Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Plucked Chicken

A week after I painted the Blue Moon, the weather was lovely and the ride to Paint Youngstown again was sublime. With the coast Guard red roof in the background, this sailboat found its way onto my canvas, drawn with underpaints and I worked on the water and reflections before the weather changed the surface of the water. Well, it did change and the current turned the sailboat around before I was finished. The prow was now to the right. It wasn't going to come back to this position for a long time so I had to finish the picture looking at the opposite side and reversing in my mind using the underpainting as a guide.

I posted the painting on Facebook and it was forwarded by someone to the owner. I didn't see their comment but they came to the November NFLive event at the Niagara Falls Convention Center after Thanksgiving to see me.

The night before the show I had realized I should have a sample of my boat paintings in my table display and put it in an available right-sized frame. It was only a few weeks since it was painted so I offered to take care of it in the future as it wasn't fully dry for a few more months and I hadn't secured it tight enough for long term display. It went home that day with the family that owned the boat. And I learned where the name 'Plucked Chicken" came from. 

Plucked Chicken 16X12 oil on linen

The Blue Moon

Youngstown Yacht Club, working boat, YYC

The end of September serves as the end of sailing season, taking the boats in and readying them for winter takes up a lot of fall days at the Youngstown Yacht Club. The biggest sailboats are brought in last and by then, the dock is covered with propped boats on blocks and trailers, all with masts in the sky, creating an aluminum forest.

I had admired this unusual sailboat and was determined to find time to paint it. Turns out, "Blue Moon" is a work boat for the yacht club, ferrying in the race markers from the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. I learned that the following week when it went to work before I could paint it larger.

It's just 7" tall by 5" and this painting is a new favorite.

Blue Moon, oil on canvas panel 7x5" 


The annual WWPO is a good time with usually great weather that the NFPAP artists enjoy. We have always had it at the Niagara Reservation State Park. I chose a classic falls view and found myself looking around and through a lot of tourists. I love that people stop to appreciate, and maybe contemplate, rather than leaning in to shoot a photo and walking away. 

Plein air Niagara,  WWPO, IPAP   Friday at Prospect Point

  Saturday at Three Sisters, looking upriver.

  My view 

  Where I stood on the first bridge to paint this.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A welcome feeling

flag bunting entrance, flowerpots, Youngstown NY

Annually, on the Thursday before the Lewiston Art Festival weekend, the Youngstown Yacht Club sponsors 'Art on the River". Formerly indoors and upstairs, the event has evolved into a giant tent between the entrance and the docks. I requested a space near the clubhouse restaurant and painted the entrance. As the sun lowered the light came underneath the porch roof and set some spots aglow.

YYC Welcome, 12x9 oil 

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Donated to ‘Artists for Lahaina'

So much was lost to the fire that decimated the city in Hawaii, including lives. Hearing of artists who lost their studios to the fire as well as homes cars and family members is heartbreaking. Originally planned to support artists, the auction of art donated by many artists will benefit all types of need for all people in the stricken area.

This lily painting is 12x16 on board and will be mailed at no charge to the winning bidder. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Niagara Falls power

One more pastel before I return to using oil paint. It's a summer day and my friends are meeting at Three Sisters in Niagara Falls State Park for a warm day by the water to paint. There are so many angles at Three Sisters that are perfect for painting, so difficult to choose. 

On this day I brought art supplies to the end, where the crashing surf racing down to the Horseshoe Falls makes the most noise. A few years ago this area was upgraded with natural plantings and handsome fencing but that keeps us away from the rocky eastern sections of the third island. I decided to show the massive rocks on the shore beyond the fence. 

pastel rocks, niagara river Niagara Falls state park

The Third Island at Three Sisters 12x9 pastel

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Two ribbon awards at the Fairgrounds


Enrolled as a professional I am pleased to have received a second place red ribbon for my seascape at the Erie County Fairgrounds. I learned of the award on opening day when we went to see the fair with thousands of others. The colors and smells! The rides and food choices! Just like a fair should be in the sunshine.

