your kids are in 2nd grade. Its a lot cooler than you remember by the way. It is honestly kinda love everything about it, well minus the couple tourist trap aspects but I get it they gotta make that money.

The Badlands are where its at, well ok its tied with Custer State Park, they are equally awesome. The Badlands have the biggest bison I've ever seen, it was like a truck, tons of bighorn sheep, loads of black tail deer. I loved it I just flat out was in heaven.

I love this little guy!

I love this little guy!

and this huge guy, seriously built like a brick house 

and this huge guy, seriously built like a brick house 

I want to like draw and paint every nature moment I had there. Caught some beautiful fish, saw some gorgeous deer and pronghorns, and a billion beautiful sunsets. I utterly loved it. I recently started this landscape of the vista from the needles highway in Custer. You don't really think vastness or mountains really for South Dakota but it really was, the Black Hills are a lot more breathtaking than you think.

so rocks are hard but i love the sunset meeting the far back mountains

so rocks are hard but i love the sunset meeting the far back mountains

I kind of love doing this cartoon-esque landscapes. I don't know if other people like it but I find them so fun and I like the character of it. I want to do some from the badlands too. There was so much color and life at the badlands that really surprised me. 

I also went to northern Minnesota to some mining lakes and want to do a bunch of Minnesota paintings now too. I started by doing a drawing of a Minnesota mermaid with a nice freshwater trout scene.

I freakin' love it

I freakin' love it

So this is probably my best artwork to date. I have only dabbled in colored pencil in the past and this is my first completed colored pencil drawing. I still use copics for blending and "blurring" spots, I have to learn how to blend with mineral spirits still. I have started to try what I call effects, but essentially playing more with reflections and shadows than I normally do. I love the water ripple reflections on them both, I had no reference photo so its not perfect but I think it turned out cool. I think using tan paper helps give it the underwater murky feel. 

I want to make more of these, do a couple of different freshwater mermaids. I am really into fish lately, they are so fun and have so much texture and color that lends good to colored pencil. 

So maybe I will start a more frequent blog schedule and just talk about the things that interest me, probably what a blog is actually intended for. 

i met you in the summer

So last Friday was my first gallery showing. It was a pretty small show and at a city community center art display showcase, but the show was so sweet and really touching. It was in honor of a local artist that passed over a year ago, Anthony Caponi. Tony built an art park that I worked at just after college during my graphics career. When submitting artwork to be considered for the show you were asked to include a short essay about how Caponi influenced you, whether that be through his art, the park, or knowing him in person. I wrote about my time working there and what it meant to me not knowing that if chosen to show that the story would be printed alongside the artwork on display. So seeing my story and everyone else's stories on display was really exposing at first but also very sweet. There was so many touching stories about how one man's art really reached so many people on more than just a visual aesthetics level.

I had a couple guests that came out for the show and that was incredibly sweet of them to come. So a big thank you to them.

here is the showcased piece, matted and framed up

here is the showcased piece, matted and framed up

So next month I am doing my first outdoor show. It not a solely art dedicated show, its a festival that has crafts and food vendors as well but it more art leaning than your regular run of the mill arts & crafts fair. It is a 2 day festival called Night Market which surprise takes place at night. It seems really fun and I am excited about it. I do have a pinch of nerves/fear of not selling anything but I am hopeful that I can gain some audience and reach more people. 

I've been trying to fit in art more often because I can see improvement the more often I work at it, which duh but seeing actual improvement is a real motivator. 

I really love doing the women and wildlife/nature drawings. I find them super fun to make and relaxing I love how they look. Now, whether or not they are something that appeals to people remains to be unseen. 

I just love drawing cartoony fish, THEY ARE SO FUN

I just love drawing cartoony fish, THEY ARE SO FUN

Fish are incredibly fun to draw. I am so into doing almost cartoon-like animals and women. I can see areas I need to tighten up, but I for sure don't want to head towards realism. I like graphic look to art. Big bold lines and colors, like I wish drawing tattoo flash was an art path I could take. 

I have been playing around with the idea of making travel artwork. I obviously already have a heavy North American landscape and wildlife influence but taking the work and marketing it as travel art. I don't know I need to formulate the idea a little further. I want to make some of my landscapes into postcards. We'll see how it turns out.

I am also excited to try more oil paintings. I finished 2 last month and they were fun and challenging but I really liked working in the medium. It makes you slow down, which is a good thing. 

my little salmon guy

my little salmon guy

colorado scene

colorado scene

Now the first painting I will say plays more to oil's strengths, the landscape I think I tried to approach it like I do acrylics and that's why it isn't as new feeling. With oils it feels like you have to think bigger picture than you do with acrylics. With acrylics I can lay one layer down in the background and work my way forward and its almost like you have to work opposite in oils. Which can lead to cool things like the sunset for the salmon. 

I need to play around with it more, I am always too worried about wasting or ruining a painting but I really need to be okay with making mistakes to learn so I can improve my skillset. Which duh, but it's one of those things you know it but until you do it you don't really KNOW it. 

i can has artz?

I think my first post on my website was exactly a year ago. So I've been arting it up for a year officially. Real talk, I am feeling kinda like a bummer. 

I feel like all I do is bitch and moan on this blog "I wish I had more time for art" "I wish my job was art" "the art community is so up its ass" "how do I find an audience?" and its all sour grapes. I acknowledge this. I am complaining about things I can't change which is just... useless.

