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

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.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

An Award at Clarence Town Park

The Clarence Art Society uses the spacious Clarence Town Park on Route 5 for an annual plein air competition. This year, I decided to enter because the park is a collection of beautiful views, a pond with a fountain, clubhouse, split rail museum home, hills and trees, a playground and a pool. It is huge. 

My plan was to paint the bridge when the early light was muted and misty but the bridge was much too dark. The geraniums on a nearby raised wall glowed in sun light and I chose to paint them first, I painted the bridge in the bright afternoon light.

Several painting buddies were also entered and we enjoyed a day in each other's company. There was a public exhibition and judging for awards so we had plenty of time to discuss tripods, pastel brands and our favorite ice cream flavor. Usually we leave a site when finished painting or lunch, whichever is last. This was a relaxing time to visit.

It was tough to choose one painting for the judging but I have found that the first painting of the day is often the best. The judge agreed and awarded my flowers Second Place.

Geraniums in Clarence Town Park, 9x12 oil on birch c. 2019
Monet Bridge IN Clarence Park, 12x16 oil on birch c. 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Two 'Power'ful Paintings in a summer exhibition at NACC

The 17th annual Beyond The Barrel exhibit at the Niagara Arts and Culture Center has the subtitle 'Power'. I chose these two paintings to represent the energy and power of where we live. Boulders that have withstood the pounding of water racing to the Falls and out to Lake Ontario and the clouds that arise over Lake Erie and create snowstorms south of Buffalo represent power of nature to me. All together it is a strong and energetic show, in the Townsend Gallery through August 25.

I am pleased to have work represented in this strong show representing 'Power' and WNY artists.

k schifano, rocks painted
Rock Steady, K Schifano, oil c. 2018

nacc, Townsend gallery
Buffalo Lookout and the Weather, oil K Schifano, oil c.2012

Rock Steady 16x20 oil on board
Buffalo Lookout and the Weather, 11x14 oil on canvas panel

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Smallest Gallery in WNY (716) GAL-LERY

This vintage phone booth turned art gallery was an exhibition from April through July 28. The booth was rescued from NYC and the fan, door and lights all work, just as I remember from the corner store decades ago growing up. All of these tiny paintings were transported to Hydraulic Hearth in a medium size basket. 

The phone played 'Starry, Starry Night' in honor of Van Gogh, the original renegade impressionist. 
This press release ran weekly in the Buffalo News Gusto magazine until the end of the exhibit.

Finally, in the third year.

large flower painting, buds,
Peony Bliss, oil c.2019

Two seasons of Peonies were necessary to finish this 30”x20” oil. It started as an ambitious Plein air, but blooms opened and light changed faster than I could paint. The following year I used fresh flowers as models. This year I varnished and ordered a frame. Finally 3 years later it will be off the floor and finished.

Peony Bliss, oil on canvas panel 30x20 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Niagara On the Lake

Ontario painting, street scene, kschifano

Summer days are perfect for painting in WNY. A shady spot, a chair and easel out of the way of walkers and a decent view are all that I hope for when we head out. On this day, we crossed the Rainbow bridge to Canada and headed north about 20 miles.

It was quiet in Niagara On the Lake, Ontario when we arrived but by the time we left crowds were filling the shops and walkways. We heard lovely comments from people  peeking over the hedges we had settled by. A patch of grass near a tree along a part of the road with no parking makes for another beautiful memory.

The Centopath. NOTL, 9x12 oil on birch. C.2019

Van Gogh in Houston

Is this a familiar scene? Vincent Van Gogh painted his bedroom at Arles several times during the last two years of his life. At the Museum of Fine Arts, in Houston recently, an interactive display allowed children and adults to experience his paintings life size and 3-d. Copies of his easels and drawing boards, hands on activities and video all engaged us after seeing a huge collection of his works in the museum. Paintings and drawings loaned from other museums that I had seen only in books were simply breathtaking. Travel for me involves seeing art and doing some, too.

A Festival of Plein Air

I’ll be painting here with many other artists, probably near the pond and bridge at the east side of the park. If it rains, find me near the log cabin...or working from my car!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Back to Goat Island at Niagara Falls

Beyond the first Three Sisters Bridge is an overlook of the water going under the bridge. The little waterfalls is called Hermit Falls. The water level fluctuated due to heavy rains. Having observed and painted in this area many times I was impressed by the amount of water on this day. A painting from the 18th century shows a tremendous powerful waterfall. 