The following Saturday was a Plein air competition. We had to create a new painting of the fair in the allotted time. Pleased to announce my painting was awarded a third prize gold ribbon. A crazy weather day, it rained, cleared, got windy, cleared again and ended with a downpour. I’m surprised to have survived. 

Here are photos of the Saturday event, Plein air results on the wall.

Once the paintings were hung it received quite a bit of attention.

Henry's Kettle Korn

I chose Henry's Kettle Corn stand for my subject. It’s right next to a triple flag base with flowers growing in the base. The combination attracted me. Not the best photo here but I had to mat and frame the pastel with glass and deliver within the time frame and rules. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Pastel! Umbrellas! Plein Air!

 Although there were no customers when I began, a lunchtime crowd eventually filled the tables at Mississippi Mudd's riverside restaurant. The speakers blasted golden oldies and kids and pets walked by with their caretakers to the river's edge. Three tables of card players nearby muttered 'pass' or made comments to their partners after a play. Their $11 split club money would go to the winning pair and there was a lot of laughter. What a great place to be on a summer morning.

These must be new umbrellas, they are so inspiring, bright, and unfaded. Sitting in the shade of a huge maple the view of the outdoor dining area was a perfect place to be the painter. Pastels were perfect to catch these vibrant colors.

Morning Umbrella Dance, Kath Schifano
Morning Umbrella Dance, 9x12 pastel c. K. Schifano, 2023 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Summer days and Luna Island at Niagara Falls.

Planning to paint with Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters when the event was cancelled, I decided to spend the day in The NACC Studio 120. As I drove up I realized my studio keys were home so I kept driving to Niagara Falls State Park, it was a bright calm day and perfect for painting outside. 

Halfway down the wide staircase to Luna Island and the Bridal Veil Falls is a landing and this view wanted to be captured. I am interested in the layers of tourists, at the rail, on the island and by the hundreds in the Maid of the Mist tourboat. The large plume of mist on the right is the tremendous American Falls, just beyond the island. It might have been easier to capture this busy scene with oil paint but I am glad to have decided to use pastels more this year. 

pastel by Kath Schifano, Maid of the Mist
On the Landing by Luna. 12x16 pastel, c.K. Schifano 2023

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Just one Day!

I was invited to participate in an annual River Region Studio tour and will be sharing a spacious studio at 468 Fort Gray Drive, up the hill, in Lewiston. I am pleased to be showing with Michelle Marcotte, Janet Gillis, Nina Randall, Carol Mathewson, Sarah Bonse, Anne Zohar in various locations. The works will include masks, children's books, real and abstract paintings, jewelry and more, details are on the map-see you on Sunday. 


Birthday Bouquet

Birthday Bouquet mixed flowers, hydrangea
Birthday Bouquet, 2023

This studio floral 20" by 24” (oil on canvas) belongs over a couch and I had a stunning wide frame prepared for it. That is, I HAD a beautiful frame until it slipped and shattered a corner. This art business gets pretty expensive when big frames need replacement. 

It has a new frame now, carefully wrapped and ready for assembly. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Monsanto, Portugal -A study in stone

My constant companion is a 3.5" by 5” sketchbook and I gave it a workout in May in Portugal. Here are a few observations from my new favorite place. Monsanto is at the top of a steep hill, the road gets narrow quickly and then one has to walk. A historical site, it is slowly being re built and has a few places to stay-between boulders in very old stone buildings. It was wonderful to be high up, sitting on ledges with a pen and a few dots of paint. My entire mini art kit fits into a zip locked sandwich bag, as the sketchbook is the size of two business cards. 

Looking down into a roofless home from a higher spot.

Monsanto is a town built between boulders. The next is a view looking uphill. It seems there are few flat spots! 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Painting from a kayak

 I brought watercolors, brushes and a sketchbook in a ziplock bag to try another Plein Air painting from a kayak.

