Meet the Artist with Andrea Rodriguez

Meet the Artist with Andrea Rodriguez

Meet the Artist with Andrea Rodriguez 1920 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Transcript (Unedited)

Tom Heath

Welcome back to another episode of Meet the Artist. This is a product of the Tucson Gallery. We’re located at 300 East Congress Street. We’re in downtown Tucson and we’re in a busy corner here of Fifth and Congress across from the Hotel Congress. Been operating here since December and every week or a couple of weeks we get one of our artists to come in and share their story. It’s called Meet the Artist and as part of that we record a podcast. So if you want to learn more about the live events, come on over to the TucsonGallery .com website and there you’ll find a calendar of events and more importantly you’ll find a newsletter you can sign up for once a month to get updates as to all the cool stuff happening. And I will tell you as we’re recording this, we’re getting into fall. So we’re recording this in September of 23, getting into the fall, there’s all kinds of cool stuff. Have you been on that newsletter? You would have had Andrea Rodriguez join, get the information about her Meet the Artist event because she brought all kinds of goodies and food with her. You’re the first artist to cook for us. Oh, thank you. Yeah, well thank you. Welcome to the show.

Andrea Rodriguez

No, thank you Tom. I appreciate it. My name is Andrea Rodriguez and I’m super excited to be here tonight.

Tom Heath

Well, we’re excited to have you. I was excited to have you based upon your art, but then when you walked in with a plate full of food and you have like, what did you bring? You brought like apple strudel?

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah, I’m a slave today in the kitchen completely for you guys and for anybody who will come tonight. But I make from homemade and traditional Czech apple strudel to spinach quiche to puff pastries to chlebíčky, which is kind of like a traditional Czech open sandwiches and some wine and fruit.

Tom Heath

This is why you have to sign up for these newsletters because you’re going to miss that. By the time you hear this recording, all that food’s going to be gone because I’m probably going to have most of it. It just looks fabulous. And you’re an artist as well. So that’s even more amazing. But you mentioned it’s a traditional Czech dish. So I understand from your biography that you grew up in the Czech Republic.

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah, I was born in Komunis in 70s in Czech Republic. It used to be Czechoslovakia, so now it’s Czech Republic. And I came to the United States when I was 19 years old by myself.

Tom Heath

What prompted that trip?

Andrea Rodriguez

Well, my mom’s sister emigrated in 68 when there was some Russian thing happening and all the stuff. But they emigrated in 68. So I always know when, if the wall will come down, that we will have the opportunity to come and over here, you know, and then I fell in love with America.

Tom Heath

Wow. At age 19, you made this. I can’t even imagine. I mean, that’s.

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah. Now when I’m looking back, because this year is actually my anniversary of 30 years. That’s bold.

Tom Heath

That’s very bold. Yeah, absolutely. So did you did you know you were coming to Tucson or how did you end up in Tucson?

Andrea Rodriguez

No, they actually used my uncle and aunt’s restaurant, Czechoslovakian restaurant on Prince Road. I used to call the Mountain View. And that’s why I ended up in Tucson, because I have relatives here.

Tom Heath

Oh, I know the Mountain View restaurant.

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah. Now it’s a Mexican Guadalajara. Yeah. Yeah. So my uncle built it. OK.

Tom Heath

That explains your culinary background and how you brought these delicious foods in. I see.

Andrea Rodriguez

No, that’s a typically European woman.

Tom Heath

Everybody knows how to bake and cook. So you get you get here and you didn’t stay the whole time that you went to Flagstaff or Northern Arizona, right?

Andrea Rodriguez

No, actually. So I came here first and I was just a tourist. And then I have no idea what I’m getting into. So after a year and a half or a year, I went back to Czech Republic. And because I learned some English, I got an opportunity to work in the big corporation shop. I studied economics and I was like a secretary, accounting, stuff like that. It’s completely boring, completely out of element what I’m now.

Tom Heath

When I was reading the bio, which we have on our on our website, I was really fascinated because you you got into the interior design world.

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah. So I was always fascinating with just colors in general, just anything what it has to do with color. And you can see it in my most of the painting. I’m so bold. I love colors. I think color express so much beauty and passion and all of this. And the basic change you can do in any interior design you can do is colors. You can do the most amazing changes with just changing the colors. But I get so from my original degree, what I studied in Czech, because I was not able to study design or art or any of this. I came back a couple of years later and I actually applied. So I went to U of A. So I’m actually a U of A student. I went to Pima College and I love Pima College. And then they have a program after I finished Pima College. I went to the NAU and they have a program over here. So I actually finished my interior design bachelor locally. So I didn’t have to move.

Tom Heath

Okay. I saw NAU on the bio. So I thought you got up there, but you did it here locally. Very cool. And then your business, it’s very well recognized. You have all kinds of awards and such.

Andrea Rodriguez

When I finished school, I started working for every company, local company in town, because when you actually work for somebody, you can get the experience to be on your own after. So I was working in for kitchen company, closet, cabinetry. I was selling JCPenney, custom window covering. I mean, you name it, I’ve done it all. And then finally, when I met my husband and got married 16 years ago, and he’s actually architect and had his architecture firm for almost 20 years before I even met him. Then we joined the forces and created our own interior design studio with architecture background.

