In The Works

Something to follow the last Minerva Terrace inspired piece.  Way fun!Image



Soooo… It’s been a while.  I’m going to start back from way back when it was Summer and post new stuff too.  At some point I’ll catch up!

First things first.  This was my birthday cake back in August.

I’ve also done a couple new paintings recently.


Different, but I like them and plan on doing more.

Installation Photos, As Promised.

Helloooo and happy Thursday!  Here are some pictures of the collaborative installation Tracy Jones and I put together at Black Cloud.  Stop by and see it if you missed the openings.  It’s open until June 27th, and our NEW gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12-5.

The components of the installation were fabricated from yarn, fabric, cardboard, maps, weird fuzzy spheres Tracy bought, fishing line, embroidery thread (really, any kind of string we could get our hands on), and plenty of straight pins and nails.

Oh!  And underneath this here post, I’ve re-blogged our Black Cloud post featuring pictures from the 2nd Fridays opening.  Take a look-see.

2nd Fridays for Milk, Honey, and a Left Arm


Lauren here!  Feast your eyeballs on these pictures from our June exhibition, ‘Milk, Honey, and a Left Arm.’  I’ve posted more pictures of the collaborative installation on my blog, so head on over if you want a closer look.  Enjoy!






















Check back for sneak peeks and other happenings at the gallery and around our neighborhood.

Ta ta!



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Milk, Honey, and a Left Arm is here!

Hi!  I’m so excited to say my show is finally 2 weeks away!  …And I have a LOT of work to do.  Let’s see – I’ve been speinding a bulk of my free time painting, but I still have two 2′ x 2′ paintings I’d like to have done, and a bunch of smaller ones.  This weekend I plan on finishing up some components for an installation Tracy Jones and I are collaborating on.  I’m excited to see how it comes together!  We’ll start installing next week.

Man, it would be so nice to have the luxury of working on art all day every day.  Grad school?  Maybe someday.  The thought has been in the back of my head for years.  West coast?  Maybe someday.  The thought has been in the back of my head for years.

Here’s a peek of my show that will be up next month.  Hope you can make it!

Milk, Honey, and a Left Arm features works by CJ Hungerman, Tracy Jones, and Black Cloud’s resident artist, Lauren Richards. The concepts of conflict, memory, and personal history are explored through the use of color, pattern, and found elements.Opening Reception: Friday, June 1st, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
2nd Fridays: Friday, June 8th, 6:00 – 10:00 PM

Open during business hours: Friday, June 1st – Wednesday, June 27th

CJ Hungerman
I find that when creating my images, even though they have a whimsical feel to them, they do reflect conflict. All of our lives have struggles internally and externally. I believe that the Random Robots represent my personal pitfalls, conflicts, successes, all running around like little protons, neutrons, and electrons smashing together throughout ourselves, space, and time.

Tracy Jones
Tracy G. Jones trusts art.
Color sets his course, even though it doesn’t tell him where they’re going. Paint drives, often recklessly, swerving and veering, narrowly avoiding ruin. Found objects and memories are always there to bail him out.
Art is not the most predictable of companions. Art isn’t even trustworthy. But Tracy G. Jones has never been locked up or hospitalized because of art, and art is always a good time, so yeah. Tracy G. Jones trusts art.
Maybe art trusts Tracy G. Jones, too.

Lauren Richards
I strive to keep my process spontaneous, youthful, and fresh. With impulse and randomness, mistakes are often made early on. I seek a certain level of precision and have an obsession with hand drawn perfection. Fears of creating contrived paintings cause me to make decisions that force me out of my comfort zone. Mistakes are corrected by straightening lines, covering them with collage, or blocking them out altogether. An initial problem is sometimes covered by a past error, only if it is the right solution. For me, spontaneity and a youthful approach to painting are key.

CJ Hungerman – Bot Bangers
Tracy Jones – Dumbass
Lauren Richards – One for Two (recognize this?!)
Please visit and join the Facebook event.



Black Cloud Gallery is proud to present Embody. Paintings by Jennifer Cronin, Black Cloud’s Resident Artist Matt Maniscalco, and Ian Mitchell Wallace will be on display throughout the month of April. All three artists offer various takes on contemporary figure painting.

Featured in New American Paintings, Jennifer Cronin’s most recent work is about personal fantasy and escape amidst everyday experience. Her large scale oil paintings are re imaginations of everyday life, based on often small, seemingly insignificant frustrations. They are about what a mind does with what it is given.

