Nonetheless, the couple from central
They also won Best in Show 2-D in 2007 at the Gold Coast River North Art Festival in
"We have a pretty amazing story; we met on a blind date in 1997. We're both self-taught, neither one of us had any confidence in our abilities until after we got together,"
Mike photographs nature scenes, then Patty continues the photograph by painting onto the frame around it.
The idea for their collaborative art began forming after the couple moved in together.
"At the time, we were living in
"Well, in high school she used to work in a frame shop," said
Both artists loved the outcome and decided to see if they could profit from it.
"The first piece we ever sold was sold in a gallery and they took half the money,"
Shortly after this decision, the twosome turned their idea into a reality.
"Probably six months after we got married, we did our first art show just to see if this would fly at all,"
The show turned out to be just the beginning of a lifetime career.
"The very first art show we did was a little local art show in
"So, we went home depressed. Then, Sunday morning we woke up and said, 'Alright, we've got one more day of the show.' Then they actually came around at noon and actually gave us a first place award and a check and then we sold a piece! We went out and celebrated and we've done probably 20 to 25 shows a year for the last 16 years since then."
The duo have traveled all over the country for art shows, including
"We like to stick to the Midwest to Eastern parts of the country,"
"I love the people here, the surroundings, the campus is beautiful, the food is good,"
Part of their success comes from the originality of their craft,
"There's no one else doing anything like it," he said. "There have actually been people who walk the show that have said they can feel the synergy and harmony in the booth and they're drawn to it. It's the whole love story. We live together, work together, travel together and people still ask us if we're newlyweds when we go into restaurants."
Despite the potential hardships of being a couple that work together, the two still greatly appreciate all the other has to offer.
"Before we did this, she was a massage therapist for 10 years, so I'm a very lucky guy,"
Further information on the couple's work can be found online at www.albinarts.com or by calling 347-568-3278.
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