Category Archives: Art in the City

This category will contain posts of events and happenings locally for those who follow my blog in the Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus Christi, Texas. it may include art fairs, or events where I took pictures of. Just about anything related to events in my city.

Corpus Christi, Downtown Artwalk is here again!

Friday is Corpus Christi’s monthly Artwalk and I plan on setting up a table and sharing my art with you.

I will be at Supreme Lending, it is located at

509 Lawrence, Suite 201
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

It is just down the street from the main hub of the Artwalk at La Retama Park.

If you stop by, I will have Black and White Photography prints, Color Photography Prints, Ink Drawings,Paintings, Pencil drawings,  Watercolors, Jewelry and more.

I may even have some very new work hanging up inside Supreme Lending. But we will see.

I have spent the last few months, painting, organizing, packaging and preparing to show my work and share my love of art with others and all this hard work is finally showing me that this is what I was meant to do.

Why? Because I love doing this and it makes me happy.

I feel so fortunate that I have this opportunity to do something I really love to do and I know that regardless of what happens, I will always love creating art.

So this Friday if you are looking for something fun and interesting to do, go to  Downtown  Corpus Christi and see some great artwork and come and say hi! It will be worth your while.

On another note, I am featured on a blog by

It has a sample of some of my new art pieces. These will be available at the Artwalk on Friday so I hope to see you there!

For Fine Art Prints you can go to

To know more about me and my original artwork, Art Commissions or to schedule a photo shoot you can go to my new website.

All Life is Art, if you look close enough-Brigitte Cadena


Gallery Spotlight: Architecture and Structures as Art

Years ago I lived in Chicago. It was a great time in my life because I loved the culture and diversity. I also loved the architecture there as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of images from that time in my life but that love for the lines and geometric shapes that images of architecture can offer has always stayed with me.

Here are some artistic photography images of architecture and structures that I happen to love here in Corpus Christi,  Texas where I now reside.

Corpus Christi is known more for the beach and marina but I am happy to say I have found some buildings and structures that I could utilize to photograph images I think are beautiful.

Photography Prints

Reflection of a building in Corpus Christi, Texas

Sell Art Online

Other Side Of The Harbor Bridge In Corpus Christi Texas

Sell Art Online

Top Of Corpus Christi Cathedral In Black And White

Sell Art Online

High In The Sky Corpus Christi Cathedral

Sell Art Online

Harbor Bridge In The Coastal Bend In Black And White

(All images can be viewed on a larger scale by clicking on said images, prints are also available in canvas print, metal print and more.)

I hope you like them

Brigitte Cadena
All Life is ART if you look close enough

Artwalker’s DELIGHT! My experience as an Artwalker

It goes without saying, The monthly Artwalk is a great avenue for connecting artists with the public and vise versa. I am a local artist here in Corpus Christi. I have been working as a photographer for a few years now and have become very involved in our city’s monthly event we call Artwalk.

Much of my time has been spent showcasing my artwork over at the House of Rock where several other artists are interconnected through a group we call Coastal Bend Artists..

Well, this past Aartwalk that occurred last Friday, September 30th,  I decided to change things up for myself. I really wanted to branch out and experience this event as an Artwalker.  So I took my camera wanting to document what I saw and let me tell you, I wish I took much more pictures because it was so much fun.  I easily was distracted by the bustle and hustle of the downtown activities. Let’s just say I got so busy enjoying my time there, I almost forgot my original purpose of going as an ArtWALKER.

Because I have been working on the other side, as an artist, I just had no idea all that was happening around me so this was a great experience for me to see what others were seeing.

I got my little map and I set off on my journey to see the festivities,

You can download a copy of this map HERE.

I had several places I KNEW I wanted to check out: Jimmy Willden was performing at the Urban Fare Cafe. I wanted to check out various art venues and see what was going on, so off I went in search of great art music and fun.

The first place I started was near the Water Street Market, The Tree House Collective.

It has a beautiful layout and art all over the walls, I had the pleasure of talking with one of the artists there,  she creates stained glass art and I was so impressed. I know I will have to go back and spend a lot more time checking the art out.

Here is a link to their website for more info on them. Just go HERE.

