Karen S. Holtzclaw began painting in 1968 and continued in a realistic style until a couple of years ago, where she transformed into a fantasy style with an environmental context. She has also ventured out into book cover design and illustration.
“These paintings represent my feelings in the manifestation and celebration of two souls finding and loving life and each other”
Nick Luther was born September 3rd, 1993, as the second of four boys. Growing up with a father who loved comic books and horror movies was a huge factor in developing his favorite artistic subject matter and preferred styles.
Nick has been drawing for as long as he can remember. His father was always drawing when he was a small child and seeing this as well as the art of Doctor Seuss books and the fun colors and characters of Looney Toons had him drawing by the age of four on a regular basis. One of his favorite subjects as a child was creating and drawing monsters with movies such as Alien and The Thing being heavy influences. He also became interested in drawing his own comics as a young child in daycare and remembers copying from Calvin and Hobbs books before he and his eldest brother started making their own stick figure comics that continued on into middle school. He also began using pipe cleaners to create simple stick figure characters to play with which eventually developed into elaborate monsters of varying designs and the ability to make stop motion movies with these homemade creatures.
He started to refine his own artistic vision in high school when he began to focus more on proper human proportions and anatomy instead of simple stick figures. Some of the inspiration for his own characters and how he draws anatomy in his own way comes from the dark and exaggerated styles of Tim Burton, Gris Grimly, and Jhonen Vasquez. While art classes in school introduced him into new mediums he hadn’t experienced before, his favorite style remained very much illustrations and character creation and his love of comics never wavered; some of his favorite comic book artists he’s known about since childhood such as Todd McFarlane and Sam Keith. 4 years of art classes introduced him to painting and charcoal and in that time he also pursued experimenting with acrylic paints in his own time. He says that in that time he went through at least 2 sketchbooks a year and most were full of his own caricatures of various people he knew or favorite characters and actors. He still has those sketchbooks and various other works he’s done in his possession to this day.
In 2013 while working a warehouse job he hated he began a passion project with his eldest brother and a good friend of theirs. The Bounty Project. They each created their own original characters as the trio of protagonists and the plot of the book they came up with together. This comic is still an ongoing project to this day with hopes of one day being published.
In recent years, Nick has gone back to working with charcoal and watercolor paints and broadening his skills in those mediums as well as continuing to fill various sketchbooks with anything and everything that comes to mind. He has also begun to develop his skills in the digital medium as well, allowing him to experiment with colors in his illustrations beyond the grey shading of pad and pencil. Instagram has allowed him to keep track of some of his favorite artists such as Carlos Huante, Ben Templesmith, and Rob Guillory and more easily find inspiration in the things he loves and takes influence from. He eagerly awaits Inktober each year and the horror themed prompts that embody some of the things that have always been a major part of his life and his art. Creativity is the driving force of his life and he looks forward to a day when he has unlimited time to focus on his artistic dreams. This will be the first time that his work has been featured in a gallery.
“Art is a way of life. Cliche as it sounds it is the ultimate form of expression. What emotions are you feeling? Joy, sadness, rage, lust, panic? Literally anything you want to express, you just find some paper and let it flow. Art can say what you can’t find the words to say. Art is therapy in that way, it has the ability to help you come to terms with things in your life in a way that you don’t have to show or explain to anyone; it can be for you and only you in any way that you need. It’s the only form of medication I’ve ever been able to maintain and it works better than any breathing exercise ever could. It’s just relaxing. Peaceful. There’s a strange sense of power that comes from being able to see and pull something from the ether that no one else can even begin to envision until you make it real. On a less existential level, there’s the limitless potential for comedy in art. I’d simply point to anything by Chuck Jones for his incredible exaggerations or Gary Larson for his brilliant simplicity. Art simply can’t be contained or defined to just one thing. It’s paintings, it’s stories, it’s music, it’s movies, it’s poetry. If it moves your heart and calls your soul, it’s art. When you see it, you recognize it everywhere; from the ridiculous storytelling possibilities of comic books to capturing the truth of life in portraits and landscapes. Art is life; it’s my life, it’s your life, it’s all our lives. It’s as simple as that.”
Lydia Burris was born in Columbus, IN. She attended Indiana University in from 1998 -2002 where she received a double major in Fine Art and “Illustration of Mythology”. Lydia moved to England from 2004-2005 to pursue and receive her Masters of Art, Fine Art from the Norwich School of Art and Design (now called the Norwich University of the Arts). Lydia then moved to Indianapolis where she has been engaged in the art community since 2007. She participates in multiple art events annually and teaches art classes at Ivy Tech Community College. In 2009, she was awarded the Stutz Studio Residency, and continued to have a space at the Stutz from 2010 till 2019 when she moved her art studio to the Circle City Industrial Building.
In 2019 alone, Lydia participated in 6 local art events or markets (such as the Monster Drawing Rally at the SunKing Brewery), 6 Indianapolis gallery shows including the Tiny Show at the 924 Gallery, 4 gallery shows outside of Indy (Bloomington, IN, Chicago, IL., Los Angeles, CA), 5 open studio events, and 3 pop culture conventions such as GenCon. She was also prompted to create a public art installation at the local venue “Healer”, and was invited to be the photographer for a special celebrity event in Detroit, MI.
In the past, Lydia has been involved in illustration for independent books, games, albums and movies, as well as movie prop fabrication. In 2013 she curated a contemorary fantastic art show called “Conjure” at the Stutz Gallery, and in August of 2015 and 2016, she organized a 4-day art market called “Bizarre Bazaar” at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.
