Friday, November 18, 2016

LaBatt Beer, Buffalo's 6 pack

There was a big public ruckus when Labatt decided to dress a six pack of grain elevators in plastic wrap, but I love them and still support the decision. They are in the process of converting these old storage silos into a craft beer brewery, a beer garden and tourist destination. Next door, Riverworks is the site of multiple events, from late night drinking to roller derby races and weddings. Of course, winter turns the outdoor area into a very large and busy ice rink, but on this day the flower pots cascaded onto the patios.

This was painted across the Buffalo River in the new Festival Park, where we sat on contour benches under an arbor and enjoyed watching kayaks, tugs and sailboats on the water.

Labatt beer, bar in buffalo, Kath Schifano, craft beer, beer silo

Buffalo and Blue, 12x18 oil on panel, c. 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pastels in New York City

I completed one of my LongTermGoals! I needed a good kick to get back to using my extensive sets of pastels. There was a plein air pastel workshop sponsored by the American Pastel Society with Nancie King Mertz. She went to Cuba with us and had a neat pastel setup that I had admired, she also made A LOT of lovely pictures there. It took more than a week to decide and figure out transportation, housing and whether I really wanted to go.

It was not a teaching event, instead she did short demos each morning and then ran around to the painters, offering advice where needed and answering questions. There were about 12 of us, at all different levels and I was one of the few regular plein air painters who also used pastels. Most were studio painters who came for the plein air part, so there was a lot of baggage and various carts carrying supplies. I am pleased to brag that I only required my backpack and a folder for my pastel papers. I still was bulky getting in and out of the up and downtown subways, a good half hour ride in congested cars.

It has been a beautiful fall, but we needed rain and so, it rained and was also windy downtown for two days, we were pretty cold. The third day was beautiful and we painted on the HighLine. It was easier to work when it was overcast as the building colors remained consistent and shadows were not moving. The closest I have come to city building paintings are my grain elevators, this was different, a challenge in perspective, composition and execution and now I want to go back for more.
kath Schifano, looking north, highline, skyscraper
High Line Over 10th, 18x12 pastel, c. K. Schifano

pastel new york, gramercy Park, brick bar
Pete's Tavern, NYC, new and old, 18x12 pastel, c. K.Schifano

Artify Chestnut Ridge

Chestnut Ridge Park had an event 'Artify the Park' and it was a lovely sunny Sunday, so I took a ride down to see if the leaves were changing south of Buffalo and find some inspiration from the art events there. 

I had no plans to paint until I drove over a ridge to see this fabulous little building glowing in the afternoon sunlight. There were several painters around and I had my easel and paints with me, inspiration took hold and I parked.

The cottage in the woods look made me think of Thomas Kincaid's light paintings while I was working, and I was pleased to be painting alongside Judson Brown. He chose a stone structure across the road for his picture. Some college students came by and we chatted while one of them worked on his nearly complete painting, adding tree branches and details in the stone. I don't think I could turn my back on someone painting my picture!

Afterwards, I was intrigued by the colors on my palette, I had used all the warms to mix in the greens and it looked like a true abstraction of my completed painting.

Chestnut Ridge, Artify with Judson. 8x10 oil on canvas, c.2016

BlackRock Garden Fest

Almost finished
trumpet vine, kathy Schifano

  It's fun to remember the events of summer as the days grow short, leaf raking continues, the patio furniture is stored and indoor activities take over. Blackrock section of Buffalo had their own summer garden walk and I went with Diane Groupil to one of the homes to paint. A small area next to their garage had been converted into a pond and tinkling waterfall, surrounded by colorful plants, flowers and dramatic rocks. Off the garage a towering tree vine drooped yellow flowers....who could resist?

Black Rock Trumpet 9x12 oil on birch c. 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Buffalo History Museum 'Paint the Town' Nov 3

An annual fundraiser for the Buffalo History Museum features both live and silent auctions of selected artwork. These are my two works in this year's 'Paint the Town' event, November 3. The gala is elegant and well attended and I'm pleased at the amounts my paintings have earned for the museum. Both of these were painted last spring during the Cherry Blossom Festival

Japanese Architecture, oil on panel, 5x7 c.2016

Looking Up History, oil on canvas, 8x10 c. 2016

Sunset painting in Long Beach

Speed Painting. It's the only way to capture the colors of a sunset. I'm pretty thrilled with how well I managed this one. It is painted on the border of Queens and Nassau counties looking west toward Breezy Point, Staten Island and New Jersey.

When I began, the sky was brilliant pink and I quickly painted the sand and sea. 

It wasn't windy so the clouds behaved for me, I'm glad I photographed the sky and painting in progress rather than when it was done. Moments later, darkness coated the sand, the ocean turned deepest dark and the colors quickly faded from the horizon. 

Waiting for the Full Moon, oil on canvas 9x12 c. 2016