Right outside there was a band playing in the center and I was excited to see live music outside.

I started walking and right behind Coffee Waves, a new and upcoming cafe there was live painting by Lantz Minatez.

Lantz at work with his creation.

Check out his new FB page Here .  Here is a link to his online gallery

As I was making my way to Urban Fare Cafe, I bumped into Augustine Garcia, sitting outside of Threads.

This is a great new shop that not only offers vintage clothing for men and woman, but on the weekends, Threads holds regular shows awith live music and art shows.  I recently participated in an artshow the was jam packed full of artists and live music. Check them out!

This is where I met Augustine. We talked for a bit and he was showcasing his girlfriends vintage jewelry -LOCK & THISTLE.  You can see more jewelry Here.

Right next door is Urban Fare Cafe on Williams Street.

If you haven’t been there, YOU NEED to. My current favorites are the Chicken Pesto Sandwich & Pita chips and their Thai Curry Rice Bowl and I could go on and on about their cheescake.  All I can say it that it is DIVINE.

Uban Fare Cafe not only serves great food and offers a great atmosphere, his walls are adorned with awesome art by local artists available for sale. I will let you in on something…I have a piece hanging there as well. Go have a bite to eat, enjoy the atmosphere, TRY their bite-sized cheesecakes desserts! Check out their page HERE

It was packed full of people and the music of Jimmy Willden resonated throughout. It was actually my first time listening to him and it was a highlight of my artwalk. Be on the lookout for this guy, He is definitely going somewhere with this. Find out more about him HERE 

After I enjoyed some great music, I was anxious to see what was going on at La Retama park.

Well on my way over there as I was crossing Schatzel street, there was music that was getting louder and louder as I got nearer. I looked to my right to see a band playing outside and it just drew me in. I had to go check it out.

People were crowded around the band playing and across the street. I didn’t know who the band was at that moment but I saw a sign saying GRAND OPENING.  GoGo Vintage Resale

I came back later to get a closer look and it’s this cool vintage store that just opened up downtown with a cool vibe going on. People were lining up to go in and it was like a big party all over. I realized it belonged to my new friend Natalie Lara who I also met at the Threads art show I was in a few weeks ago.  She told me later on  the bands that were playing that night were called, Los Sanchos, her own band, Ick vulnik and Space Fuzz.

Well I started back off to Retama Park. There was a lot to do and see and hear! Downtown Corpus Christi               was full of life!

This is the main central point of Artwalk. There are arts and crafts and activities for everyone to enjoy.

I saw my good friend Laurette Escobar from the Coastal Bend Artists with a table sponsored by the House of Rock, She was there selling her cute masks and next to her was Al Molina  another extremely talented artist who shows regularly at the House of Rock with other Coastal Bend Artists.

This is where you can see the Coastal Bend Artist’s page, just go Here

This is Al, seeling prints of his work to Artwalker’s. Go see his awesome paintings!

After I visited with them a bit, I walked around some more and saw this guy painting. He is from Tipsy Canvas, his name is Anthony Deleon and we had a great conversation about art and how much Artwalk has grown. This is a painting where he gets other people involved, each person paints a part and at the end of the evening, someone is lucky enough to win this great piece.

The Tipsy Canvas site is HERE

On the other side of the park is the pick up and drop off of the Tram that takes people en route to other venues in the area with events that are happening.

There is HOBO singing along on the Tram. Wherever the Tram takes you, they are there to entertain you.

I headed off to Starr street when I walked into Flannagan’s.  I saw Carlos Garcia  doing some live painting, yet another very talented artist.

There was so much more that I had not gotten to see, as the sun was setting I set out back to Retama park to check out the movie that night, there were kids playing hula hoops, people were all over and I just know NEXT Month is going to just as fun if not more! I truly enjoyed my time as an artwalker. I know you will to, so check your calendars and plan to come downtown to our fun filled weekend of art-music and fun!

To find out more about our monthly weekend event please go to the Artwalkcc website. There is a lot more to come!

This blog is brought to you by Bricadena Art . Check out my art page and “LIKE” it for more info on ART in the City!

