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Meet Tricia Strickfaden of TS ModernArt Studio in Manhattan Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tricia Strickfaden.

Tricia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Plano, Texas, and moved to the Beach Cities soon after the LA riots. My parents thought I was nuts. After the Northridge earthquake hit, my fiancé, a South Bay native, convinced me not to move back to Texas, that this was life in southern California. So I stayed. I married him and put down roots in the South Bay.

I worked downtown in the commercial interior design industry but didn’t begin painting until after the birth of my daughter. An evening oil painting class at a local community college got me hooked. I then worked in residential interior design for another ten years, while continuing to evolve as an artist and building a following. Living in Manhattan Beach had a great influence on both my abstract landscape series and botanical works. I would draw inspiration from the colors of the ocean and landscape, and interpret them in a modern abstract form on the canvas.

LA’s hip and urban lifestyle would have a huge effect on my more modern art later, translating into the Urban Organics and Black and White series. My personal taste in style and design has evolved over the years as well, and I see that in the work. I am loving the current modern minimalist and mid-century trend in interiors right now, both of which have influenced my newest Urban Organics series. I also develop inspiration from modern artists I follow on social media, for it will spark an idea for a modern shape or color palette.

I like to be creative in the materials I use. Since there’s always a lot of leftover paint from design projects and will use that paint in work. Give it another life. I will prep the canvas with an acrylic medium to provide initial texture. Then I will use the recycled house paints, acrylics, thinned paints, inks, and finally pastels or charcoal to define edges. The Urban Organics work is very labor intensive involving taping off of edges and modern shapes. I will often work on several paintings or collages at once in the studio. As one piece is drying, I’ll hop on to another. Its usually complete chaos in the studio, with never enough space. Someday I’ll have a big barn or warehouse for a studio. That’s the dream.

My work has evolved over the years, starting with modern landscapes and seascapes, to the abstract botanical work to the newest modern Black and Whites and Urban Organics, but all have a common thread. Color palettes inspired by the California lifestyle, organic gestured forms, and a modern minimalistic feel.

I am constantly pushing myself as an artist, trying new approaches, and letting the “happy accidents” happen. Working with the push and pull of design elements and layering of contrasting color palettes is what keeps the work refreshing and real. That’s the process that defines me as an artist.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My biggest struggle throughout my career has been getting enough studio time. Life gets in the way inevitably. Raising two children, and being there for my family has always come first. I wish I would have known that being a full-time artist was my path at an earlier age, before kids. I think I would be at a different place in my career now if that had happened.

What I really need at this point is an assistant to do all of my marketing, social media, handling of sales and orderes, etc. I do it all myself, and I’m terrible at it! Instead of spending so much time on my computer, I should be in the studio!

Please tell us about TS ModernArt Studio.
As a working professional artist, I specialize in modern abstract expressionist art. My paintings are mixed media on canvas, or collage works on paper. I work with galleries, designers, and art dealers all over the country to sell my original paintings and reproduction prints. I have sold select reproduction prints with large retailers such as Williams-Sonoma Home, and wholesale to the design trade. I am currently represented by six galleries across the country that sell and promote the original art. I also sell to private collectors directly from the studio.

I constantly study modern design, color, and art for inspiration my work, which has morphed into my unique style. Clientele who have followed me over the years now recognize that signature in my pieces.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Well, if I could go back knowing what I know now, I would have majored in Fine Art, and attended a university with a larger art program for a broader education. Spent my 20s as a struggling artist. Found my voice in my work at a much earlier age.Contact Info:


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