Tom Heath

That’s an impressive combination right there. Did you meet through the business or did you meet separately and realize you have this?

Andrea Rodriguez

No, this is the funny thing. We met on Match .com.

Tom Heath

Well, good for Match. They know what they were doing.

Andrea Rodriguez

But you know, that time, I think it was so innocent to be dating online or actually meet somebody. At least for me, 16 years ago. I don’t know. I will probably not do it ever again at this age. Well, I hope not. You’re married.

Tom Heath

So I don’t think your husband would like you to do it again at all. Well, I think that’s fantastic that you, I mean, obviously those common interests were probably part of that match. And so you made life partners and business partners.

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah. No, I’m really happy. We have a really nice relationship, working relationship and personal relationship.

Tom Heath

And then where did the art, like you, because as you mentioned, you do very bold work and it’s, and first of all, it’s in oil, which is unique because we don’t, surprisingly in the gallery, most of our art, I don’t think you might be the only oil painter we have in the gallery. Everybody uses acrylic.

Andrea Rodriguez

I take the niche. I take the niche to be the one and only one. Okay. But I think I always liked art. I was drawing and creating a lot of stuff. It’s my mom, as a girl, when my kids were small, I was looking for something because they always say, when you want to have a happy marriage, you should have to do something for you, for your fun. And the hubby should have some hobby for his fun. So I started taking classes at Park and Recreation just for fun.

Tom Heath

You just started just doing painting classes at the parks?

Andrea Rodriguez

Just Park and Rec. I signed up and it was basically like a Monday night. I call it Monday night mommy rock. But basically my husband was able to take care of the kids, cook dinners. So I was gone like from six to nine, nine -thirty every Monday when it was available.

Tom Heath

Wow. Wow. Yeah. That’s fantastic. So you, you kind of get it.

Andrea Rodriguez

So I don’t have a time to paint any time, any time. Well, my house, it’s a, we have a really like a old, older house from 1915 in the style in Midtown and a house is wonderful, but it doesn’t have enough natural light to paint. And I actually like to prefer to paint in the studio with everybody else because everybody else is working on different pieces and it’s inspiring. And it’s also, you walk around and, Oh, this is so cool. Oh, how you did that? So there’s always communication and close relationship and encouragement and what to change. And then the ability of somebody who can step in as a teacher and, you know, help you out and say, Hey, do this better, you know? So for this reason, I’ll prefer to actually studio setting with more people involved. Even today? Even today. Even if there is, and everybody working on different pieces and different meet with different media. It’s always better too.

Tom Heath

And do you find yourself now in the role of the teacher where you’re helping other people kind of?

Andrea Rodriguez

Well, I started doing that. So it started actually back at home because anytime I have a chance or a summer when the kids are out of school, it’s actually cheaper to take them home back to Europe to have the same experiments, you know, growing back like me, like in Czech in the village where actually my father is from the house is like 300 years old. And because it’s such a rural village, there’s nothing to do over there. I start painting with the neighbors and teaching them how to do it. And the most rewarding was after a couple of hours, they were taking their painting home and they have like two days with their husband like, where did we put this mom? This is great. Look at what you did. So I totally like elevated the moments because mostly the painting was for moments in the village. So most of the women who never painted ever in their life, they start like feeling, oh, I’m good at something else besides cooking and taking care of family.

Tom Heath

And they can express, like you said, they can they can through the colors or through their their images.

Andrea Rodriguez

So now anytime I’m going back, I already have two, three classes, book. So it’s the word is spread. It’s always fun.

Tom Heath

You’re you’ve gone from Parks and Rec to international, let me get you very fancy. Do you teach here in Tucson?

Andrea Rodriguez

Yeah, I did a couple of the classes for a friend who asked me to do like a for a meet and greet with like appreciation clients. So I think the last large one was like 24 people in the El Charro, which was so wonderful because they even cook all the appetizer and servette on the wooden pallet. Oh, wow. Yeah, it was gorgeous. So really good food, good atmosphere. El Charro, it’s a nice place to actually have.

Tom Heath

I’m getting this theme here, the food and the art. You have to make the food and wine. You got to bring it all together. Let me go back to a question earlier about oil. Why? Why are not more artists using it? Is it more challenging to work with or or why did you choose to work with it?

Andrea Rodriguez

So I start just with regular pencil, then I move to watercolors. It was too bland for me. The color didn’t pop up. And then I moved to acrylic. It gets dry so quickly and you cannot blend. And then I discover oil because Mariano’s dad had used to paint in his garage with oil and he when he passed away, he grabbed he got me the sets with the old and I will like it just just to try it. So I start trying it and start buying oil and it’s so nice and wonderful because the colors are really like the most boldest one. But also the blend is so beautiful and you can come back to the painting because I’m coming back every week. You can still spread it and make it wonderful and you can use the same oil if you cover them really good. So oil oil is nice. It’s take time to dry. Maybe that’s a good time. Actually, I’m painting once a week. I wish I paint more and I wish I had more time and maybe I will. Who knows from now on? Yeah, oil is just a beautiful medium. It’s it’s such a softness.