Brigitte Cadena


Featured Artist: Jimmy Pena

Name:Jimmy Pena
City/State:Corpus Christi, Texas

The first time I heard about Jimmy Pena was in 2010, he was to do a talk in my first art class, drawing I, with Ben Herrera. I, unfortunately missed that day because one of my kids had a doctor’s appointment. All I knew about him was that he was a local artist who made a living creating art and he was very talented. I regret that I had not been there for the talk. As I submersed myself into the local art scene, his name would pop up time and again. I remembered my instructor talking about a technique he used with charcoal on wood. I LOVE charcoal so that intrigued me immensely. I knew I would want to meet him one day and learn about his career in art.

I sent him a friend request on facebook, we did have some mutual friends and he was gracious enough to add me. Time went on and I finally asked him if he would participate in my new art blog by doing an interview with me. He accepted and I was thrilled. I met him at his studio at Kspace, he was very kind and forthright and treated me as if we had been friends forever.  I highly respect his work as an artist and now meeting him, I am a bigger fan than I was before.

He has been in numerous art shows from Delmar’s National Small Drawing and Sculpture show, The Art Center and other galleries in San Antonio, Austin, Houston and  San Angelo. During the course of our interview, I realized this is a man with a natural born talent in art that had venues and organizations  seek him out. It was a pleasure to conduct this interview and I learned a lot about art and the  art field just by listening to him. So here he is.

How did you get into the art field?

I have been creating art all my life. I thought everyone did it. When I was in fifth grade and on I wanted to be a football player. I really loved sports, I played high school football, I was in track. My mom was a nervous wreck about it. Well in the ninth grade I had a knee injury and then in the tenth grade I injured my other knee. (He pointed to his knees to show me the scars from the two knee surgeries he underwent.) I was crushed that my athletic career was over at that point. Art was always there. I would carry my drawing pad everywhere with me.

If I was in a place where I did not know anyone, I would pull my pad out and draw. I was known as the kid with the drawing pad. I was known as the ‘artist kid’. When I was fourteen I did a portrait for a friend. For school functions I always volunteered for any artwork they needed.

When did you start showing your work professionally, at what point in your career did you feel it was time to put your artwork in the public eye?

Well, I ended up dropping out of high school my senior year. My father worked at the refinery and I knew I had a job there. I worked there for some time but I was not happy, I didn’t want to grow old doing this kind of work. After I worked there, I ended up working as a bartender at a night clup that was really popular at the time. I had a lot of fun there, I think I had too much fun and I realized this was not what I wanted.

After that I joined the Army and there I was with my portfolio always in hand. I was stationed in Germany and the job I was assigned to had mistakenly been filled by someone else. I realized at that time while I would be there I would end up being the “gofor” doing what odd jobs were assigned to me. I did not want that so I convinced my first Sgt.  to allow me to do a mural in the mess hall. Everyone liked it but at the same time, it was difficult because I was only a private but I was given a key to the mess hall, I was able to set my own hours and so others were not happy about that. When I was stationed somewhere else I was able to do another mural for the Army. I did a total of 3 murals in different places I was stationed at.

Wow, that is quite a feat. What happened when you got out of the Army?

After the army I did odd jobs. I had a friend of mine, Ben Wright, he was my mentor at that time. He got me a gig doing a mural outside of what is now known as the Surf Club. I offered to do this mural for free because I was trying to get some exposure for myself as an artist.  Well there was a disagreement regarding the payment for the installation of the panels and it did not work out. It stayed up unfinished but this was the piece of artwork that got me a commission to do a mural with La Pesca Restaurant that used to be downtown.

Wow, this reminds me of Michelangelo, was it hard to paint the ceiling?

(He nodded yes) I then asked him how long it took to complete. He stated about eight months.

He went on to talk about earlier times.

At 28 years old, I was diagnosed with Rhuemitoid Arthritis. It was a very difficult 10 years for me as I grew depressed over this. I was not seriously pursuing art at that time.

Then in 1994, it was the passing of my brother that pulled me out of depression to move forward with my art. It was a year after my brother passed away, I started painting again and my first painting was “From the depths and towards the light”, It was not actually of my brother but the painting was a lot about him.

That is amazing. Ok so who is your favorite artist?

