Susan Shorter

“Paint what makes you happy, and if it makes you happy, someone else is bound to like it, too.”

Those powerful words helped inspire Susan Shorter to stop struggling to please her professors and follow her passion of creating fantasy art, art that tells a story or makes you wonder about the character/story behind the piece. “Some might find it cliché to want to paint fairies and mermaids, but it makes me happy. I love to create beautiful, colorful things that can take me to another place, and at the end of the day, I’m pleased with that. I love to play with color and lighting, and I just love to work from the human form. Lately, I have been drawn to drawing elderly people; there is so much story etched in the wrinkle patterns on their faces.”

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Susan is no stranger to the world of art. Her mom put her in her first gallery show when she was only three years old and she won the children’s competition (and she still has the tiny award). After that, she never stopped drawing. In high school, Susan started driving up to Indianapolis to take Saturday courses at Herron. After high school, she moved on to enroll in Ball State’s art program, but after three semesters, she transferred to The Herron School of Art. She received her BFA from Herron in 2004.

Susan recently wrapped up a show in August at the Harrison Center for the Arts. They had raw paintings and drawings she created for her book “Incredible Pebbles” on display. She also has work for sale at Blue Moon Gifts in Brazil, IN. Coming up in November, Susan will be showing in the Flashlight Gallery at the Waldron Center in Bloomington, IN. Working on her fantasy art and fine art painting that she loves isn’t her full-time job, although she has a small studio at home where she can work on these things. During the day, she is a staff illustrator for Author Solutions in Bloomington, IN, primarily working on children’s book illustrations, of which she’s done over 250 so far. She also creates paintings and custom artwork for the covers of novels the company publishes. As if that isn’t enough, Susan has written and illustrated two children’s books of her own, titled “It’s a Muddy World” and “Incredible Pebbles.”

This isn’t Susan’s first time showing her work at ORANJE, but the last time she was a participant was 2006. “In 2006, I was a recent grad and totally green to the world of showing your art. It was an amazing experience! I was so grateful to be a part of this amazing group of artists and a part of an event that was such a powerful display of creativity, it was an education, a confidence-builder and I still have the friends and fans I made that night in my life.”

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At her booth, you can expect to see a wide variety of Susan’s pieces, ranging from large fantasy paintings, figurative drawings and abstract art to signed copies of her children’s books. She’ll have both originals and prints available and will be doing quick, sketchy 10-minute portraits for $10. So what is she excited for about ORANJE 2013? “Variety, creativity, excitement and just a good ole’ time! I know a few of the artists involved and there is so much awesomeness in store for the people that are coming!”

Don’t miss out on seeing Susan Shorter on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Caren Charles

Although Caren Charles has always appreciated the arts and enjoyed working with her hands, it wasn’t until about three or four years ago that she discovered her natural free-flow talent as an artist. Through this, she realized that her greatest dream is to become a successful artist.

Charles attended Indiana University, getting her BA in Fine Arts, where she developed fundamental skills in drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking and graphic design. Her current work is comprised of paintings, her favorites being made with ink, watercolor and acrylic paints. “I would describe my art as abstract, bright, positive and transcendent. Each painting is very detail-oriented with line work that is easy to get lost in. Sometimes I will have an idea of what the basic form will be in the end, but most of the time I like to let the painting reveal itself throughout the process.”

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Drawing inspiration from the natural flow of everyday life and the process of creation, Charles lets her subconscious take over, allowing her artistic intuition lead the way. “Growing as an artist is a process, where trying new things and taking risks is key. I want to continue to explore new media to keep things fresh and incorporate more messages behind my artwork. We, as artists, have the ability to share our ideas through our craft and make statements that will be remembered forever, so it is important to take advantage of that gift.”

Charles works on her art full-time in Carmel, also working on freelance graphic design projects for clients who need logo designs, show posters, album covers and more. She has also recently started working at a custom frame shop by the Design Center in downtown Carmel. Charles had her first art show in downtown Indianapolis in April, and since then has been bringing her art to several art and music festivals such as Good People Good Times Festival in Nashville, IN. She also travels with funk/rock band The Main Squeeze, sharing her art at their shows across the country.

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This will be Charles’ first year participating in ORANJE. Her paintings are mood-lifting, lively, energetic, soothing and therapeutic. Eyes are incorporated everywhere throughout her collection, giving a living quality to her creations. Several of them have no set orientation, so when rotated, each view presents a new, unique way of looking at it. For example, in her painting titled “Imagine,” you can discover many hidden faces, animals, plants and not to mention the word “imagine” incorporated in the design. Her intention was to get the viewers’ creative juices going and invite them to let their imagination flow when interpreting the pieces.