In contrast to Jennifer’s cerebral take on figure painting, Matt Maniscalco’s paintings of DIY punk/hardcore shows display physicality and chaos. The unrelenting energy and emotion that circulates during these performances informs Maniscalco’s paintings. Geometric shapes, places, and colors disrupt the background scenes and provoke as sense of tranquility. The two subjects within each painting compete for the viewer’s attention while…

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New Year New You

…This is what I kept (drunkenly) repeating on New Years Eve, and I’m pretty sure it’s happening in all the best ways.  It sort of took me a while to feel like I’ve been making changes or accomplishing anything because I was so focused on finding a job.  Looking back though, I think I did a HECK of a lot of work!  To sum things up, in the past year I’ve become part owner of a gallery, curated two awesome looking shows there, completed an internship at a pretty cool print shop, ran two half-marathons, launched this here blog, and FINALLY received a job in the city. Not too shabby, eh?  It feels good to look back, and I like it.

I have a feeling some BIG changes will happen once I get in the swing of things at the new job, and once my future roommate Caitlin comes back to the Land of Lincoln.  …She’s in Colorado ’til the end of her school year.  Just wait… You’ll be hearing about some future projects we have planned.  Can. Not. Wait. for things to get rolling.

Is winter gone for real?

I’m posting for the first time in a while.  …It’s been so nice outside lately it’s been hard for me to sit down at my computer and put something together!
These are my plants that have been growing like crazy.
I’ve always liked succulents, so I finally started keeping some around.
The San Francisco based blog, Far Out Flora, features garden-centric DIY projects.  If you’re handy with a hammer, drill, and saw (or can recruit some help that is), you can tackle any of their projects.  Check out this awesome succulent table with an insert in the center for plants!  They have step by step directions on how to build your own.  I’ll get around to it someday.  But I’d want to build it coffee table sized!

The nice weather has also allowed me to take Gidget and Hugo out!  Here’s a video of them (mostly Gidget) playing fetch.  Hugo was tired by the time we (the boyfriend and I) even got to the field.  Maybe it was the weight of all of that hair!

I’ve also been working on paintings for my show in June.  …I’m not particularly thrilled with this one so far, but I seem to come to a similar point in every painting.  I want to do something to fix or minimize that ugly striped cardboard triangle and the shape to the left of it.

One for Three, Mixed media, 24" x 24", 2012

One for Three, Detail

This is my favorite part.  I cut up some old drawings and collaged them on to the panel.  For some reason I’ve been relying more on black and white to create drama instead of loud color combos.  Maybe while I prepare for June I’ll find a good/better way to combine both.

Ta ta for now!

Frame Building 201 . . . We’re not taking the easy route.

I promised pictures of the frame-making process, so here they are.  But first, let me introduce you to Sasha.  She’s my friend’s roommate’s dog, and she’s awesome!
Okay, here’s how I made my frames, step by step.

First, I glued and nailed L-shaped trim to a 1"x3" piece of lumber. *Note- Make sure the nails you're using don't poke through either side, otherwise they'll be sticking out of your frame, or won't allow the panel to sit flat on the inside of the trim.

Notice the painted wood. This is the trim that overlaps the very outside edges of the painting. The 1"x3" lumber is right on top of it, so it covers the sides of the panel. I cut the pieces at 45 degree angles, created the frame, fit the panel inside, then nailed the frame to the panel. The 45 degree cuts make the corners look neater and more precise.

After I attached the frame to the panel, I filled in the seam between the L-shaped trim and the 1"x3" with wood filler and sanded it down. Twice.

...Painted it... I stuck paper underneath the trim that fits over the edges of the painting so I didn't get any on the panel. 'Douchebag' glass with drink of choice is necessary to create a good frame.

And now it looks like this!

I made a few/a ton of mistakes along the way.  My best advice… Make sure you KNOW you’re attaching the right pieces and cutting things at the right angles.  I accidentally used a piece that I cut about 1/4″ too short.  I left the good one on a table to take pictures of it for my blog!  Anyway, I was able to hammer out the bad piece and insert the correct one so my panel fit inside the frame.  Whew.  Also, don’t be afraid to draw on the trim if you have trouble remembering what angle to cut at.  You can always erase pencil, or just paint right over it.  I feel like if I can do this, anyone can.  On the real!

I also took some pictures of a small painting today.  This big guy kept getting in my way though.

Mr. Hugo Bigman

That’s one of my dogs, Hugo.  He’s half poodle half golden retriever and the biggest doofus ever.  You’ll probably see pictures of my other dog Gidget sometime in the near future.  Anyway, here’s that painting.


WAIT, that’s not it!  DECKED was AWESOME!  We had the Opening Reception this past Friday.  If you couldn’t make it out, we’ll be open for 2nd Fridays on March 9th from 6-10.  I’ll post pictures after this Friday’s event.

That’s it for now!  Get out there and make some frames, people!