Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Castellani Art Museum 20/20 Vision


I am so pleased to be included in this comprehensive exhibition of art representing women artists from counties in the western part of New York. 
The Castellani Art Museum exhibition '20/20 Vision' reception will be on February 20, 2020 at 5pm-7. I expect a crowd! Nearly 200 artworks by Western New York artists are displayed through August. The large central gallery room as well as the double gallery on the north side will be filled with examples from women of varied styles and levels of expertise.

My painting of the American Falls from the hurricane deck is included in this comprehensive exhibit. Most of the artwork is for sale and in support of women, and businesses run by and supported by women have been  requested to support the artists by purchasing work.
Be there, 02/20/2020
Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University

Castellani Art, Niagara University, American falls
Beyond the Rock of Ages, 15x30 oil on canvas

Friday, January 24, 2020

Tropical Snow Scene

Living in the Northeast means snow in winter and it is especially welcome at Christmas. This was another one of those crazy holidays where we were somewhere else and the holiday seemed so different. Sunshine and warmth on Christmas morning called me to my easel-this is my 12/25/2019 holiday statement. 

That blowup (and sparkly lighted) snowman almost made it into the composition. Just almost, as I considered it but didn't try to sketch him into my plan. However, he was nice company and caused me to chuckle more than I usually might when painting.
Christmas morning painting outside

Tilt on a Christmas Palm, 14x11 oil on Arches H'uile

Painting Selected for an Award



While Plein Air painting this Fall scene in Letchworth State Park, I was asked by many visitors if they were allowed up on the railroad bridge. I didn't know the answer-until the train came and the answer was obviously no. The bridge was very old, probably quite rickety and when the train came it went very slowly. Nevertheless, I had to paint very fast to capture it. Probably the first train I've painted from life while moving!

I had not shown it publicly until the opportunity to enter 'Artists and Friends' at Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in Niagara Falls, New York in December. I had every intention of attending the gala reception that the NACC has for this winter show but had to change my plans. A family trip to Houston had to be changed to an earlier date. Facebook was how I learned the painting was awarded an Honorable Mention prize and I feel badly that I was not there to receive it in person.
The Townsend Gallery at the NACC
"Are You Allowed Up There" oil on panel, 30x15


Friday, November 29, 2019

BNAA Fall exhibition

The transition of the Eastern Hills site to a town square continues to evolve.

 The lovely and large, well lit site, Expo 68 Art and Design Gallery features the Buffalo Niagara Art Association Fall art show through December 5. It's open daily, except Mondays. These two paintings were selected for this spectacular Exhibition at Expo 68.
Peony Bliss, 48"x24" oil
Under American Falls, 12"x16" oil
The BNAA is a juried group, new members are juried into the group, then the shows are juried for exhibition and awards. New artists are welcome to join as Associates or Juried members.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

River Art Gallery Plein Air show

The bottom picture, '186 Linwood' and flowers on right are mine
River Art Gallery, the pink building in North Tonawanda by the theater, is a lovely art space. Three paintings in the current show, 'Plein Air Landscape, Discovering Nature' are my plein air works.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

6 Aches, 7 Columns, 8 Clay planters

A good start, day 1
One of my larger paintings in Italy is also the most ambitious. I drew it several times from the lawn before finally choosing to use oil paints on portrait linen taped onto a birch panel. The perspective must be exactly right as well as the arches, interior windows and columns. It was planned to be painted in the morning but the shade disappeared as the sun rose higher so I returned after three o'clock and shade had returned. Three afternoons later, I felt I had it finished. 