Back To Hermit Falls , 9x 12 pastel

Friday, June 7, 2019

Where Tonawanda and North Tonawanda meet-The Erie Canal

Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters met at Gateway Park on a fairly chilly and slightly windy day. Most of the painters worked small and in sketchbooks just in case the rain started up again. The walking bridge was in plain sight when I chose a rock to sit upon. The crisscross railings on both sides, the angles of the Erie Canal meeting Tonawanda Creek and the assorted stonework were an appropriate challenge. Keeping the Urban Sketchers materials in my car, I chose pen and ink instead of pastel today.

A familiar Tonawanda-North Tonawanda walking bridge

A bit of color was added to the ink drawing afterwards.

This is an Urban Sketch from last week on Main Street in Buffalo. The massive TriMain building was behind me with its familiar water tower. I'll draw that building another day. It was a pleasure to use the hidden People's Park on a sunny Saturday. this ornate church on the corner of Jewett Parkway is now a charter school.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Gala at Buffalo History Museum

Two of my paintings found new homes with new collectors.
An annual fundraising gala for the Buffalo History Museum features a limited number of original artworks in live and silent auctions. The Museum appreciates the participation of artists and offers them complementary admission to the gala and a fair portion of the proceeds. By paying the artists for their work we recover our expenses and willingly donate. 
'The Day Before the Light' lighthouse is a 20x16 oil. It was painted from the Buffalo marina and on the following day a new lamp was installed in the top. I read that in the newspaper.

It was sold by live auction, I was astounded seeing it enlarged on the screen for the audience in the auditorium. It held up to my scrutiny. More impressive was the number of bidders for it and we watched in awe as the price went way over my list.

'The Japanese Garden' is a pastel, 11x14. I delivered it late so it was in the silent auction section. Four people stood around the display near the end of bidding which kept others from seeing it and raising the bids. They had already raised their offer several times. It was nice to meet them (winners, of course) and hear how much they wanted and loved my picture. It was made just the previous week behind the museum.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Smallest Gallery in Western New York, maybe the whole state!

A retro phone booth is Buffalo’s most interesting gallery space, and in this setting I have 38 paintings on display. I titled it 'Local Calls, Grand Plans' because small paintings are often springboards to larger compositions. Most of these were made for this particular exhibit.

(716)GAL-LERY was named after the address, 716 Swan Street in Larkinville at Hydraulic Hearth. On the other side there is a sticker machine. You can put quarters in to get a handful of my paintings made into stickers, or just ask for the printed postcards. I heard if you address a postcard that it will be mailed for you!

Just a few paintings are displayed on the seat wall of the gallery as you can sit and use the phone. Well, you can listen to it, as it plays 'Starry, Starry Night' a tribute song to Vincent Van Gogh. 

So thrilled to be showing my work here. Open daily at 4 and the contemporary menu food available in the front is delicious, and the staff is super friendly.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Another weekend and more Blossoms.

Stately trees of various types of cherry blossoms fill the hill, marching from the museum to the edge of the lake. This is a view from the north path of some majestic older trunks.

Petals softly cover the lawns, turning the ground pink, fascinating children and adults. Picnics in the breeze have a little extra flavoring from the falling petals. I love the look of dappled sunlight on the petals.

From the south path with a bit of the building's stone wall along the path.

Ancient Dancers in May 11x14 pastel
The Japanese Garden 11x14 pastel

Two Cherry Blossom weekends

Cherry Blossom Season lasts just a few days...or a few weeks depending on the weather. The first painting here shows a tree that flowers early, a week before the official festival event. Crisp cool days and light bright sun makes this 12”x4” gallery panel glow with the promise of colors to come.

A week later and the flowers are in full bloom. The classic facade of the building is even more beautiful framed by this branch in full bloom with even more buds to come. Visitors crowded the park taking family photos, boat rides on Mirror Lake, graduation pics and picnicking. Many Japanese families wore stunning traditional embroidered silk garments and elaborate headdresses for photos. It was misty and there were slight showers but no one was deterred. I had to stop when the oil paint was sliding on the wet panel.