I just sketched here because there were so many birds and much to see on Motor Island in the Niagara River.  Five of the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters kayaked from Grand Island while several other  artists stayed ashore. Our lunch conversations were full of bird sightings and fish spawning among the rocks. No wind and the current was manageable considering we were above Niagara Falls.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Finally completed the Lagoon

Several Spring seasons ago I started a painting at Beaver Island State Park and held onto it hoping to finish on a day with similar conditions. In the meantime, the silver maple trees on the far shore had died. When I finally found the right day this year to work on the painting I left those trees in the background and completed the rest of the painting. I added the new heron's nesting platform in the lagoon which sported a nest and a resident bird, smaller than the expected herons. 
The Lagoon at Beaver Island, 16x20 oil

I don’t usually leave paintings unfinished so I’m pleased with this and have one less picture in the 'needs more work' pile. 

Working under an artist umbrella in sun and a stiff breeze, this painting is done! 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Greetings from the wildlife at Niagara Falls

Too tired. 

While painting the first bridge at Three Sisters Islands I was surrounded by newborn geese as well as 1-2 day old Ones In the first photo, the newest babies had a hard time crossing the path with their new legs. The second shows a family of duck critics in front of me.

The last shows my painting and the actual bridge from my view. Unfortunately the cat on a leash who decided the shade of my easel would be a good nap spot escaped the photo opportunity.  

Regular critics. Quack 
The First Bridge  12x16 oil  

Sunday, May 14, 2023

March and April continues my resolution

Continuing daily postings of previously painted compositions, here are 36 more, getting me to the Cherry Blossom Festival, the last weekend in April. Although I have many more paintings to show, Plein Air season has officially begun and I have reached 100 posts. That about 70 more than I had resolved to do. There are a lot of buildings, a few more water sites and lots of flowers in these few weeks.
So, I’m going out to paint now. 😊


Thursday, May 11, 2023

WIP. Evolution of a colored Glass Painting

This is the original set up, some were moved, others added or subtracted until I was happy with the composition.  16x20” oil. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Saturday at Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival

Guests of the History Museum are checking out my work in progress on the Museum porch. I chose the Albright Knox and the new building in progress, seen behind the pink blossoms of the Japanese Cherry Blossom Garden. 

Only 5x7, this is the plan for the large oil painting below.

10”x20”, the two museums are separated by beautiful trees in all seasons. And a parkway, can you pronounce Squajaquada? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Paintings posted January and February

January 1, 2023

It’s time for a new resolution.

"I will post daily for the month of January."

It worked in January, I did it every day, so I posted daily in February too. That’s 59 paintings, mostly older ones that I dragged out for the month. I tried to post only a few that had sold and passed up some of the best ones, hoping to use them later. The paintings went on Instagram and/or Facebook, most always on both social media platforms.  After a while I chose subjects for each week. These images are taken from my instagram page. @kathschifano. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A New Year Resolution in progress.

Want to see lots of older paintings? My New Year's resolution is to post paintings daily in January, so I began with paintings from 2015 and 2016. They can be found on Instagram as well as Facebook. This is a screenshot of the first 10 posts of January, starting with the large Sailboat, 'Barcelona Lunch'. 

The last two shots are the Christmas Blizzard and my new studio wall, set up for the holiday open house. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

A New Studio Space Evolves Quickly!

It took all of September to put this giant room in order and another month to get set up with three artists I love to paint with. We are Plein Air buddies but decided to keep our brushes flowing by sharing a studio space in the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. Surrounded by theater groups, artists of all mediums, musicians, museum spaces, and a frenzy of activity, as well as a restaurant, we are thrilled to be working together in such a creative place.


I chose a wall for my easel, it turned into a comfortable place. There is plenty of room here to expand.

But then, DECEMBER! The NACC invites crafters to fill the halls and has open house weekends, we took this opportunity to exhibit and sell paintings. My space expanded. Most of these extra paintings will remain stored here, but it will return to a painting spot after the New Year.

And of course, Santa came to visit. 

Edit. We have five artists sharing the space now! More action, more feedback.