Saturday, June 30, 2012

On the road, Adirondack painting

Kathy Schifano, Adirondack plein air
Publisher's Paintout 2.0 2012 is now over and I am back home with 8 new paintings, so it's up to the studio to mat and frame and finish whatever needs touch ups after traveling. I found this photo of me in Facebook, with the Adirondack Mountain School of Painters at Heavenly Hills Farm, an amazing spread with mountain views in every direction, a lovely white mansion available for non profits and meetings and miles of rolling fields of freshly cut hay bales. Can you tell I like it there? I oil painted a 5x7 plan, followed by 16x12 of the same scene with a little adjustments for composition. The two paintings have completely different colors because the light changed from clear, as you see it here, to misty distance, so the second painting is lighter and more pastel. Same day, same picture, but I don't chase the light and I just paint how I see it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beaver Island State Park Casino

Kathy Schifano, Beaver Island Casino painting
Kath Schifano c. 2012
Beaver Island State Park, at the south end of Grand Island is an artist's playground with boardwalk and beach, golf course, woodland trails, mature evergreens and hardwoods, busy marina and sports facilities.

Years ago, the 'Casino' was a big old historic log built clubhouse with fireplaces big enough to set a table for 6 on its hearth. About 10 years after it burned the state built this smaller building with large lovely side porches. There are frequent weddings here and the music spills outside from the lovely dining room.

I have also painted from the porch, but on this occasion I liked the Spring colors in the flowering trees against the deep color of the building. I gave my previous Casino painting to Jamie and Mike Fortunate as their wedding there last year was beautiful and the reception was fantastic and lively.

Beaver Island Casino 9x12 pastel

Wilson Tuscarora State Park Secret Spot

c. Kath Schifano 2012
Wilson Tuscarora State Park has a main entrance, road to activities and parking lots, but it also has a 'secret' entrance about 1/2 mile east. I pulled my car onto the grass and walked through a meadow, up a hill and along a wooded path to find my fellow painters at work in an amazing secluded area. Sherrill Primo had hiked here and suggested it as a good plein air location, I think I could return there all year with so many views of water, hills, flowers, reeds and wildlife to choose from.

There were a number of trees downed by beavers as well as a few that had been started over the years. This was my first paint out in a beaver area so I was attracted to the pointed tree stumps like litter in the area. This painting shows three of my fellow Niagara Frontier plein air painters at work, Sandy Heath, Sherrill Primo and Carol Carreno in the distance. Sandy was safe from that dead tree trunk falling as it was firmly caught in the live tree. Several other painters were around, some in the woods and others along the stream.

It was a mix and match weather kind of day, sun and shade and a horrendous rainstorm that appeared just as we packed up. A bit of water is quite cooling after painting!

After the Beavers, 12x16 pastel 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back to the Adirondacks

High Falls, plein air pastel, K.Schifano c.2012
Last June, I was invited to Plein Air Magazine's Publisher's Paintout 2.0 and spent 5 days chasing the locations of the original Hudson River School of Painters. Besides opportunity for friendship with artists from around the country and as far as Russia, I pushed myself to climb mountains, slide down wet rocky slopes and bravely paint in the rain every day.

High Falls, plein air pastel, K.Schifano
The High Falls was spectacularly tall, my painting shows about 2/3 of the drop, and access to it was by at least 300 rickety wood steps that twisted and skirted the wall of the gorge. I completed the smaller painting on site, the larger oil was my winter studio project. I rarely paint from my own work, so the lack of detailed information recorded in the small pastel was difficult to transfer to a 4 foot tall canvas, a challenge I really enjoyed. The oil painting was exhibited at Partners in Art Gallery in North Tonawanda, framed in wood, it dominated the rich red wall across from the entrance at the Buffalo Niagara Artist Association Spring show.

Most of the painters chose a similar view of the scene and it was a rare treat to have so many paintings by various artists in the 'viewing room' that evening. Now I am looking forward to my return; familiar with some of the locations, I will bring some experience with me this year.

High Falls, plein air pastel 12.5x9.5, 2012
High Falls ADK, oil 48"x24", 2012

Youngstown Yacht Club

New Old Sailboat, Kath Schifano c.2012
Two consecutive Mondays were scheduled for the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters at the Youngstown Yacht Club, but Spring is a super busy time for the boat keepers and workers; owners were painting their boat bottoms and sailboats were moved around to enter the water for a new sailing season.

This 1960's wood beauty had recently come into the yard, its sturdy mast was not yet mounted and lay on the ground nearby. The proud new boat owner had attached two American flags to catch the breeze. I was attracted to the various reds on the paint as the morning sun came over the hill and through the trees. This spot was in full sun and the reds appeared more orange with the yellow cast from the afternoon sun light. This beautiful red sailboat will catch a lot of attention in the water, I hope to see it in action soon.

New Old Sailboat, pastel 12.5x9.5 2012