Todd Mrozinski – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Matt Drinking Water. Oil on canvas. 2014©. 16" x 20"

Matt Drinking Water. Oil on canvas. 2014©.       16″ x 20″

Briefly describe the work you do.

I am a painter of shadows, clothing, personality, place and light. My work is a reflection of my life and the people in it. The paintings are made by following inspiration and by being open to what the present moment has to offer. The work often develops in series, spontaneously, depending on the people I meet and the movement of the sun.  

At what point I your life did you want to become an artist?

 I have always been an artist.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I was raised Catholic, my dad was a former priest and continued to work as a director of religious education after he married and until he retired, so the church was my playground while growing up. Incense, stained glass and ritual were a normal part of life. 

Painting is my ritual now. When I am able to be wholly present with the person, the painting, the paint, the shadow or article of clothing, sacred space is created. It feels like I am honoring the person who the painting is a symbol of through being present in its making. 

The creative process is magical, by using tools, colored mud is spread on a piece of fabric and is transformed into a living organism that is able to move us and communicate to us at unspeakable levels over generations and across continents. I am continuously amazed at the transformative power of art.  

Working in Studio on Tree Shadow

Working in Studio on Tree Shadow

What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?

The only conceptual concern I have is that my mind, worry or doubt gets in the way of the free flow of inspiration that is continuously present and available.

We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?

I think the best Chuck Close paintings are the most inspired ones. You can see it in the liveliness of his touch and beauty of his shapes. Inspired… in spirit, in “the zone”. That is where I want to be in my work, when I am in the zone, the momentum of the work leads and I follow. Then the work is play and 12 hours feels like 20 minutes. 

The Untangler. Oil on canvas. 2014©. 16" x 20"

The Untangler. Oil on canvas. 2014©. 16″ x 20″

What artists living or non-living influence your work? 

Velazquez, Rembrandt, Joan Mitchell, Richard Diebenkorn, Carl von Marr, Della Wells, Giorgio Morandi, Peter Doig, Goya, Arthur Thrall, Alice Neel, Clifford Still, Seurat’s drawings, the list continues… my friends who’s art I surround myself with and my wife, who I share a studio and am in continuous visual dialogue with.

When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?

I enjoy spending time with my daughter and friends, meditation, tending the house plants, observing nature, listening to amazing music, eating wonderful food, talking to the neighbors and teaching in-studio painting classes. 


HeadshotBorn in Rensselaer, IN in 1974, Todd Mrozinski has loved to paint for as long as he can remember. He acquired his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1997 and in 1996 attended The New York Studio Program. He has been in solo and group exhibitions nationwide and his work is in various public and private collections. By focusing on two main areas, shadows and clothing, he explores the power of a subject’s presence through its absence. Meditation and contemplation as well as following inspiration and free flowing expression are essential to his working practice. Todd sees and shares the beauty and illumination of light and personality through drips and skeins and piles of paint. He and his wife, Renee Bebeau, have a studio in The Nut Factory, Riverwest, WI, where they offer art classes and workshops. He is currently represented by Woodman/Shimko Gallery, Palm Springs, CA.        

A favorite studio spot on the roof

A favorite studio spot on the roof

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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