I was privileged to have an elegant daily breakfast here which inspired this painting of the lovely Tuscan restaurant, MeoModo.. I was able to observe early preparation of service for late dinners that were served at 8:00. Chargers were polished, tablecloths ironed on the table, silver laid precisely and fresh flowers placed. At the same time, waiters scurried to deliver room service and drinks to guests on huge trays, covered with elaborate basket lids. As the afternoon faded, chandeliers and dozens of white candles were lit, wall sconces burned and Meo Modo turned into a glittering dreamland.
Paint in Tuscany, schifano
Have Breakfast Here, Meo Modo, 18x24” oil on linen




Crazy color geraniums

Flowering plants and lovely trees are on every lane and in every garden, delighting the senses. Giant Lavender hedges line the paths and the fragrance will forever remind me of Borgo Santo Pietro.  Every window with an outside sill had a window box like this, the stunning deep red violet geraniums enjoying the Tuscan sun. Several people commented that they loved the unique color of the geraniums here. Towering tall cypress trees framed this window, and the ever present lavender peeked from the foundation. 


Welcome, 22x16 pastel

Not able to rotate the photo but this is a sample window.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The 13th century In Plein Air pastel

Invited to paint for a month at this lovely estate, farm and restful location, my studio there provided a space to work and think. I was constantly aware that the history of Italy is evident millenniums after buildings and cities were established. Ancient aqueducts remain all through Europe, and the towns and cities I visited were walled against takeover by neighboring cities, the church and warring states. One of the buildings was nearly intact on the Borgo estate and was transformed from a 13th century bakery to a residence for guests. The giant cook oven was transformed into a large fireplace. 

Intrigued by the chimney, this pastel painting shows the building as it exists today. Another part of the ancient monastery and way place for pilgrims was a one story building, broken up into various living spaces. It was salvaged and rebuilt to be utilized as the main entrance, as well as the wine cellar, restaurant and guest rooms.


The Old Bakery, 16x20 pastel, c. 2019


Work in Progress on location

Plein Air in Tuscany.

Step by step, I completed this oil painting sitting in the shade of olive trees while guests arrived and departed through this main entrance to Borgo Santo Pietro. Sitting in the shade at a tea table in the atrium garden and painting is high on my list of favorite places in Italy.



Welcome to Borgo
The final painting captures the warm welcome you will receive upon arrival, the comfort you can expect and the light of the Mediterranean sun. 

Welcome to Borgo, oil on linen 24x16 c. 2019





Thursday, October 3, 2019

An Abundance of Vegetables



Residing and painting for a month in the midst of a self sufficient organic farm there were many different flowers, plants and especially vegetables growing. Acres of farmland provided all the food for guests as well as animals, such as llamas, chickens for their eggs, cows for milk and cheeses, and bees for the farm and their honey.

A lovely stone bowl was on my outdoor patio table. It held two yellow apples and would make a lovely still life to paint indoors if it rained. I asked a gardener if I could have a few fresh vegetables for my little bowl. I returned from lunch to find this huge selection of perfect specimens, artfully arranged with accents of yellow dill and straw. It was huge and weighed 15-20 pounds. I made use of the contents for the rest of the month, painting some, eating others and experimenting with drying peppers. Definitely the most delicious painting. Later in the month I painted the stone bowl with some assorted peppers.

painted still life, brown background
Watercolor plan for a large painting 6x8

mixed food, pastel still life

Organic Vegetables, of Course. 18x24 pastel c.2019

Morning on Lake Ontario



August along the Great Lakes is close to heaven. An NFPAP paintout, hosted by Laurene, brought the painters right to the edge of Lake Ontario. I chose a comfortable seat on the deck with a lake view obstructed by glorious pots of flowers. A sailboat emerged from Youngstown and the Niagara River to complete my painting. This was one of those great summer memory making days.





On Claudia’s Lake Patio, 12x9, oil on canvas panel

A Still Life That Needed a Little More


Fresh flowers are abundant on the Tuscany estate and peach and pink multiflora roses surround the Art House. Rose of Sharon in the back appear to be a wall of violet and herbs are grown as shrubs and landscape plants along the paths. My bouquet needed a little support, I added short dense branches to make it stand. They were a soft blue green and scented like sage. Not looking, I titled the flowers with the color name of sage in the title.  It took a day or two before I realized that the plant I had clipped was rosemary, and so the title was changed.