Well I took art in high school. I really learned a lot from the masters, DaVinci, Michelangelo and others. Since I did  not get formal education as in an art degree, everything I learned was from imitation. I feel fortunate to have so many friends who do have degrees in art and I have learned a lot from them. I see myself appreciating a more abstract form of art as I grow.

What types of art do you prefer?

I like all kinds of art. I remember when I was fourteen years old, I wanted to learn to paint with oil and I did that for a bit but I eventually went back to acrylics. This is a painting I did when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old.

How impressive, it looks just like a picture!  Ok can you tell me what is your ‘method’ do you have a routine you follow when you start working on creating an art piece?

Here is it, Wake up, I have to have my coffee, take the dog for walk.  Then I head over to my studio and work about  4-5 hours a day. There are times when I will listen to the same song over and over because it fits the mood I am in for that particular piece.

As far as mediums and supplies, there was a time when I did not have materials and so I went to the back of my studio and picked up a piece of wood and started working on it.

I had wondered how that came about using wood in the way you do.

Yes, I found it to be a good canvas to work on, I also like to add newspaper clippings to my artwork to have the piece say more what it is about. In the beginning I was using newspaper as just another material and then I realized I could use the text such as the headlines as another element to the piece to express more, what I wanted to say.

Can you give me an example?


This piece was inspired in 2008 from the Mortgage and Loan crisis that was going on back then. I actually did this in 2009. I remember this image flashed through my head and I couldn’t get it out of my head. So I got some models and I had my references, and then I used headlines in the newspapers  as the skin of the figures.

At times I feel an obligation to myself to get these ideas out or to acknowledge what others are feeling. This piece fills in the gaps of the questions I feel were being asked about this situation.

Confounded by Jimmy Pena

Detail of Confounded by Jimmy Pena

I have to admit when I got a closer look at the piece and the detail with the words on the text, it moved me.

Can you tell us about one of your most favorite pieces of work or work you are most proud of?

I have been asked that question before, so I am going to tell you what I told them, the piece that I am working on is the one I am most proud of.

When did you first discover your creative talents?

Actually before I learned to write, I was drawing pictures.

Did you have a lot of crayons as a child?

No, didn’t like crayons too much, they were not sharp enough, not crisp enough.

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?

I have come to realize lately that a lot of what motivates me is what pisses me off. I guess you could say it is a form of therapy and there is usually something I feel needs to be said when I come up with a concept for a piece of art. I am finding that sometimes, nothing needs to be said as well.

Being an artist can be a challenge at tmes, who would you say has been a great source of support in your pursuit of a career in art?

The year after I got back from the ARMY, I met my future wife, Linda. She has encouraged and supported all of my efforts. We will be celebrating our 26th anniversary in October.

Oh that is wonderful! Well congratulations to both you and your wife.

Thank you.

How will you describe your style?

Hyper realism but I try to add a different element with what I am trying to say. I want to create art that is different.

I remember when I was in kindergarten, our teach wanted to hold an art contest. So she told everyone to draw a picture and at the end of the class we would all vote on who had the best picture. I looked around at my classmates and all the other kids were drawing those box style houses and a tree or windows and I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to draw whatever everyone else is drawing. I want to be different.

So I took my pencil and started drawing circles and just doodle all over my page. When I realiezed I could see some recognizable shapes I used my colors to color them in. I saw a foot here and something else there. So that is what I did.

Then at the end of the class we were all called up in groups of 4 or 5 to stand in front of the class holding out our art. The teacher would hover her hand over our head and the rest of the class were instructed to clap to the degree that they liked the art piece. All the kids got some claps here and there, and then when the teacher put her hand over my head, everyone fell silent. (He laughed about it) I had no one clap for me but to this day I am still this way, I want to do something different and unique to me.

Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?

I think of Picasso, I was not a big fan of his work at first but what I did like about him is that he would get bored and would venture out and try new mediums, new techniques, he was evolving all the time and I see myself going in that direction as well.

Tell me about Kspace, how did you get here?

It was the late 90’s and Kspace was already established. In 1990, one of the founder’s of Kspace, her name is Rachelle and I met during a commission I had with the Museum of Science and History. I was working on mural art piece there, and she was there. We became aquaintances. Then several years later, I received a phone call and it was Rachelle, she invited me to be a guest artist at the annual open house, a show they were having.

