Salvation Army Milwaukee's Art of the Red Kettle

The Art of the Red Kettle is a new initiative from The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County Cold Spring. Ten local artists including myself have been selected to transform 10 of their iconic red kettles by painting them with a unique design. The kettles will be on display at select locations throughout the county between November 9 and December 24.

Prizes will be awarded based on Most Creative, Most Funds Raised and Most Social Media Likes. The goal of the contest is to help The Salvation Army raise funds for its 2018 Red Kettle Campaign which supports over 80 programs in the Milwaukee Community.

To vote for your favorite kettle, visit the Salvation Army Milwaukee Cold Spring Facebook page and go to the post with all of the kettles (pinned to the top of their page). Click “like” on your favorite, that counts as a vote!

On their page, you’ll also find the calendar of where the kettles will be displayed over the next month and a half.

If you are interested in supporting your favorite kettle, starting November 9th you'll be able to visit or text KETTLEART to 51555 to donate to your favorite kettle.

Here’s some progress shots of my kettle! As well as a little write up about it. Here

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put back in order."

This quote by John Burroughs couldn't be more true. Sometimes the business of our all-too-rambunctious lives leaves us all out of sorts! The constant go-go-go is exhuasting and totally draining.. Amiright?! These past two months have certainly been this way for me which made a little escape to the mountains the perfect therapy.

My husband, Ethan, and I just took a trip out to Colorado and California. We got some serious hiking in and it was so rejuvinating! To be outside, sun sinking into your skin, nature singing at me from all directions- glorious. Getting away made me realize that my creativity at home was lacking..BIG time. Which, if you're in the creative business, is kind of a problem. I've been so run down with cramming every little thing into each day that I didn't even realize it was hurting my creative ME-ness and productivity. If that makes sense... 

I brought our camera along and took all sorts of photos- color schemes that caught my eye or scenes that just screamed- PAINT ME!  Getting away from your usual day-to-day life, even if it's just a short little walk in the park for fresh air, can really reset your system and get you back on track. Since I've been home, all I want to do is start painting!

Whatever your outlet is, be sure to make time for it so that you keep yourself sane! 

Here's some of the inspiration I found on our trip. Time to get painting! 

"Near and Dear" Series

As Wisconsin winter drudges on I find it extremely difficult to motivate myself to create. The lack of sunshine, layers of down jackets, along with lifeless surroundings can make for an uninspiring palette and even worse mood! Having grown up in the beautiful sunshiney state of California, my childhood surroundings played a pivotal role in what my adult self values most. I long for sunshine, hikes in the mountains, the ocean air, and the fresh smell of the earth as the fog's dewdrops evaporate. I miss the way the sunlight descends over the hills at sunset creating gorgeous hues of purple, and the stark contrast of the oak trees against the dried summer grasses. I have always been a keen observer of nature, often taking pleasure in the tiniest things that are otherwise overlooked and I crave being outside. My childhood was spoiled with activities being outdoors all year round which fostered my love of CA and the beauty it holds.

While I really enjoy the Midwest the rest of the year, winter brings out my longing for the West Coast. I often find myself daydreaming about my next California excursion (June 2018! TBD).   A couple months ago, after the craziness of Christmas commissions and events came to an end, I was feeling mopey and down about my drive as an artist. I withdrew from creative endeavors and was feeling sorry for myself. As an artist, this is the worst because the desire to create is still there, but the ideas are not. That attitude was driving me crazy so I decided to start a new series. It had to be something I loved that would get me through the rut of these dark months! Almost immediately I decided on CA memories, and came up with a list of my favorite places. It was easy for me to start painting again and so off I went with this new series, "Near and Dear." I've completed a few and am feeling a bit more optimistic. It is easy to creative when the subject is something close to your heart. 

Here's what I've done so far. I will keep you posted as I go! Thanks for reading!

Any other artists have advice for getting through the winter blues? 

China Cove - Katie Geis
California Mustard Fields - Katie Geis
Daley Ranch at Dusk - Katie Geis

Greendale's Fall Gallery Night

It's that time of year again! Fall Gallery Night in Greendale is next Friday, September 15th! There will be tons of artists, food trucks, and live music! Please come out and visit me at Belle et Vieille! I will have prints and originals for sale! If you know of a print you would like, please let me know so that I can have some available.