But its also frustrating because I legit feel these are the things holding me back. I know I have a chip on my shoulder, I just don't know what to do about it. I want to be positive but honestly it is hard when it comes to getting my work out there. It feels like beyond just the standard hurdles of creating an audience and finding your nische, there have been additional intentional hurdles placed [mostly financial] to weed out up and coming artists of a certain economic background. 

Its hard not to take it personally. I for the life of me do not know how artists who don't come from money start from the bottom up. It feels as if things are set up to help established artists further establish themselves. I don't know what the stepping stone is between no audience/no establishment/no expendable cash to having a client base large enough to be able to afford to appear in art fairs, and it bums me out.

OK, venting complete, I feel better.

So positive stuff. I am so into drawing currently. It makes me happy and I am more apt to work on an illustration after work because its 1000% less set up, I can just dive in. I know a lot of my illustrations are made pretty much just for me, like beyond me there is probably no market for them but I'm not mad about that because I just like making them so much. 

like how gorgeous is this, I am in love

like how gorgeous is this, I am in love

I figured if I am doing American landscapes, I should include some native american women, this is based off a photo of a shoshone woman

I figured if I am doing American landscapes, I should include some native american women, this is based off a photo of a shoshone woman

my beautiful Celeste in that moment you felt her heart sink into her stomach, I try not to post the fan art I make onto my professional site but she was toooo pretty, big little lies so good

my beautiful Celeste in that moment you felt her heart sink into her stomach, I try not to post the fan art I make onto my professional site but she was toooo pretty, big little lies so good

I love them. I love my women. I could draw them forever. I have collected a bunch of reference photos and want to branch out in body types and races and what not. Mix it up more. 

I am also still working on landscapes and wildlife because I love them too. I love mountains and animals so much I can't even. 

so far improved from my zion painting from this time last year, so thats a plus

so far improved from my zion painting from this time last year, so thats a plus

some dog portraits I did for a friend's sister, the dog on the right was challenging with such short fur and all one tone but I am happy with how they came out

some dog portraits I did for a friend's sister, the dog on the right was challenging with such short fur and all one tone but I am happy with how they came out

Sometimes I feel as far as art that all my positivity goes into the artwork and all I have left is sour grapes to promote the work. When I think about drawing or painting my work I feel calm, happy, peaceful, when you ask me about selling/marketing my reaction is blechhhh and anxiety. 

So despite all my bitching I did enter in a couple of art shows, and god if they read this blog I am sure my applications will end up in the bin but hey I am being honest. I am not about to drink the koolaid. I need to get out there and meet my market/create a market and I need to learn how to not be such a bummer about promoting my artwork.  

oops its feb

Long time no writey. Well I decided this year I want to make a lot more art, and considering its only February I think I have a considerable amount of new artwork made in the last month. 

I've started making some mixed media illustration drawings of naturescapes and faces of women. I am super into it and I know it is totally artwork just for me and no one else probably is even into it but I am loving them and they are so fun to make. I missed drawing people, I have shyed away from it because I also really want to capture nature in my art. So I guess this my atempt of satsifying both desires for my artwork?

fishy is my favey

fishy is my favey

The bottom right drawing was my first, and it turned out a little more "cartoony" looking just because I am getting back into the swing of things drawing people, and even my more realistic portraits still look a little disney, I just don't like hyper-realism I like a little bit of stylistic type look to my stuff. 

This fish is so dope, it looks like a sticker and I am loving it. I for sure want to do a million more woman and fish paintings. Maybe I will do a series of endangered or threatened fish species. This one is a cut-throat trout currently endangered and numbers dwindling fast from Lake Yellowstone; shout out to my cut-throat buds stay strong my friends! 

I think I am going to do at least 2 more of these based on Yellowstone flora and fauna, but I want to do other parks too. I think it would be cool to do this as an illustration series of different national parks. National parks and art are my 2 passions , as you've probably gathered by glancing at my portfolio, so it only makes sense to mush them together.

I have also started trying to sketch daily. I get in at least 1 a day usually. Here are the greatest hits so far. 

dying to do some Finnish goddess stuff too, but again nische market if there ever was one

dying to do some Finnish goddess stuff too, but again nische market if there ever was one

I am super into my animals, they look so cute and disney cartoony. I used to think realism is the goal but now that I have my fundamentals down I am leaning more stylized. Which I am ok with because I love how it looks, whether or not other do or will is another question entirely.

I LOVE the bison. I could draw bison and pretty woman all day long I tell ya. Bison have somehow become my sigil I should really work on making them my logo and ensignia.

I have also experimented in palette knife painting. It is hard. I want to keep practicing but omg it is for the very light of hand, and I am of the heavy handed variety.  

pinky mountains are purrty

pinky mountains are purrty

I want to do some mountain paintings with oversaturated "alpenglow" the pinky snow at sunset, I am obsessed with how it looks and want to do a high contrast pumped up color redention of it. I am working with mediums in my acrylic now to get a thicker consistency to try to paint these mountains with a palette knife; so it is a lot of new stuff at once. 

LOVE the island on this one

LOVE the island on this one

On this one the mountains got a little more pink than I would have liked but again finding the slight of hand balance is hella hard. I love the water and island in this one, but water and silhouetted trees I could paint with my eyes shut, its one of my favorite things to paint. I also really love the cloud, its so fluffy and soft. I think this one is better than my first try but I chose slightly the wrong color for the sky and mountain. I want to play with new colors on scenes but still am finding my color scheme it seems. I'll get there. 

So in conclusion... I'll keep making more stuff I guess. Still haven't figured out how to get it out into the world... idk Ebay? We'll see.