The night of the show, it was packed, probably about five hundred people. There was a woman trying to reach me during the show. She ended up offering to be my patron and pay for my studio space. I was flattered and took her up on it. I could not afford to rent the space back then so this helped a lot.

She eventually wanted to commission me to do a portrait of her and her husband, she was very specific to how she wanted it done. I would have done it for free because of her generosity but she insisted she wanted to pay me for it. So I worked on this portrait for three months. Well after I provided the portrait she stopped paying for the studio rental, I had to call her a couple of times to collect payment and well after that the relationship turned sour. I decided that I would figure out how to secure the studio rent from there on out and here I am. Regardless of all this,  Kspace changed my life.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on?

It is titled “Worship this”. It has to do with our economy and the BP oil spills. I still remember when one of the spokesperson who was addressing the crisis on television he said, “and to all the little people, we are sorry.” Well that sounded to me exactly what this piece is about.

Detail on Worship This by Jimmy Pena

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

(He laughed to himself) then he said, “My friend Ben Wright and I were talking and I started telling him about this great idea I had for an art piece. He looked at me and said, ‘Hey, don’t tell me about it, just DO it!”

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I am really interested in working with photography and sculptures that I am working on. Some of my pieces take a very long time to complete and I looking at other materials to create something unique but also consider the time it takes to create it.

Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?

Do it because you love it and be yourself. Stay humble. Competition is not always a great thing. Do what makes you happy.

Art Feature-Gerald Lopez


Art Feature-Gerald Lopez

Name: Gerald Lopez
City/State: Corpus Christi, TX

Bio: Gerald Lopez is currently an art instructor at Del Mar College and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas. He also serves on the board of directors and exhibition committee of K Space Contemporary, a non-profit art gallery that presents and promotes contemporary art to the Coastal Bend region of South Texas. Gerald received his BFA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and a MFA from the University of Delaware.
He has participated in many group exhibitions throughout the United States and his work can be found in the collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, Oklahoma.

Gerald Lopez was my Design Instructor last year at Del Mar College and I learned a lot in his class. He gave us creative freedom to work on the assignments and was extremely helpful when I ran into an issue. He was there to offer guidance and give us the foundation of the elements of art but allowed each of us to create art in a personal way. I really enjoyed his class.

Who is your favorite artist and why?

Well, right now I am mainly looking at Renaissance art and artists. Not really a specific one but I am looking at a number of artists to get an idea of their use of structure, pespective, elements and themes.

What types of art do you prefer?

I enjoy all types of art from Ancient to Renaissance/Baroque to Modern and Contemporary Art. Teaching art I must say, has really broadened my horizons to many different types of art that I never considered as a student and that has opened up alot of doors to new ideas.

When did you start going public with your art?

I think I started trying to get my art public all the way back in my undergraduate student days at TAMUCC.

How would you describe your style?

Pour in some Renaissance and then add a bit of Pop Art with a twist of Surrealism and DADA. Shaken not stirred.

What is your approach to design?

I think my approach to design is alot like many other artists and non-artists for that matter. It’s an inate feeling of what seems to work and what dosen’t. Like trying to arrange furniture in a bare room for example. You move the furniture, plants, artwork and etc. around and around until you like what you see. In art you move color, line, shape etc. in the same manor. Design first and foremost has to satisfy the artist’s taste and hopefully that arrangment of elements and theme attracts other viewers in a positive way as well.

That is an interesting analogy you used, because when I am working on something, it is very much like moving furniture around, arrangement and placement is very important.

How do you bridge the gap of the business side of designing?

I seldom venture into the business side of designing if ever. I try to stay on the art side of things as much as possible. I guess that bridge is still under construction.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Stay humble, be yourself and have fun. Art is filled with alot of ups and downs. I believe the trick is to not be too full of yourself during the ups and not get too discouraged during the downs. Stay steady and do what what you enjoy doing even when trends in art are heading the opposite direction. It’s a difficult road to travel to be sure, but in the end what’s the point of making art if you’re not having fun creating it? When art is fun it can be one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.

I have to agree with you on that.

Can you describe your workspace?

