Creator Spotlight: Lindsey Ries
I grew up watching my mom, who's an artist in Wisconsin, paint in her home studio so my love for art and creating started at a young age. I was always painting or drawing and doing something crafty. I was lucky to have a creative parent and the support to pursue my art degrees because that's not a traditional path to take when you grow up on a farm in rural Wisconsin.
I love being creative, supporting others in their creativity (which is why I pursued teaching), and what creativity contributes to my life. I try to do something creative every day, whether that's painting or working on my jewelry line. Creativity has also grown to the education space for me recently too and I'm excited to be leaning into that even more. I'm also very lucky to have amazing gallery representation in Minneapolis with Gallery 360 and Fuse (both are also women owned spaces and exceptional galleries to work with).
Here is a sample of my work. More information about me and my work can be found on my website.
This is how the panels start - I paint in our apartment in Minneapolis so I don't have a lot of space. Everything gets hung on the walls in our hallway and I have a table with my paints and brushes, etc. This panel has a layer of tinted gesso - I prefer tinting my gesso so my first layer is color to respond to versus starting with a blank white panel. I draw very loose and expressively and like to let my process show through in the painting so I like to play around with the idea of a piece being "finished". You'll see parts of the tinted gesso come through, places where I've painted over a painting that didn't sell or work or some other part of a piece I didn't like, and the layers of paint that go into building up the spaces/things I depict. I love playing around with the palette knife and regularly use printmaking brayers as painting tools to create the "blocky" strokes and more interest in each painting.
I use water soluble oil paints, oil pastel, pencil and charcoal, print making brayers, synthetic brushes, paper towels and rags. All my paintings are done on cradled birch panels. They're easier and sturdier for me to transport to collectors or galleries, and I have an easier time using the brayers to paint. I prefer to not have my surface interfere with my painting, and I've found that canvas gives me too many issues with how I paint and what I want my work to look like.
Music or Podcasts?
I tend to listen to music more than podcasts lately so not sure I have an answer for this. I listen to a lot of bluegrass, love Maggie Rogers, Trampled by Turtles, Billy Strings, the Grateful Dead, as well as music from the 50s and 60s, instrumental classic, etc. The music I listen to really depends on my mood and the show I'm painting at the moment. My next solo show is with Gallery 360 next summer so I'm listening to a lot of "summer" music and music with retro/mid-century vibes, or modern music with that low-key vacay feel.
Tips and Tricks of the Trade
Make friends with other artists and build your community with people who will support and challenge you. Go to gallery openings and meet people. Invite people over to see your work. Don't be afraid to redo pieces or make mistakes. Find JOY in what you're doing and don't take yourself too seriously. I really struggle with the idea of EGO in art and do my best to leave it out of mine.
Art and creativity might be part of my income generation, but they are even more who I am - I'm a creative, an artist. So I try to make sure I'm enjoying all this effort and work I'm putting into what I do, otherwise I won't want to do it anymore. Last thing - take breaks and time off, recharge, avoid creative burnout. Sometimes you have to work through it, and sometimes you just need a nap.
Where to find my work
I'm on Instagram @lindseyriesstudio (great place to see WIP pieces, my jewelry line and the fashion shows that feature my earrings, commissioned paintings in some cases, and all around good stuff). I'm in the process of updating my website right now so it's not "public" but the website is www.lindseyriesstudio.com. I'll also have my mom's paintings on the site as well and pieces for sale. Very exciting times.