 

So what is Charles looking forward to during her first ORANJE? “I’m excited to share my art with as many people as possible! Seeing the originals in person versus images online is a completely different experience. I love showing people all of the hidden things they can find in my paintings and seeing people’s reaction to the art. I will also most likely be body painting people, so everyone should definitely come by and visit me!”

You can find her on Etsy and Facebook, and make sure to stop by her booth on October 12!

 

Stella Brickel

You could say that art is simply in Stella Brickel’s blood, and that she can’t survive without it.

Coming from a family that shares a passion for art, design and fashion (her father is a wood worker and artist), Brickel has always loved to draw. With plans to go to school for art, her life took a different direction as she focused on a General Studies degree, worked full-time and served in the Army Reserves. She eventually started working as the Coordinator of Staff and Environmental Development at Outside the Box, an organization that provides day, employment and art services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It was at this time that her creativity really picked up.

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Brickel met Lauren Church and Kate Wagner (former ORANJE participant) at the art studio at Outside the Box and fell in love with everything they were doing, so she picked up a paintbrush and started painting. With no former painting experience, Wagner and Church gave her pointers and tips to help Brickel develop her art and technique. Ever since then, Brickel hasn’t stopped creating. “I don’t feel like a whole person if I don’t draw, paint or do something creative,” she said.

Brickel’s artwork can’t be put into a box or specific genre, and she doesn’t use specific techniques or materials. But if there’s one word to describe what she does, it’s funky!  ”I really enjoy painting, creating jewelry and drawing. My paintings are vibrant and playful; I love colors…bright colors! I do like to incorporate texture into most of my pieces, but some have none. I use collage from time to time as well. All of my most recent drawings are created with black ink and are sort of doodles. I also create wearable art from recycled paper products and other materials…some old, some new.”

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Brickel’s jewelry (starting at $25) has been shown at the Chicago open air artisan market early this Spring. Although she has an Etsy site, she’s somewhat computer-challenged so she shows her pieces in her home or others’ homes. ORANJE will be her first “official” art show. “I have been to ORANJE as an observer and it was so cool. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be on the other side of things. The event is so alive and the place is teeming with talent. If you have not ever been exposed to art, this is a great first event to attend because it has such a fun, party-time atmosphere. People should come to my booth because I am totally new to the scene. I don’t want to give too much away, but I am planning a pretty kick-ass display as well!”

Come look for Brickel’s booth on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Justin Vining

If you live, work or play in Broad Ripple, you’ve probably walked past Justin Vining’s studio at one point or another or even been greeted by his dog hanging out on the front porch. You can usually find him inside working on new pieces surrounded by colorful walls covered from floor to ceiling with an impressive art collection.

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For those of you who haven’t seen Vining’s work, his watercolors and acrylic paintings can be described as looking similar to Tim Burton or Dr. Seuss landscapes. Vining’s interest in art goes back to high school when he took an art class as an elective, which sparked his interest in the subject. This interest stuck through his time at Purdue and his teaching career at Maple Ridge, but it was at the end of his first semester at Valpo Law that Vining’s true talent emerged. He picked up a paint brush and began to paint a series of work that was much stronger than what he had previously done. Vining went on to graduate and pass the Indiana Bar Exam, but he has continued to focus on creating art full-time.

This will be Vining’s third year as an ORANJE participant. “One of the things I love most about ORANJE is the variety of artists represented each year,” he said. “If you have experienced ORANJE, you know what I mean. If not, I high recommend coming this year!”

So where does Vining get his inspiration for the whimsical landscapes he creates? He credits three main influences: growing up on a farm, the creative minds of his former students and the artists that Vining admires and pays tribute to in his work. Some of those artists include painter/muralist Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood (best known for his American Gothic painting) and visual artist Andrew Wyeth. A little known fact about Vining is that he is an avid chess player, which is where the checkerboard pattern comes from that is frequently found in his work.

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With hopes of one day being able to see his work in museums, Vining shows his pieces in Indianapolis at a variety of First Friday venues, including the Upland Propaganda Room and New Day Meadery, and art shows such as Penrod and Broad Ripple Art Fair. “ORANJE is a show that encourages artists to push their limits, be experimental and create an experience for those attending, so I look forward to creating a booth that is not just geared towards selling work but people can interact with it in some way,” said Vining. “The show is months away and I am already planning my booth. I look forward to seeing it come together during the final week leading up to the show.”

Want to see a little more of Justin Vining before October 12? You can keep up with him on his webpage, Facebook and Twitter!