A Wauwatosa artist whose work has been gaining attention for a couple of years now has one really big-league admirer – Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.
Last year, Braun bought four large-format paintings from Anderson to decorate his California home.
On Saturday, he and girlfriend Larisa Fraser stopped in at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee to pay a visit to his favorite painter as she worked with artist in residence Timothy Westbrook in the hotel's art studio.
Braun and Fraser even cast their votes for Anderson to be the next full-time artist in residence at the Pfister.
Anderson's bold style of abstract painting features riots of color on large canvases. She also paints at the Plaid Tuba art studio in Milwaukee's Third Ward.
Anderson said her introduction to Braun, and his to her, began when she was contacted by the interior design firm decorating Braun's original restaurant downtown. They wanted her to curate displays of original artwork for the restaurant, which she did for a year.
When the restaurant changed management and theme, Anderson said, the new managers discontinued the rotating art gallery concept. But in the meantime, Braun had taken notice.
"I met Ryan through that," Anderson said, "and then his manager contacted me said he wanted to arrange a private showing."
Paintings 'pop' in Malibu sunlight
Braun, after signing an eight-year contract extension with the Brewers, bought an oceanfront house in Malibu, Calif., and had been looking for the right artist to set the tone in his new home.
"He said that the California sun is pretty intense, especially coming right off the ocean," Anderson said. "He told me my large, bright, colorful paintings really pop on the wall."
On Saturday, Anderson said, both Braun and Fraser again complimented her on how good her work looks in the home – "which thrilled me," she said.
Anderson is a longtime Wauwatosa resident and former business owner. She opened and ran the Underwood Gallery at 1430 Underwood Ave. for 10 years, selling jewelry, ceramics and fine art pieces from artists near and far and painting at home as a hobby.
Only a few years ago, Anderson decided to take the plunge and make painting her focus. She sold Underwood Gallery and began exhibiting her own work.
It didn't take long, obviously, for her to make her mark. Her paintings soon were selling for thousands of dollars.
Becoming artist to one of baseball's biggest and most charismatic stars will likely elevate Anderson's reputation even more.
Voting still going on for Pfister position
Anderson last year was the top popular vote-getter for the position of Artist in Residence at the Pfister, but the public's vote only counts as one with a panel of judges. Westbrook was chosen instead, but Anderson is in the running again for 2013.
Votes can be cast by text, tweet or on Facebook, and may be recast once a day in each format:
- Facebook - http://t.co/ssGtGFSR
- Twitter - @poll PAMELAA
- Text - PAMELAA at 22333
The Pfister holds the world's largest hotel-owned collection of Victorian art, and maintains a painting studio for each year's artist in residence where hotel patrons can arrange to watch works in progress.