Holly “Treble” Stigen prefers not to define her art form, but she describes it as abstract, assemblage art bursting with color. Fairly new to the art scene, Stigen, 50, started showing her pieces about 10 years ago when she began experimenting with digital photography alongside her son who was enrolled in a digital photography class.
“Too often people my age are like, ‘Okay, this is what I do,’ and they really hone in on that, and I don’t want to do that, I want to explore everything,” Stigen says. “The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.”
Stigen is currently concentrating on using vinyl records, CDs and other formats of music as a canvas for her art. Stigen begins the process with “photo walks” where she takes pictures that speak to her – examples are flowers, a sunrise and a fire. She then edits the photo to create something the viewer hasn’t seen before. Some techniques she’s used are swirling images and creating a kaleidoscope with her photo editor. Once edited, she glues the image to a CD, using it as the center for her piece. She chooses colors for each piece that complement those in the final photo. With the records, she uses similar color paints and experiments with strokes on the wax as it turns on a turntable.
Stigen grew up playing the flute and with her love for music, she has gained many connections to the music scene, including a performance with Tyler and the Streeters at Mile of Music 6.
“The big idea of what I get inspired by, because I am a musician, is music,” Stigen says. “That’s why my artist name is Treble (as in the Treble Clef) and if you look at my work, it’s evolved into square formats, so I want it to be like an album cover and it’s actually translated into two album covers…My biggest goal is to connect the music side of myself with the art side of myself.”
In addition to the painted records, Stigen’s art is printed on wearables including scarves, handbags, carry-all pouches, skirts and dresses; home decor like wall prints, blankets, pillows, towels and shower curtains; and accessories such as phone cases, watches, pendants and more.
Stigen’s art can be found at Foxley’s Gallery and the Rustic Burrow in downtown Appleton, as well as in the Artiphix art vending machine in the lobby of the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley. She will be featured in Tasting for the Troops, an exclusive tasting event to benefit the Wisconsin Veterans Village Association, Inc., where local Wisconsin veteran art will be on display and auctioned. The event takes place November 7 at Riverview Gardens in Appleton.
To see more of Stigen’s work, visit artbytreble.com.