Caitlin Lodato’s work is mostly oil and acrylic painting but some of her commissioned work is also pencil drawing. Her grandma (Claire S.Braun) was an artist. Caitlin started showing and selling her work with her grandma and their local art groups while Caitlin was still in high school. Caitlin’s grandmother always encouraged her to pursue her dream of being a full-time artist. Caitlin Lodato started doing life drawing classes at Joe Kubert’s while in high school and she studied Art and Education in college. Caitlin went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree and multiple certifications in Art and Education. While teaching, Caitlin opened a small art business (Hazy Moon Studios), doing local shows and commissions in her free time. Caitlin left teaching in 2014 to focus more on her business and her growing family. While much of her work is commissioned, Caitlin says she is trying to move towards doing more shows and selling more original paintings.
Q: What town do you live in? Where is your studio/place of work?
Q: What kind of art do you create/what do you do in the arts?
A: My work is mostly oil and acrylic painting but some of my commissioned work is also pencil drawing.
Q: What is your art background/education/
A: My Grandma (Claire S.Braun) was an artist and I started showing and selling my work with her and some of our local art groups while still in high school. She always encouraged me to pursue my dream of being a full time artist. I started doing life drawing classes at Joe Kubert’s while in high school and studied Art and Education in college. I went on to earn my Bachelor’s degree and multiple certifications in Art and Education. While teaching, I opened my small art business (Hazy Moon Studios), doing local shows and commissions in my free time. I left teaching in 2014 to focus more on my business and family. While much of my work is commissioned, I’m trying to move towards doing more shows and selling more original paintings.
Q: How do you balance your time in the studio/in the workplace with other commitments?
A: Honestly, I don’t balance it well! It’s one of the hardest things for me. I always feel guilty if I spend a day painting instead of doing something with my kids! I think all moms know that “mom guilt” feeling of trying to balance career and kid stuff! My Mom is actually my biggest helper in trying to balance it all. She usually will take my 3 year old on an adventure day with Grandma once a week, so I can have a few uninterrupted hours to paint. I also try to paint at night, once everyone is asleep but sometimes it’s hard for me to get the creative juices flowing after a long day!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My current painting collection is all about painting the light, specifically in landscapes. I’m also working on a series of oil paintings about the unseen side of motherhood.
Q: Has your practice changed over time? Why/How?
A: Yes, for sure! When I first started painting, I was drawing with my paintbrush, focused on every detail looking like a photo. While much of my commissioned work still requires this skill, my passion is painting in a much looser stroke style with layers and layers of color and texture.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being in the arts? Least favorite?
A: My favorite thing is the satisfaction of completing a painting that I love and feel proud of. The process is therapeutic. It's exciting with the ups and downs of trying to figure out how to get what is swirling around in my mind onto a canvas.
It’s also my least favorite thing if I can’t translate it, if it doesn’t turn out the way I want and have to abandon an idea. Eventually, I learn from those failures, or turn them into something else, but that initial failure can be very disheartening.
Q: What inspires you? Who are your favorite artists/ artwork? Favorite museum/ gallery (outside of Morris County
A: I’ve always loved Impressionism. My favorite artists typically fall in that category. I think Mary Cassatt is my current favorite. I’m in awe of the way she captures the intimate moments of motherhood in just a simple expression. In my college days, I was drawn to her because of her role with the Impressionists, being one of the only women, and an American from Pennsylvania. In recent years, I have a new appreciation for her work as I’ve experienced so many of the motherhood moments, depicted in her paintings.
I love the Newark museum, it has a beautiful collection of early American landscapes.
Q: What are a few of your big artistic career goals? What is your dream project?
A: My artistic goals are to show and sell my work in more galleries and local venues.
My dream project is to someday expand and franchise my art business. To have multiple studios and represent a small group of artists.
Q: How do you stay connected and up to date with the art world?
A: Mostly through social media, and the art groups I belong to.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you've been given? What advice do you have to give to other artists?
A: The best advice, which I would also pass along to other artists is to just paint what you love! Whatever it is that sparks your fire, that makes you excited to pick up your brush, that’s what you should be painting!
Q: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
A: I love when someone connects with a painting and they share a story about a place that my painting reminds them of, a camp they went to when their kids were little, or the view from their uncle’s cabin where they vacationed…etc. Its such a rewarding feeling to know I’ve created something that transports them to a special memory or happy place!
Q: When you are working through problems in your arts practice, who do you talk to? What is the best piece of advice you've been given? What advice do you have to give other artists?
A: My grandmother was my artistic mentor. We critiqued each other’s work up until the last few months of her life. We had our last show together at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum that year, 2015. Since her passing, I rely on my husband. He is also a creative person, a talented musician, writer and builder….but most importantly he’s a dreamer and can easily get lost in a creative idea with me. Which sometimes solves whatever problem I’m working through, or creates a whole new one lol! I have a few artist friends that I bounce ideas off of too.
Q: What do you want others to know about your art practice/artistic themes/stylistic choices/materials you use?
A: My preferred medium is oil paint, I think even when I paint in acrylic, I still paint like an oil painter with the way I enjoy layering colors.
Q: Where can people see your work?
A: Currently, I have a solo show at the Waterwall Gallery in Randolph, NJ (February-April 3), a painting in the Whitespace Gallery in Hackettstown, NJ, a few paintings at the Enlightened Ink Marketplace in Randolph, NJ, hand-painted slates at Sisters in Denville. I also sell original paintings and take commissions via my ETSY shop www.Etsy.com/shop/hazymoonstudios and through my Instagram and Facebook pages. You can find prints and giclee canvases of a selection of my works on Fine Art America and Society 6 too! (https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/caitlin-lodato)
“Verdant” Colors of Spring- Morris County Artists Network Group Show - Morris County Library- April reception April 13
“Can You Believe” NJAA Group show- Grover House Gallery in Caldwell, NJ. Feb 24-April 28
“SWAN DAY” show Boneyard Boutique, Main Street Boonton, NJ April-May 6
“Abstracts” Arts on Main Gallery in Rockaway Boro month of April
“Here We Go” NJAA Group show April at The Library of the Chathams.
“Arts in the Park” in Randolph May 20th
“Landscapes & Seascapes” Arts on Main Gallery in Rockaway Boro
“Art on the Esplanade” in Mountain Lakes, NJ June 5th
“22nd annual Gaelen Juried Show and Sale” at the Gaelen Gallery, JCC Metrowest, 760 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ. Opening reception Sunday, June 11, 2023 from 2-4 pm.
Dual Artist Show-Berkshire & Hathaway Home Gallery Livingston, NJ August-October (follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more show details)
“Solo Show” Sotheby’s Home and Gallery Morristown, NJ Nov.18- Jan 18 (follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more show details)
Q: Where is your favorite place to find visual arts in Morris County?
A: ICurrently I favor places that are kid friendly like The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Museum, and local libraries. On my (rare) girls night out, I like to visit art and unique handmade items at local restaurants/shops that frequently change artists. A few of my favorites are Cafe Metro, Urban Muse, Sisters, Enlightened Ink Marketplace, End of Elm and Just Jersey.
Q: What was the weirdest/worst “survival” job you ever had?
A: Make-up artist. I hated touching other people’s eyes while trying to apply eyeliner, lashes etc..
Q: What is the perfect food?
A: Cheese, of course.
Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An artist like my Grandma, or an Olympic swimmer.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: My time.
Q: Are you an early bird or night owl?
A: Night owl.
Q: What place would you like to visit?
Q: What superpower would you have and why?
A: The ability to teleport so I could see more of the world.