"Put Some Rosemary in it" 24x18 pastel on paper

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Exploring Meo Modo

An exclusive estate has to have amazing foods, and this did. Everything was organic and delicious. The morning views were spectacular as Mist rose from the mountains and farmland. I explored the shapes and moods of Borgo Santo Pietro with pencil and pen, deciding what to paint and how to place it on the surface. I frequently draw scenes to become more familiar and that helps my final painting.
The second photo became my plan for a large painting.

Kath in Italy, paint planning, Schifano
Have breakfast here. 5x7

Farm fields, classic urn



Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Looking through the cattails

 From the left side and close up.

Starting out.

Final painting.



Italy. Tuscany.
I was offered a month residency at an exclusive Michelin starred estate as their resident artist. From a stocked and charming studio, called the Artist House, I painted gardens and farms, animals and flowers, ancient stone buildings and classical architecture.  

Liking a hard surface for my brush, I attached linen to boards and used a portable box for oils and brushes. The picture here shows my view at the studio, where a covered marble chip patio had three outdoor couches and a large stone table. My first painting in the shade there was this wisteria vines bridge, thick with impasto and water lilies. It is named the Monet bridge.

My joy was unbounded in the summer sunlight, surrounded by waterfalls, white ducks, peacocks and a frequent visitor, a giant blue heron. What beautiful surroundings to inspire and enjoy. A speaker attached to the music on my phone made it even more special. Music accompanies painting like a comfortable old friend. 

A few days later, I realized that the vines were flowering and I added a few hanging purple blossoms, as well as more light and shadow.  "Song of the Water Lilies" was purchased on my last day, to a collector in California.

Song of the Waterlilies, 16x12 oil on linen. C. 2019

2020 calendars

2020 has been printed collated and packaged. You may order them on the website or find it at my usual vendors in Niagara Falls and Buffalo in October. Right now it is available on the counter of Niagara Falls Teachers Credit Union. 
12 new paintings are assigned to the seasons of next year for gifts and personal use. Happy New Year!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Dreams do come true

How is this for an artist studio? I have every intention of making it my own space and filling the walls with my art. What do you think? Can you imagine a nicer place for a painting studio than this one?


Outside, looking in


Inside, Looking out

CAM 20/20 Vision

"20/20 Vision" is an upcoming exhibition of women's art at Castellani Art Museum, opening in January. This will be my addition to the gallery walls. It will include artists from the five county area and remain in the main gallery space until summer. This view from below the American Falls could not be painted on location, the mist was dense and I was on the Maid of The Mist boat tour. It is a studio painting.



Beyond the Rock of Ages 15x30 oil on canvas

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Garden flowers in progress


A warm day, not too bright, but the weeds were calling. Garden shoes, waterproof gloves and a sun hat were needed. As soon as I stepped on the patio a pot of flowers among the houseplants called my name. 
So I painted it. 



In progress from the table. 
Kath Schifano
Finished! 


As I cleared the table. Noticed the succulent centerpiece glowed like a diamond. The earlier rain had left a drop in the center. How pretty!

Begonias and Pansies, 9x12 pastel. c. KSchifano

Urban Art, indoors with a view

The lobby of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo filled with urban artists when the rain poured in sheets and buckets. Warm and dry, with the smell of fresh coffee nearby and the sounds of elevator doors, the large windows offered framed glimpses of Main Street and Genesee Streets as well as the Goldome Building. 


Pictures were made by people of all ages and skills.


My interior view of Hyatt Regency, Buffalo. Pen and ink

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Art on Oliver


Here it is, my painting enlarged and on display in the window of Jack's Trains, an Oliver Street favorite shop of young and old. It was a treat to be selected for the Art on PLiver Public initiative, but what a joy to see it displayed! 
This was cosponsored by several North Tonawanda businesses and printed by our master art printer, Lisa at Pencil in The River.