I hope to see familiar faces!!! <3


Live Event Painting

Happy Spring to all of my dear followers!

With the sun shining longer, and the green buds starting to show, our world becomes a much happier place! For myself, I know warmer weather is on the way when I start getting the urge to paint all things Spring, and happy, and love!

That being said, I want to tell you about something I've recently begun to offer! Live event paintings! With wedding season ramping up, this is the perfect idea for those of you who want something unique for your special day!

In a nutshell, I show up to your wedding, paints and easel in hand, and capture the scene! Live event painting is growing in popularity for brides since it is so unique and it provides the couple with a life-long memento of their wedding day. Guests absolutely love to watch and it gives them a little break from the dance floor. Don't want me to paint at your wedding but still want some artwork? I also offer commissioned paintings from wedding photos, bride's bouquet, wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, and am open to any ideas you may have! 

You can find more info under the offerings tab. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions! Happy planning! 

Garden Party at Governor's Residence

The Annual Garden Party at the Wisconsin Governor's Residence was such a blast!  I painted the grounds looking out over beautiful Lake Mendota with the capitol in the skyline. That was auctioned off to raise funds for renovations on the residence.  Along with that piece, I also painted the gazebo on their grounds...that piece was turned into prints and given as gifts from Tonette Walker to all the ladies.  Both were a huge hit!  I am excited to be producing some more projects for them in the near future. Stay tuned!  

RAW Art Show

Thank you to RAW Artists, an organization dedicated for emerging artists. My show went amazing and I am so thankful for all the support from my followers.  I sold some of my favorite pieces and many prints. One guy even bought three pieces that he hopes to pass on to his children some day.  


I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to support a great cause. The JDRF held their annual gala at the Pfister, downtown Milwaukee. I was given 90 minutes to complete a painting of the 1920s-themed event. Many guests were painted into the image upon request, including the sweet couple who won this piece. Combined, my live-event painting and Old World Third Street piece helped raise over a thousand dollars, and together, the event raised over three-hundred thousand towards childhood diabetes research!  Hopefully the money raised will help aid the race to finding a cure for T1D. 


I'm very excited to announce that I will be the featured live-event artist at this year's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Gala at the Pfister, downtown Milwaukee. I am honored to be able to donate a piece of my own, as well as the painting done that night. Both will be auctioned off and the money goes to support JDRF.  The theme is 1920's, so I am really looking forward to all those fun flapper dresses!  The piece I selected to donate is well-known to many Milwaukee natives.  "Old World Third Street," located in downtown Milwaukee, where you can find hometown brews, great food, and a fun time! 

I go nuts for Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again!!! Aside from Christmas, Valentine's Day is my FAVORITE. February is undoubtedly the most dreary month of the year, which is why this wonderful holiday is right smack in the middle of it. Whether it be shared with your other half, your family, or yourself and everything fuzzy and comfy and yummy, it's special!

My mom started a little tradition of surprising us three girls with a treat on the kitchen table in the morning before school. Usually it was a jewelry item, candy, and a card. She always spent extra time picking out the most meaningful and artsy cards. It meant a lot to us.  This may explain why I go nutter for Valentines...or because I liked giving them to my secret crushes..  I love getting them and I love giving them!  It's nice to have a little pick-me-up during the winter, and also show someone you're thinking of them...Valentine's Day or not.  Feeling crafty? Make some Valentine's for the special people in your life. Not that creative? Just a simple note can make someone's week. :)

California Foothills

One of my favorite memories of growing up in California were the foothills. So much time was spent playing chase, building forts, and roaming all over them. In the summer they are usually all browns and yellows, except for that magic hour at sunset when they bring out beautiful colors and shadows. My goal was to paint my perspective of this and bring out what I see. 


Happy Thanksgiving friends!

I hope you have all had a wonderful time with family, friends, and pets celebrating what you're grateful for and enjoying traditions. This Thanksgiving, and every day, I am grateful for my God, family, kittens, food on my table, and colors to paint with! What are you thankful for?  

One of my favorite color-combination paintings. Colors are so fun!  

One of my favorite color-combination paintings. Colors are so fun!  

My hubby and I. 💕 

My hubby and I. 💕