Tom Heath

And we realized we didn’t have an oil painter and thought we’ve got to get you. So we’re like we we invited you in. And the first few pieces that came in were sort of they were flowers. They were nature. And so I thought that’s kind of what you focused on. And then I’m seeing this work that you brought in for the event tonight. And you’ve got just just a whole array of subjects. You don’t have any limitations.

Andrea Rodriguez

No, and it has to catch whatever I paint. It has to be something that is speak to me. So the blooming of Puntia that Tony Fowler in love is and actually pick me up from the crowd. It was I just I usually I stop and take picture of anything and maybe when I have a good camera, but it’s always on my phone. So I have over 7000 photos on my phone just now. But I just stop in the neighborhood and I saw this beautiful it was I have to stop get from the car and get a couple of angles just to see it, how beautiful the sun is hitting at that. So it’s so yeah, it has to speak to me.

Tom Heath

But there are things that I mean, we’ve got you’ve got one that was very vibrant, Trace Latinas, like it was sort of a day of the dead feel to it.

Andrea Rodriguez

The single Katrina or the three girls. So this is the story behind this. I have a girlfriend in interior design wards and they always they used to have a studio right here on the 6th Street before the widening the road. They always dress up for the day of the day of the day and they even get photographer and makeup professional and everything. So I saw this picture and it catch my eyes and I say, oh, my God, I have to paint this. I have to paint this. So it’s actually three living girlfriend, still girlfriends up to today. And then the painting was donated to raising money for ASID for for Interior Design Society.

Tom Heath

Well, it’s absolutely stunning. All of your work, the colors, there’s just no question that color is your friend and you love to just be bold with it. I think it’s great. And if you if you’re listening and you want to check out any of the work, we’ve got some of what she has available on our website, the Tucson Gallery dot com. But you’ve also got a whole collection of work that we don’t carry. Your your nudes are very popular.

Andrea Rodriguez

They are. And usually they are always as soon as I post it on Facebook friends, usually they are gone. So maybe I have one nude pictures back as an original, but everything else is sold out. But Tony told me, no, no, no, we keep it clean. And I say, look, you cannot even recognize that it’s nude. It’s just bold colors, abstracts, all this. But so but you can still check it out on my website. This nude.

Tom Heath

So what is your website and your Instagram?

Andrea Rodriguez

And how people so simple. It’s WWW. My name, Andrea Rodriguez Gallery dot com.

Tom Heath

Andrea Rodriguez Gallery dot com. And what about Facebook, Instagram? Is it the same? Same.

Andrea Rodriguez

OK, yeah, I am. I went so professional. You guys make me to be so professional. This was this used to be my hobby. But now it’s like it seems taking over everything. But, you know, I appreciate it because on the other side, push me to do something that I never thought I will do now, one week before my 50th birthday.

Tom Heath

Well, I’m excited for tonight. I’m sorry if you’re listening to this and you missed it because it’s going to be a good time. And again, if you want to learn more about these events, head over to our website to some gallery dot com. Sign up for the newsletter once a month. You’ll get a list of all the events that are happening, not just the artist events. We do have concerts. There are other things that happen. And if you haven’t been down here, we’re inside of the proper shops, which is a collective of 15 different independently owned businesses. We have a bar. You can sip shop. But we’re on the Tucson Gallery dot com. Check out all the work there from from Andrea and all of our other artists.

Andrea Rodriguez

And and definitely you have to stop by. This is such a cool place. This is not only gallery. It’s much behind anybody. Imagine, you know, when you usually go to gallery, there’s a few pieces. And from only certain artists that you have to appreciate it. No, here this is like this is like a market of beautiful stuff, gorgeous from ceramic to acrylic, to canvases, to accessories, to closing line, to jewelry. I mean, you name it, you over here is everything.

Tom Heath

Well, you don’t have to take my word for it. Andrea Rodriguez is telling you, come on down and check out the proper shops and maybe just maybe we’ll have a few of your originals still left after tonight for people to buy. I hope so.

Andrea Rodriguez

Thanks. And if not, I can always pay more.

Tom Heath

Hey, thanks for joining us.

Andrea Rodriguez

I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. I appreciate it, too. Thank you, everybody.

Tom Heath

Thank you for listening to Meet the Artist. This is a weekly production by the Tucson Gallery located inside of the proper shops at 300 East Congress Street in Tucson, Arizona. The mission of the Tucson Gallery is to support local artists by providing a space to show their art, a forum to engage with their audience, a virtual presence to connect with global patrons, an outlet to earn a fair price and an opportunity to hone their business skills. Head over to TheTucsonGallery .com for more information about our live events. Listen to other Meet the Artist podcasts and check out the wide selection of art, gifts and other items created by Tucson’s modern, thought -provoking and forward -thinking artists.

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