Artist Spotlight: Kristen Neufelder

Artist Kristen Neufelder officially began her life as an artist back in elementary school, perfecting how to draw cats with pupil-less eyes and horses with backs so elongated that 20 people could fit comfortably on their backs. Equipped with her Ranger Rick magazines and How To Draw Horses books, she began to develop her animal drawing skills. Throughout middle and high school, she began to further broaden her skills and grew her subject base to include human figures and landscapes. By the end of high school, she had discovered a love of oil painting, committing herself to pursue that passion in college.

Artist photo

After two years in art school working towards a Bachelors in painting, she began to get burnt out and craved using the non-creative side of her brain. Eventually, Kristen changed her major to psychology and took a break from all artistic pursuits. After a two year “artistic drought,” she began to refocus on painting as a hobby. She experimented with subjects and styles that had real meaning to her, and it was then that her artistic style emerged.

Today, Kristen has expanded her painting business to include design, photography and videography. She owns a business called enCompass Studio doing everything from wedding photography to senior videos to website design along with oil painting. She is also currently in graduate school pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. “I enjoy the balance of pursuing my creative passions along with my passion for helping others,” she said.

Kristen’s oil paintings are comprised of layers and layers of paint that have been splattered and dripped onto canvas utilizing a variety of techniques. The background is then filled with animal images, her favorites being wolves and lions. These more detailed animal images are painted in a transparent manner, allowing the background paint layers to still show through. Some paintings are finished off with a mountainous or forested landscape painted in this same transparent manner.

Painting 1 sample

You can tell from looking at Kristen’s work that she is inspired by western motifs and color schemes, finding inspiration in wild animals and Native American culture. “I’ve grown up fascinated with Native American culture and spirituality, and it’s always guided me along in the creative process. A lot of my symbolism and themes relate back to Native American influence. Along with finding inspiration in wild animals and Native American culture, I love horoscopes, zodiac signs, constellations and star charts. Cave art, in all its simplicity and beauty, has always spoken to me on an artistic level. I love stories, storytelling, symbolism and finding meaning in the mundane, and that’s the direction the inspiration for my paintings have been taking me in lately.”

Painting 2 sample

ORANJE will be a new experience for Kristen, who has been involved in two RAW: Natural Born Artists showcases here in Indianapolis as well as various First Fridays at the Historic Irving Theater on Indy’s eastside. ”This is my first year at ORANJE and I’m honored to have been given this opportunity! I’m most excited to get to show off all my hard work to individuals who haven’t yet had a chance to check out my paintings. ORANJE is such an amazing opportunity to check out what local artists and musicians have been up to, that people should definitely come check it out.”

Make sure to check out Kristen’s booth, where she will have an interactive piece that will allow attendees a hands-on chance to get involved in what she does. “I would love for as many people to get to participate with it as possible!”

You can keep up with Kristen at her website, Facebook page and on Twitter. Stop by and see her on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Homeless Cop

If you watch Adult Swim, you might have already seen some work by Homeless Cop. This Indy artist by way of Chicago has created 11 animations that are now airing and a billboard that has its own time lapse video online.

Jason Fennell, the man behind Homeless Cop, is an oil painter that also dabbles with drawing, design work, t-shirt designs and making cartoons and music videos. Although he’s never been homeless or a cop, he put the two words together to create a memorable name and hopes to one day have a food truck to give away soup to the homeless and veterans.

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Originally from St. Louis, he has lived in Chicago for the last 12 years and recently moved to downtown Indy. He used to play drums in hip hop, funk and art metal bands, always making the flyers. Skateboard graphics and t-shirts caught his eye and he began making his own shirts, which led him to deciding to paint. “Actually, the movie Basquait was, and is, a big influence on me. I paint like I draw, and I make what I like, so that’s where I’m at today. Living the life and working at my art so when I’m dead it can live on around the world.”

His colorful and crispy creations have been featured at an art show in The Foundation Room at the House of Blues Chicago, and until recently has been in a downtown Chicago coffee shop called Dollop. Not to mention that some really cool guys such as Rainn Wilson, Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker and John C. Reilly all own work by Homeless Cop. “I live the life of an artist; I make art and I’m not concerned at all about paying my bills,” said Fennell. “Life isn’t hard. I do help out occasionally at my friend’s painting company because I’ve always liked painting and it’s cool to hang out with friends, listening to music and talking all day.”

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This will be Fennell’s first year as an ORANJE participant, and he promises to have a booth that kicks ass. “My art will be there doing it’s thing. I think it’s honest and it’s real, and I’m hoping it has a positive effect on people. I’ll probably have my cartoons and music videos playing on a loop. From what I can tell, ORANJE is going to be a great event with a lot of creative people, so I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m pretty sure I’ll have fun, ORANJE-style.”

You can keep up with Homeless Cop’s work on Facebook, Twitter and his website. Make sure to stop by his booth on October 12!