Lydia is dedicated to the art process and experimentation. She also holds a vibrant passion for travel and exploration. In May and June of 2019, she took a 26-day solo adventure to California and New Mexico, for the purpose of art inspiration, reflection and contemplation. She partially funded this trip by offering creative rewards to her art patrons.
If you are interested in purchasing one or more of her pieces, please browse through the gallery below.
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Diva Armas Luther is a digital artist and illustrator, she creates colorful prints of varied themes.
Having a graphic design background, her work is inspired by typography and architecture magazine layouts. She grew up with influences such as, late 80’s to early 2000’s Japanese manga, international haute couture editorials, and contemporary political art from her home-country, Indonesia. After spending more than a decade being in different countries in Asia, she found comfort in Bloomington’s art scene and is excited to bring her own culture to the colorful B-Town.
“Illustration is my way of untangling the messy concepts in the mind and turning it into a neat and tidy theme. Coordinating colors is therapeutic to me. Instead of painting what I actually feel, I improve my emotions by beautifying them. Typeface plays a big role on that as well. The words I’ve chosen for my artworks tend to explain what I’d rather keep in private”
She signs all the artworks with her name, but her handle is Komik Taksa.
Charles Culp was born and raised in a town called Vincennes. After receiving his degree in Education from Indiana University in 2008, he joined Americorps. Since then he has been an advocate for non-profits and community education in Colorado, Tennessee, and now in his home state of Indiana. He is passionate about making a lasting connection with his art, and he believes every person has an opportunity to grow and thrive as they discover their passions through the never-ending, formative years of our lives.
“Color is a language more empowering and accessible than any word, written or whispered. Color can also be used as a tool to divide us when we fail to think for ourselves, and if there is a voice of fear that calls for division, then I believe in the simple, artistic symbols of love that remind us of a greater union; of a shared history.
We must forever celebrate the vividness of our experiences, so that we can find comfort in the universal road signs, forever guiding our many journeys. I design art to represent all people, sharing brightly between the tones and marks of the languages we have created.
My work seeks to depict the uniqueness and depth of the human experience, transcending culture and time, encompassing the many different ideas that have enriched the lives of the people of this world through their deeds and rituals. Bold lines form familiar, godly faces, piecing together the ancient symbols that raised our ancestors from darkness, and as the artistic observer surrenders their perceptions of control, they move toward the beautiful truths of compassion, understanding, and love in every piece they view. “
Amber Robinson is a local artist that loves trying different mediums and encouraging others to make something new. From stage management for theater to starting her own food truck, Amber now hopes to make it her life’s mission to help as many people grow spiritually, artistically and financially as possible. Stay tuned for new projects, classes, and chats with local artists and local entrepreneurs at the “We Came to Create Studio” page on Facebook. Video and Audio Interviews and Content Coming Soon.
My work is my attempt to come to terms with feeling; that remarkable gift we are given and have always known, and yet continues to be an entity of which we cannot explain. For feeling is strange and terrifying in the sense that every human will one day hear a different inner monologue that is foreign and yet irrefutably their own.
Our artist of the month is Diva Armas Luther, a digital artist that creates colorful prints of varied themes. Having a graphic design background, her work is inspired by typography and architecture magazine layouts. She grew up with influences such as, late 80’s to early 2000’s manga, international haute couture editorials, and contemporary political art from her home-country, Indonesia. After spending more than a decade being in different countries in Asia, she found comfort in Bloomington for the art scene and is excited to bring her own culture to the colorful B-Town.
She signs all the artworks with her name, but her handle is Komik Taksa.
I am an abstract expressionist painter who creates non-representational works on canvas. These works are alive with my organic and gestural movements
Charcoal and oil stick markings activate these canvases allowing my intuitive thoughts to develop and awaken. Working with acrylics, charcoal, spray paint, ink, collage and found objects are the mainstay of my toolbox. Drippy splats and dribbles of paint lend themselves to the rawness of my work, allowing areas of clarity, coupled with looseness of form and detail to shine through the layers of acrylic.
I know the rules … yet, I love to bend or break them.
My artwork is intriguing, sensual and edgy, creating a visual question of what is real and what is left to the viewer’s imagination. I describe myself as an artist who paints what I feel; and, my feelings, generally, take me to extraordinary places.
I am dissimilar from the crowd and believe my works create endless dialogues.
Ruth Y Liu: I used to be a university lecturer in China, teaching graphic design. My husband and I ran a photography studio for over 10 years since 2003. In 2014, my family came to the United States and settled in Bloomington, Indiana. Although the living environment and language environment have changed greatly, it has not changed my love for painting. At the same time, the local artists in Bloomington have given me a lot of encouragement and inspiration. I am honored to be a member of the local artists in Bloomington.
I love painting, and like to try different painting materials and styles, which makes my works show a strong diversity. In painting, I focus on the use of black and white painting, watercolor painting and acrylic painting materials, but I also do not refuse to try other new materials. In terms of painting subjects, I also try to create figures, animals, landscapes and abstract expressionistic paintings. Meanwhile, I also try to use new materials to create abstract paintings with Chinese and Tibetan culture as the theme. After settling in Bloomington, my interest in classical music inspired me to create some relevant abstract works. Therefore, I would like to say that my works are constantly changing with the change of living environment, and the diversity of my works is still growing.