December Work In Progress

I hope everyone is having a great December. With Christmas past, the new year is right around the corner. With a new year, comes new projects. A few pieces I've been working on now are for a show in January.

I wanted to work directly on a wooden surface for these pieces. The bleeding of colors works differently when working from paper to wood. There's more drips and stains to experiment with and if you know me, I love experimenting with different art techniques.

After I gave my surface a couple gesso layers, I used watercolor to mark where I wanted my shapes to go, and then used gouache to get my rich dark colors for a second layer of paint. Neither pieces are in their final stages yet. There's still much to be done, but by January, they will be finished and ready for exhibition!

To keep up to date about my work throughout the month, head over to my About page to sign up for my artist email newsletter. It's free and fun :)

I use gesso to cover the surface of my painting first so that the colors will not soak into the wood.

I use gesso to cover the surface of my painting first so that the colors will not soak into the wood.

Watercolor is a great way for me to lay out my composition. Once that dries, I either go back with more watercolor, or start the gouache stages.

Watercolor is a great way for me to lay out my composition. Once that dries, I either go back with more watercolor, or start the gouache stages.

Gouache is applied over the watercolor to deepen and darken the colors I am looking for. At this point, I am almost at the midpoint of the painting. Many more layers of gouache, possibly acrylic and pastels will be added to finish this piece.

Gouache is applied over the watercolor to deepen and darken the colors I am looking for. At this point, I am almost at the midpoint of the painting. Many more layers of gouache, possibly acrylic and pastels will be added to finish this piece.

'Fall Feline' Print Fundraiser Results

  

November 30th marked the end of the 'Fall Feline' Print Fundraiser at Suskie. I'm happy to say that we raised $56 for the WHS! Thank you to everyone who shared this fundraiser and purchased a print so the proceeds could go to a great cause.

And what perfect timing... 

Today is Giving Tuesday and all donations made today to the WHS are matched! So that was a nice surprise today.


The WHS does great things and I loved being able to do this and hope you loved sharing the love this holiday season (lots of love). Your generosity will go far. 'Fall Feline' was my first fundraiser, and it won't be the last, that's for sure. Below are a few screenshots of the donation transaction. I had to share the last message because it is for all who donated.

  

November Work in Progress

November WIP of  Vermillion Medallion

November WIP of Vermillion Medallion

With the Pop-Up Gallery Show in Wauwatosa quickly approaching, I've been busy working on a few new pieces. My favorite so far are the circle canvas wall plaques I've been making. The colors and lines I create are given a new way to interact with the borders of the canvas. I've also been trying to use color in the background instead of white to enhance the intensity of a few of the pieces. I love color so this was a nice change of pace for myself.

The artwork above and a couple more of these circle pieces will be for sale at the Pop-Up Gallery Show, November 20th. Join the event Facebook page here.

Behind the 'Fall Feline' Print

The 'Fall Feline' Print fundraiser is still in full swing! This illustrative print of a cat gazing up at the falling leaves might seem as simple as that, but there is actually more to the story.

The cat depicted in 'Fall Feline' is a female feral cat that lives in my neighborhood known as Charles. Charles, because at first we thought she was a he, until he got pregnant and had a litter of six kittens under our house. But, that's another story. Charles, after giving birth and nursing her kittens for the recommended weeks, was to be taken to the Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program at the WHS. We took Charles, or more or less Charles reluctantly came with us to the WHS to be spayed, a procedure that cost us $20. Seems like a lot for a feral cat, but that allowed Charles to get spayed, vaccinated, and recorded for the register of feral cats that are allowed to live out the rest of their days in our neighborhood free without producing any more kittens.

According to a study, it costs about $16 billion to trap and kill community cats. TNR programs cost taxpayers about $7 billion a year. Charles is a direct asset to keeping other feral cats from roaming in the area, which reduces fighting, the population is obviously reduced, and rodents are kept out of houses, which, if you ask my neighbor, is why she loves Charles so much. 

Charles gets to live outdoors and enjoy herself for the rest of her days, and we get to enjoy her company as well. A rule of thumb for the TNR program is that once the cats are returned back to where they were originally picked up, a continued source of food and water must be provided. Just like feeding the birds. So, our house is greeted by Charles throughout the day.

So there you go. A little behind the scenes look at 'Fall Feline'. I'm glad I am able to use my skills to help the WHS in the smallest of ways and hope you see how important this program and establishment is to the community. If you want to read more about the TNR program here's a link:  http://www.wihumane.org/services/tnr. Or just visit the WHS to see all the adorable dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and more. 

It's not just me though. You donating is making this all possible. So thank you for those who have already donated, and I encourage those who are thinking about ordering a 'Fall Feline' print to do it today! No time like the present. 

'Fall Feline' up now through the end of November at Suskie.etsy.com

'Fall Feline' print

'Fall Feline' print

Charles

Charles

Charles (again), the cat depicted in 'Fall Feline'

Charles (again), the cat depicted in 'Fall Feline'

October Work in Progress

I'm using canvas to lay over circle plaques. These pieces are guided by the Migraine Series and bursts of color. What's really interesting to me for this piece so far is the upward growth of the 'dendrites' and how they are expanded off the canvas. I hope to create a couple of these to compliment each other. Stay tuned for more :)

The Treble with Alzheimer's

The Woven Images reception went well in September. The original end date for this show has been extended to November 5. So you have an extra month to check out the fibers pieces there. Since there are no descriptions for the pieces at the show, I decided to explain why my piece is called 'The Treble with Alzheimer's':

Playing the violin was a monumental part of my life from the fourth grade all the way to my senior year of High School, and something I found my Abuelito to be very proud of. Right around the time his mind was consumed by Alzheimer's disease, I played violin at a family function. From then on out, he couldn't remember my name, but he remembered me playing the violin and called me the Violin Girl. Unfortunately, the disease took its course, and as time went on, he was gone. I began college and played in the Milwaukee Community Orchestra for one semester, but found I wanted to focus more so on my work as an artist. The violin was put away and mostly not played anymore.

My vision for this project was to show a measure of silent music that deteriorates towards the end. The absence of the notes are overran by the geometric shapes that are to stress the idea of something being corrupted, obliterated or gone missing as did my practice of the violin and my Abuelito's memory. This parallel was something I wanted to express, and felt that with fibers it communicated quite nicely. An added music stand holds the piece up, and a violin bow holds it all together. 

The Treble with Alzheimer's by Kat Rodriguez

The Treble with Alzheimer's by Kat Rodriguez

The Woven Images show runs from September 10 - November 5 at the Kenilworth Square East 3rd Floor Exhibition Space. Open and free to the public on Saturdays 12-5pm. If you snap any photos at the event, use #KatRodriguezArt on your Instagram or other social media so I can see and share your wonderful photos on my Facebook page.