I would describe my workspace as a little cramped but cozy. I have a desk where I work with enough room to create small to fairly large sized drawings, so the space is not a real big issue right now. Although a little more room never hurts. Recently however, I have had the opportunity to create a large scale mural downtown at Lizardoz Sub Pub on Chaparral which was alot of fun.

Can you describe your creative process?

I think the word “collage” best describes my creative process. I start by taking photos of many different people, places and things and then try to put them together in a drawing to form a cohesive narrative. My focus as of late have been themes of Corpus Christi. Though I do add a surreal twist to the stories.

What are some resources that you have found helpful to you as an artist that you would recommend to other artists?

Although there are numerous sources I have looked at for art and artists, the two most frequently used by myself are: Glasstire and Facebook. Glasstire is a good resource for finding out what is happening around Texas specifically and through facebook I can see what my art friends are up to and I can see what is happening around the world.

Can you tell us of any upcoming shows/exhibits for your work?

I will be in an exhibition called “Go West this Fall” which will feature artworks from Texas and French artists. It will be at the UNESCO Center in Paris, France, on Sept. 19 – 30, and at the Williams Tower Gallery in Houston on Oct. 27 – Nov. 25.

Go West this Fall

Well thank you again for taking this time to talk to me about your art.

Here is a preview of some of his art pieces. You can view his work at this website.

Website: go to geraldlopezart

Art Feature of the Week-Angela Schwengler

Artist: Angela Schwengler

“I specialize in portraiture and figurative artwork. Although I create art in many mediums, I am concentrating on utilizing oil painting, sculpture & drawing to unravel my artistic vision of exploring the universal feelings about the ups and downs of life.

Currently, I am immersed in the art scene in Corpus Christi and I teach privately and in small classroom settings.

The themes of my personal work are about the interconnectedness of the human experience and the mystery in all things. The life I live in is part of a grand illusion and the people around me reflect parts of me and my beliefs. I explore this connection through the portraits and figures of others.

Otherwise, I create art out of pure study and pleasure.”

When did you first discover your creative talents?

Angela: I think I did when everyone really does, but I was not cognizant of it at the time. I just did what I knew was fun. I was still in diapers and I could hardly read, but I drew all the time when I was a toddler. I see art as a way of seeing – a skill that someone can develop overtime through observation. I think that everyone is made to create, but my artistic abilities just developed the more I practiced.

Could you tell us about some of your work?

Angela:My goal in my art is to show the beauty in all things, ultimately. Whether I create art based on celebrity or my own ideas of self, I want people to be able to see the beauty in them. I have a series coming up of imperfection to highlight that we are perfect just as we are and that our imperfections are part of what makes us beautiful. So often, in our society, we “erase” or disguise our imperfections, but we need to be able to be at ease with them because they are part of us. I also like to see art as therapy for myself and for the viewers in this way. I have a series of portraits that I am going to be continuing in which I send silent/visual messages to the subjects based on how I hope that their lives will improve. The color for the background has a meaning for them as well as the
title of the piece.

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?

Angela: Motivation and inspiration comes from within. Whenever I find myself becoming lazy about creating art, I remind myself of how much more at ease I feel when I am creating on a consistent basis. It is what I am made to do and if I am not doing it, I don’t feel productive which can lead to depression for myself. I look at how amazingly positive I feel when I am creating and that inspires me to keep doing it. Sharing it with others also gives me inspiration because they get excited about it and that energy transfers over to me. I get joy from knowing that my art can inspire others, and knowing this inspires me.

WHO is your favorite artist?

Angela: Currently, I love The Gryllus. They are a husband and wife team of painters. I love their technique and their subject matter. Their art resonates with me on a deep level. Alyssa Monks, Adam Beane, Ron Mueck, Tim Bruckner, Jamie Salmon are all other contemporary artists that I absolutely love and look to at times where I feel that I need to motivate myself even more. I also love John Singer Sargeant, Anders Zorn, Caravaggio, Bernini, Michelangelo and Rodin. It is VERY hard to pick a favorite. I’d say if I had to pick two, it would probably be Jamie Salmon and The Gryllus.

