House Tableau

Part of an ongoing project of painting on location Milwaukee’s historic architecture as subject.

What interests me in painting architecture interiors and exteriors of primarily historic buildings?

Most of the following ideas are not present in the paintings themselves, but are implied in the structure of the house and the objects it contains.

  • There are the people who built the houses: architects, designers, and fabricators.
  • There are the people who lived in the houses.
  • There are the materials and the history of where the materials came from.
  • There are the the loving details and craftsmanship.
  • There are the people who support the functioning of the house.
  • There are the visitors.
  • There are events and history that occur during its lifetime.
  • There is the evolving and changing community around it.
  • There is the evolving and changing purpose of the house.
  • There is the personality of the building. It’s sounds. It’s soul.

A house (and this can be extended to architecture in general) contains what’s public and what’s private. Visible and hidden. Much like a human, architecture is an embodiment and extension of the body.

Art Studio on the Go: Workshop Series

Workshop I: Introduction to plein air supplies for oil or acrylic painting

March 21 | 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Villa Terrace

No supplies necessary; in this class, you’ll learn about what you need to begin painting on location. If you already have a painting kit (portable easel, brushes, and paints), bring it and we’ll discuss how to use it and/or how to augment it.

Workshop II: Preparing to paint – sketching and under-drawing/painting

April 25 | 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. | Charles Allis

Bring a sketchbook and pens, pencils, and eraser, or charcoal. Bring your painting kit (discussed in 1st workshop) and a canvas panel or painting surface of your choice if you want to try your hand at making an underpainting in class.

Workshop III: Color and mixing a palette

May 23 | 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Villa Terrace

Bring your paints, palette, palette knife, painting surface, and paint thinner (or water container if acrylics), rags/paper towels, and painting surface (such as a canvas panel). A basic color starter kit includes colors such as: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Red, Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, and Burnt Umber, but bring what you have and we’ll talk about it!

Workshop IV: Painting from life

June 20 | 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Charles Allis

Bring your sketchbook, drawing implements, and painting kit (everything covered in the first three workshops).

Register Here

Painting Manifesto

I started this little manifesto when I was working on my artist’s statement for the recent Mary Nohl Fellowship application. I don’t think I’m alone in finding writing artist’s statements to be an onerous undertaking. The manifesto is not the statement that I ended up using, but it did help.

Painting is a refuge from constant distractions. Painting is a place of reflection, examination, joy of being – celebration of the small things.
Painting is process. Painting is outside the comfort zone. It is hard.
Painting holds a moment. It is experience and memory. It is an object. It is analog and occupies space. It is me. It is not me.
Painting is raw materials. Painting is oil, pigment, hair, wood – clouds, rain, wind – songs and voices. Sandpaper, shellac, sunshine, sweat and conversations. It is death and tears. Heaviness. Heavy heart.
Painting is light. Lighter, lightening up. It is the earth. It is the past and it is now. It is the future before it is.
Painting is sight. Painting is being outside of yourself. Painting is insight.
Painting is translation.

Artist in Residence

I’m please to announce that I’m now the artist in residence at the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums for the 2018/2019 exhibition season. I’ll be painting at the museums through September of next year culminating with an exhibition at the Villa Terrace opening in October 2019 and running through January 2020. More to come!

New web address!

If you have known this site as, that domain is coming to an end. Don’t be sad because Chris and I are still a couple. I’m just creating my own website for now as Chris develops his latest body of work. I’m keeping his pages here too for all his fans.

Website is under construction!

This is Ariana Huggett and Chris Niver’s website. We’re 2 artists that happen to be married. I’m a painter, but I also draw and do a bit of photography. Chris embroiders, draws, and makes prints. You can see examples of our work by following links in our navigation menu.

Currently we’re renovating the site, so things might be a little out of whack. You can still get the gist of what we do. Please come back and see the progress. Thanks for taking a look!