Early Blossoms, 12x4 oil 
Cherry Blossoms in the Mist, 9x12 oil

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Art on Oliver Street

fresh vegetables

'From the Farm Market' has been selected for reproduction as a large scale artwork. It will be displayed in the public art program "Art on Oliver Street", sponsored by Lumber City Development Corporation. In March I brought the original pastel to the Pencil On The River printshop to be photographed and enlarged for placement in a business window.

The work will be installed during May 2019 and a public reception will be held June 8 at Project 308 gallery. The gallery will display the original artwork there. The large reproductions of artwork selected for this exhibit will remain a minimum of six months. I am excited about the prospect of seeing this pastel painting greatly enlarged and on display.

Thomson's Market Vegetables 13x19 pastel

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Packaging a painting for mailing

Allentown Infringement, oil on stretched canvas 24x30

This painting was discovered online by a resident of Louisville Kentucky and she contacted me to purchase it. Well, it’s pretty big and there are a lot of nightmare stories about packaging for shipping. 

First, I covered the back and face of the framed canvas painting with an archival sheet and a piece of strong cardboard. Angled cardboard corners held the parts together and they were wrapped tightly with yards of a strong plastic wrap. Next it was placed in a corrugated reinforced box, encased in a giant waterproof plastic bag and then slipped into another strong box with pieces of thick corrugated blocks and bubble wrap. 

Packing tape closed up the packaging and the address was written on the box underneath the postal label, in case the solid taping of the label should somehow be damaged. Sent two day delivery, signature required and insured, and another happy client has an original oil painting to grace their home. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Some fading carnations preserved in oil

Before Valentines Day, and for my birthday I bought a bouquet of pink carnations and split the bundle among several vases. As they dried and died I removed the faded flowers. Two weeks later I was down to this last little bunch and the realization that I could paint them on a particularly tall canvas. Not every flower made it onto canvas and I didn’t have a title so I went back to my Facebook friends for suggestions. My titles are usually fairly practical and descriptive. Sometimes the title is meaningful only to me yet the observer could interpret it another way.
Connie Garver won by counting the flowers and the buds. And my birthday is the 13th so her title  achieved a double meaning.

"13 Carnations" 12x4 oil”

An “Award of Excellence”


A year after it was painted I retrieved this painting from Houston. Painted en Plein air, it wasn’t dry enough to pack for travel. When I arrived home I could see the difference 1500 miles makes in the sun and angle of light of the season. Texas, big sky country, seemed to have closer, lighter clouds and softer blue in the sky, and while it snowed here in New York it ‘sunned’ there. I loved the painting so I chose to enter it in the Spring exhibit at River Art Gallery. 
I was fortunate to overhear our judge as she previewed the works and passed my painting. “That’s accomplished.” Although we later received her written comments, I felt that that two word comment had great meaning to me. At the reception I received an award of Excellence which was a wonderful affirmation. There was a lot of great work at this juried show and it humbled me to be awarded a great prize. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The last three days of the January challenge

My feathered friend usually stands above the kitchen cabinets but I had no fresh vegetables and was feeling quirky. He’s made of real feathers and silly plastic feet with wires to hold him upright. The title came to me while I set up this still life, having painted eggs several times already during this daily challenge. 
"The Eggs Came First" 16x12 oil
Roses always fascinate me and this had been saved from a friend.s event several years ago. It was extremely dry and fragile and fell apart when I was finished. Untitled, I asked my Facebook friends to name the painting and had many great responses. I chose one that was quite accurate and could tell a subtle story as well. Title by Alice Gerard.
"After the Date" 8x10 oil

On January 31 my challenge was nearly complete. Some of the artists world wide (Over 800 finished and posted 31 daily paintings, hundreds more tried to) suggested self portraits for the final image. Never one to turn away from a challenge, I did mine. I’ve painted myself before, once from a reflection in the window, another time from a photo, but mostly looking in a mirror. I actually went out and bought a mirror for this. It was one dollar at the Dollar Tree, much larger than the hand mirror I had planned to use. Self portraits usually have an intensity of observation but it was such fun I fortunately didn’t have a grimace looking for shadows and lights.
"C'est Moi" oil 16x12