WHAT types of art do you prefer. Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

Angela: I prefer to sculpt and paint. Sculpture is my passion. I paint because I like to and it is fast for me. I currently have art hanging in the Janet F. Harte Library in Flour Bluff. I’m entering juried exhibitions, but I don’t know if I’ve gotten in yet or not.

What are you currently working on? How is this different from past

Angela: I’m currently working on things I want to do just for fun. They are a break from my past projects because I don’t necessarily have anything in mind. I just finished painting a series of spiritual leaders, so I wanted to take a break from a theme and just work on things which are fun to do. I just finished a digital vector drawing of Robert Downey Jr, and I’m sculpting a mascot. Soon, I plan to be working on those other, more personal ideas.

“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

Angela: I hope that my audience sees the beauty in what they are looking at. I hope that it opens their eyes a little bit and that they can perceive something in a different light than they had seen it before. This is especially true for the self portrait and imperfection series I am doing.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Angela: That it doesn’t matter where you live or how big the space is, create anyway. You are an artist and have to create, you don’t have a choice, so don’t make yourself suffer through excuses of why you “can’t.” Also, that if you continue to do what you love, great things will happen.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.

Angela: I have a small studio in my home where my easel is always set up and my table for my sculpture always has tools laid out. When I am sculpting, I like to carry it around the house because I don’t feel like I have to be confined to my space – which might sound silly. When I am painting, I feel like I need to be alone to focus. When I am sculpting, I could be watching a movie or doing something else while I sculpt. I sometimes start out with a sketch, but mostly, I will take pictures of what I envision, then sketch it on the canvas, or just start building up the clay. There is no real method to my madness other than to keep looking at what I am doing as a puzzle and to take steps to get to the finished product. Sometimes, the pieces don’t quite fit, so I have to fix them, but it doesn’t bother me to have to do that. It’s a lot like life to me. It’s good to just let
things flow and if they don’t turn out right, you can correct what you do in the future

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Angela: I plan on creating more art that focuses on emotions and more personal experiences. I’ve been creating art based on people I know rather than emotions, so I really want to dig into my sketchbook and bring some of those old sketches to life. I have ideas of self portraits and some hardboiled fiction/noir type of art. I’m really excited about it.

Image List:

Artist: Angela Schwengler

1. You Are Loved

2. Smile

3. Beautiful Day

4. Insight by Obersvation

5. The Unknown

Art Feature-Mike Stephens

I met Mike Stephens briefly last year at Delmar College when I was sitting in Cain Gallery, during a show making sure visitors were signing in. He had a couple of pieces in this show and he was very kind and helpful with info about art resources for emerging artists like myself. A short time later, He did a talk in my Art History class when our professor was out of the country and he talked about some of his art.

I found his work to be deep, intriguing, very personal and full of meaning. I especially like what he had to say about his art and art within the artist so I am very happy he agreed to do this interview with me.

Bio~ Mike Stephens
Born in El Paso, TX and grew up in Arlington, Tx. After going to College in Corpus Christi, TX, He went to University of North Carolina-Greensboro and received his Masters in Fine Arts. Since then he has taught at numerous Higher education institutions, but currently is a part-time professor at Del Mar College and a full-time dad. Mike Stephens adds, “I got into art because I wanted to be a comic book illustrator and kind of just fell into the fine art scene.”

Who is your favorite artist?

Mike: Bob Ross, no I’m kidding, actually I like a Japanese Woodcut artist named Yoshitoshi.

What types of art do you prefer?

Mike: Tough one, I would say contemporary Pop Art also a lot of the underground work that is under the radar of mainstream art. As mentioned earlier I look at a lot of pre 1900s Japanese woodcut prints.

What is your ‘method’?

Mike: I’m a woodcut printmaker.

Can you explain that process a bit here for those not familiar with this technique?

Mike: I basically get a sheet of wood ( I use birch plywood) and carve out the image. Then after that I roll ink on to the block and then lay paper on top running it through a printing press. In simple terms, I make a wooden stamp.

What is your dream for your future in this field?

Mike: I just want to make art and hopefully enough people continue to like it.

When did you first discover your creative talents?

Mike: Early on in school, I was always the kid that was asked to do the art on projects that the teachers would assign to groups. My grades were always higher when there was a drawing involved.

