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.

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

Refrigerator finds for daily paintings.

Here are three ‘ Refrigerator’ paintings from the daily challenge. Vegetables are good models and they encourage quick paintings as we like to eat them. This ceramic bowl seemed like it would be a challenge and I’m pleased with how it looks. 
"Purple Rubber Band", 11x15 oil 
I twisted and turned this head of cauliflower to get the perfect view without it tipping over. It was already half eaten from someone’s meal. Then, I chose the wrong format board to paint it on. It probably deserved a larger surface, but it also should have had a squarer shape. It was a huge challenge for a single vegetable on a small board. 
"Foxy", 7x5 oil

A little magic here, I changed the plate from orange to blue but respectfully copied the shadows and hilights. My homemade light box was helpful here.
"Good Leftovers". Oil 11x15
These grapes came to the studio with me as a snack. As I propped my legs on the table and looked at the birds in my tree, I considered my next painting subject. Aha! I wasn’t ready to eat them right away anyway. The lighting was a little tricky because the shadows were necessary for this composition. They were delicious, too.
A Half Dozen" 5x7 oil.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Window watching in January

Snow! And sunshine! These two January Daily Challenge Paintings are views from my studio window.

Snow Day, 12x4x1 oil on gallery wrap canvas

The pine is the same tree as the previous painting.

Sun In January, 9x12 oil on canvas

An Apple A Day. Or Three? More from January challenge

3 Gala Apples brought me back to 1985. I was determined to be able to draw well and Walter Prochonik guided me in an independent graduate study at University of Buffalo. He set me to draw apples and I discovered the nuances of various kinds, the importance of light and shadow and it gave me a bit of daring to be creative.  Two full sketchbooks and I learned to see. I learned that seeing is step one in drawing, and persistence is right up there, too. 
I ate two of them and needed a new model. I put it outside my light box and used a stronger light here. Although it is accurate, I consider this a fairly boring painting, it doesn’t say much to me. I do like the composition and the way the shapes are balanced.
Carly Mueller noted in Facebook that Gala apples are better for painting than eating. She inspired me to be more painterly with the same Apple as yesterday. I put the brushes away and used a knife.

'Carly's Apple' by itself, painted with a palette knife.
A Gala a Day, 11x15 oil on Arches Huile 
The Third Apple, 9x12 oil on Arches Huile
Carly’s Apple, 11x5 oil on Arches Huile


Having painted whole eggshells, it was time to crack a farm fresh one and see what I could do. My table is tilted and I was sitting closer and taller than the photo. Finished, I thought the yellow bowl looked tilted but that’s the way it looked. Good thing I began with the yolks, as the day progressed they settled and slumped and their reflections changed. I had picked the biggest egg in the carton and it had two yolk, twins!

I’ve painted these three times so far and I am ready to move them out of the studio. They have dried and faded and are much lighter in weight now. The big one is from a goose.

Really Big Eggs Are Twins 8x10 oil on canvas board
The Blue Egg  9x12 oil on canvas

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Limited palette colors

A calm winter day and an opportunity to paint with Jacq Baldini in Niagara Falls Ontario was a welcome Plein air day. 
This is the barge that came loose 100 years ago which triggered a frantic rescue to the two men on board. They didn’t need to hurry as it still hasn’t gone over the Falls. 
My palette shows the small selection of colors I needed on this winter day. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The next two paintings in January challenge

I had a lovely holiday centerpiece that had seen better days but some of the flowers were still lively. I pulled them out and scampered in the yard cutting fresh greens for this one. It’s on black canvas, 12x9 "White and Red Mums"
This is small only 5 x7 but I used a palette knife instead of brushes. The paint is thick and wet, it will be a long time before it dries. "Sweet Onion, Sweet Pepper". I should use the painting knives more often. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

The third week, Stradaeasel challenge

"Eggplant Reflections" 9x12
After some success last week I have foolishly tried another larger composition. The little ones were going well, but, big picture equals more work and time. I do like this but it took me all day. I’m astounded how the dark eggplant skin absorbs and reflects colors.

1/14..  "Goose and Blue I needed a little break and worked small, very small with the trio of assorted eggs I have in the studio. It’s only 2”x2”.
1/15.  "My Peaches" 12x9 oil. Painted them, opened the jar, and served peach shortcake. Creating the glass jar was a lesson in careful observation.
1/16. Halfway through the challenge. "Oh. The Garlic is in the Studio" 3x3. It would have been a whole garlic bulb but one of the cooks here required a clove.