“That’s where I started to really love art. I love portraits and the human form, especially the human face,” Veith says. “The human face can really tell a story. With portraits, the eyes are what unlock the soul of the painting.”
Throughout high school, Veith was commissioned to paint portraits and create other works of art. After graduating from Waukesha North High School in 2004, Veith entered an artistic dry spell, not creating anything for nearly five years. Veith relocated to Appleton in 2006 and eventually found her way back to art through crocheting.
“It always goes through phases with me. In winter, I crochet more. In the summer, I do more paintings,” she says. “It really depends on what people want. Then I try to find time to paint what I want.”
Veith attended UW-Fox Valley for art education. She’s received numerous accolades for her work, including the Online Viewer’s Choice Award at Tundraland’s Windows for a Cause fundraiser for her “Fox and Marigolds” window painting. She also received a year’s supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for her painting “Crushin’ It” in art contest hosted by Jim’s Place in Appleton. Currently she is working through an art challenge where she paints one small portrait a day for 100 days.
“When I’m painting, it’s like I’m telling a story with the paintbrush,” she says. “The thoughts and feelings I have while I’m painting remain with me when I’m done.”
When creating a portrait, Veith often works from photographs and is most attracted to images that feature subjects existing within a confined, boxed-in space.
“With artists, I’ve noticed their painting process often reflects their personality. I sometimes feel trapped by a photograph, where I have to do exactly what is in the picture, like I’m trapped in the box I’ve made for myself,” she says. “But it’s okay to step out of that and put in what I feel should be there. That’s something I’m always working on – that it’s okay to be an original thinker.”
Many of Veith’s portraits take a comical perspective on the human experience. In her self portrait “Miss Wisconsin,” Veith is portrayed as an evening gown and tiara-clad beauty queen, standing in a messy kitchen wearing rubber dish gloves. Another portrait depicts her husband using the bathroom.
“I just want people to have fun,” Veith says. “I feel my stuff has a lot of humor in it and that’s really important. My goal for art is to make people smile.”
To see more of Abigale’s work, visit her on Facebook at Van Damaged Goods. Abigale will also be displaying work at FOX CITIES Magazine’s booth at Art On the Town on July 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the College Avenue Parklet Place next to Copper Rock Coffee Co.