Could you tell us about some of your work?

Mike: My work is basically about me and finding my place in the world. I love comic books and incorporate myself as various super heroes, but instead of being heroic, buff and handsome I place myself as a fat, geeky victim. I wish there were more heroes in life, now that I’m older I really wish there was something to believe in, but all I have is me and I do my best. Sadly that usually isn’t good enough. Lately the work has started to focus on me being a father and what that entails as your child sees you as this perfect figure contrary to reality.

How would you describe your style?

Mike: I had someone recently tell me that it reminded them of German Expressionism and I think they were pretty close.
What is your favorite medium and why?

Mike: Prints and thats because not only do I get to have multiple copies and sell them inexpensively compare to paintings or sculptures, but prints also have an outlaw, underground and revolutionary history to them. I like the fact that it doesn’t really fit in the elitism of the art world.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Mike: Bitter, old, drunk, obnoxious and idealistic.

“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

Mike: I don’t know anymore, I don’t make my work for anyone and don’t care what they take away from it. Don’t get me wrong, I hope the audience likes my work and buys it. However, as an artist I make work for myself. As soon as you stop making art for yourself, you stop making art. When you worry about what others think and make artwork to please them, then all you are making is posters or crafts.

I like that, “Don’t worry about what others think, don’t make art for others but for yourself.”
When did you come to this conclusion or revelation?

Mike: Early on in my career. People either loved my work or hated it, which for an artist is a good response. I would rather have my work hated and get a reaction out of someone, then get no response, but back to your question. I realized a lot of people really don’t know or understand art and rather have something pretty to look at instead of work that engages or questions your world. So why should I care about what they think?

Art is about self expression, so I need to make art that is 100% me, not 90% me and 10% what others want. No one should become a fine artist in hopes of pleasing others, because they will fail in terms of making real art. When you are making art for yourself you never lose interest and always want to be in the studio working.

What is the best advice given to you as an artist?

Mike: I saw an outlaw printmaker and owner of Evil Prints Tom Huck at a printmaking conference and he said something that I needed to hear at that moment and it fits into what I stated earlier. I’m paraphrasing but basically he said that “…those who get your work, will understand it and those who don’t…….. $#@& them. Because no matter what you do those people who don’t like you work will never like it.”

For a young artist at the time it was very freeing and let me do what I wanted and not try to reinvent the wheel that has already been done so many times in art history.

I can imagine it opened the doors to creativity and just expressing yourself more fully, is that right?

Mike: Yes very much so… Many students try too hard to make something unique and something that has never been seen before in the art world, but that is not where a unique style comes from, it comes from taking your likes and experiences and spitting it back out with your vision. Not trying to make something new, it all has been done before. The only thing that is unique and different is you and how you see the world.

Wow, very profound words. Makes a lot of sense to me.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or
to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

Mike: I go to mostly and

Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?

Mike: Don’t do it. Go into another field, but if you are going to go for it and try to make it as an artist, practice every waking minute. It is a brutal and tough field and only the best of the best make it. In fact a lot of those guys still don’t make it.

Pretty sound advice.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

Mike: I have a print in the UMKC National Print Exhibition in Kansas city MO and also one in The Line exhibition at Prescott College in Prescott, AZ.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Mike: Hopefully more prints.

Well thank you, Mike Stephens for sharing yourself and your art with us.

Here is a sample of Mike Stephens work and a little bit about each piece.

Doom-This work is me experimenting and trying to challenge myself in terms of not only technique but also subject matter.

Laughing gull-This is my emotional reaction to a local university that did some shady things in terms of my employment and the lies that were told.

Night of the Blue Hairs- This work is in response to show I had once with a bunch of us younger contemporary artists where a group of older ladies tried and censor the work according to there standards of what is proper art.

Teachers Pet- In this print I’m dealing with the hurdles of teaching and poking fun at myself as well.

Mike Stephens

visit my website at


Art Feature – Art in the City

I am a firm believer to be the best at something you need to surround yourself with others of like minds. I am introducing this new category in my blog to feature artists, groups and anyone who is making difference in the lives of others through art. I will be doing a weekly feature interview and I hope this will add something special in our art community of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Stay tuned!