People are large fleshy props to be posed and molded into dynamic compositions

Featured Artist Katie Musloff

Pauline in Her Living Room, acrylic on canvas, 2009
I try to paint how another person feels to me by attempting to understand what they reveal, and how they present their self. It can be a very intimate thing, and as with anything intimate, there are awkward, emotional, and humorous moments. I donít believe that people are large fleshy props to be posed and molded into dynamic compositions; they push back and they have their own way of doing things which is what I find so intriguing about them. Itís always a collaboration between the model and me, a little give and take. I care about who I paint, and I think people deserve to be listened to and I do a good job of doing that. We all appreciate and enjoy attention on some levels, and itís fortunate for me the people like to talk about themselves. Itís a delicate line to walk; these people are giving me a chance to get close to them and that is always a risk. But I try to be empathetic while creating a telling portrait.
I grew up in West Allis, Wisconsin with a very nurturing family that encouraged my artistic endeavours which led me to study at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. I graduated with a painting degree in 2004 and have been a full-time painter for the last four years. Creating commissioned portraiture pays my rent and it allows me to make my own work without having to stress about selling it. None of the work pictured here in this magazine are commissions, I choose to paint people on my own as well. Lately, Iíve been out in nature a lot, fishing and collecting random bits off the ground which has led to a series of small stillifes and fish paintings. Itís something new to think about and I enjoy the quiet feel they have.
I am currently represented by Elaine Erickson Gallery, in the Third Ward of Milwaukee, but from August 5 to November 8, Iíll be featured at the Charles Allis Museum. Itís going to be an intimate show of work from 2005 thru 2009. People are always asking me details about the folks that I paint and for this show I will be displaying a good deal of text along with the work that tells stories and entertaining side notes. Iím most excited by the fact that the entire series of St. Ann paintings will be on display for the first time. This is a six piece series that I created at an intergenerational daycare near my home in Bay View. For two years, I worked with a number of disabled and older models and painted them from life. It was incredibly challenging and rewarding to say the least. I hope you get a chance to stop in.

Artist and Model,
work by Katie Musolff
August 5 Ė November 8 2009
Opening on August 5, 5-9
1801 N. Prospect Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Musloffís work can also be seen at

Pauline in Her Living Room, acrylic on canvas, 2009 German Michael, Oil on Canvas Panel, 2009 Helicopters and Dragonfly, oil on canvas, 2009 My Cousin Seth, oil on canvas, 2007
Ron the Miracle Man, acrylic on canvas, 2006 Self Portrait in the studio, oil on canvas, 2008 Gord, Shell, Minnow, on canvas, 2009
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More about Katie Musolff