Thursday, May 12, 2022

Friday, May 6, 2022

Pansies! Spring is really here.

Yellow Pansies, oil 16 x12  c. K. Schifano

In Texas, pansies are planted outdoors as soon as the New Year's blooms fade. Visiting family in March I love the masses of color at street corners and gardens. A cold hardy flower, in New York we wait until April to see little plants shining at grocery stores, garden centers and the neighbor's baskets. My front yard gets a lot of sun so they don't last when it turns warm and I've planted them just a few times. 

This pretty little thing was in a 4" pot. I couldn't resist the purchase but before it went intomy patio display I had to paint them. I brought the plant to Thursday Niagara Painters at the NACC and spent an unusually long time on this painting.  Perhaps it was the arrival of Spring or the joy of this glorious color but this Pansy has a lasting presence in oil paint.

Of course I also bought the magenta pansies and painted them on another day.


Friday Night Challenges

A group of artists, originally based in California, meet online to Zoom and paint from a selected photo. Called the Plein Air Club, their 3pm meeting is at 6pm EST for me so I can't always join. Here are three recent paintings. It is a BIG challenge for me to paint from a screen as I always prefer working from life or from several views of the same place when necessary. This is my winter sport as a plein air artist.

It's fun to meet new artists and chat away while we all paint. At the end of the time, about an hour and a half, we share our paintings. Afterwards, when the paintings are completed and signed they are posted on the group site. It is quite amazing to see the variety of techniques and materials and interpretations. 

Winery painting by Kath Schifano, orange umbrellas
Foxen Canyon Winery, oil 9x12 c. K. Schifano

'Stop. For a California Sunset' oil 9x12 c. K. Schifano

'Sunflowers for Ukraine' oil 9x12 c. K. Schifano


Annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday at the Buffalo History Museum was a perfect Spring day and thousands turned out to see the blossoms. Five painters worked on a scene similar to this, set back from the crowds and walkways. Every painting captured sunlight, flowers and the joy of emerging spring. These trees appear to dance, with the classic architecture of the museum in the background.

Buffalo History Museum, cherry blossoms, Kath Schifano
'Saturday's Cherry Blossoms' oil, 12x16 c. K. Schifano

 Sunday was not as bright, in fact I was caught in the rain as I packed up. My easel was right under the tree with this particular flower right in front of me. I did the same thing last year but the breeze kept blowing the thin branch and it was a bit disconcerting to catch the details. This time, there was no breeze but a little girl jumped up and grabbed my flower. I reacted so quickly-and pretty loud-that I doubt she will ever pick another flower. Instead of seeing some of the centers the bunch now tipped down but I am still satisfied with the shape. Still wondering why, with hundreds of flowering trees and flowers she chose mine. 
'Sunday's Cherry Blossoms' oil, 12x16 c. K. Schifano

Monday, May 2, 2022

Artist Koala paints us!

While at the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival at the Buffalo History Museum another artist sketched us working. Who Knew? Koala came over to show me her drawing so I took this quick photo of her mini sketchbook. Perhaps she will join us or the Urban Sketchers, what beautiful pen work! That's Roy, Liz, Bernie, me with the big hat and Ylli.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

2022 paint schedule


The 2022 schedule for plein air painting is occasionally changed due to weather or conflicts, but this is what we have now. Guests and observers are welcome. Please go to the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters to find information to join.

Rubber duck portrait

Working indoors as the April rains soak everything  

Rubber Ducky, 10x8 oil on canvas panel. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The scow

A few years ago I painted The Scow from the shore of Niagara Falls Ontario. It had tipped overnight and was sure to go over the falls soon. It is still there today but is breaking up even more. I am wondering if we are all wrong and it will still be there, in parts, for many more years.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Landmark home on Grand Island

 Last Fall I met with friends in Ferry Village. It was a little breezy and rain threatened but I worked from a covered area across the street to capture this home. When I moved to Grand Island it was sad looking, but as the years passed it has been renovated and restored, now it is a landmark as well as historical. The bunting displayed was a challenge to draw cleanly as the picture is only 9x12 and I was using pastels. Someday I will paint it instead.

Ferry Village Jewel 9x12 pastel c.2021

Thursday, February 3, 2022

No longer just pictures, these became decor.

A Rochester 'plant-based family' acquired several of my winter vegetable projects, loose paintings, all oil on gessoed oil paper. This series was made during the winter-raiding the refrigerator for live models.

I wasn't just surprised, I was thrilled to see all these paintings matted and framed so beautifully and expertly displayed.  Each painting is about 11x14 so adding the mats and frames turned them into an amazing addition perfectly arranged on kitchen and hall walls. Love this!


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Sunlight streaks the Path at Beaver Island

As 'plein air season' winds down there is joy at the colors of the changing season but melancholy at the idea of losing contact with painter friends for a few months. This year the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters held a final event at Beaver Island, including a pot luck lunch and gag prizes for artwork completed in the morning.

I am totally in love with my achievement capturing the nearby path in the low fall sunlight of Autumn. My pastels were singing! 
light streaming through the woods, pastel by Kath Schifano

Sunbeam at Beaver Island 9x12 pastel 

How I did it! Steps to a painting

These are in my phone since last summer. It is a pastel on a brick colored Colourfix paper. Watch how the dark color modifies some of the shapes yet is not obvious in the finished painting.

Buffalo Waterfront, pastel c. K. Schifano 2021


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Can a Painting be photobombed?

 Look closely, notice the greenish coat on a painter, lower right corner? That's Ylli Hurani and he showed up to paint the Hermit Falls off the first bridge at Three Sisters at Niagara Falls State Park. I had been painting from the cozy front seat of my car and was nearly finished when I spied him at the end of the bridge. With artist license in hand I mentally moved him onto the bridge and put him in my painting. 

'First Snow' oil, 8x10 c.2022

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Surprise publicity found online

Neither of these pictured events are news to me, but finding these public posts of my work is! I'll admit, I googled myself as I occasionally check links for the blog, website, Instagram, etcetera. It is nice to know that art still gets publicity, we miss regular features about various artists, shows and events that used to be published in newspapers. Two local weekly art papers have stopped and two daily papers are shrinking and cutting articles and information due to lack of ads, support and the influence of online media.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Freedom Run Winery in October

Pumpkin painting, Kath Schifano, white pumpkin,
Saturday Pumpkins  9x12 pastel, 2021

Fall Saturdays need pumpkins! I found this pretty collection at Freedom Run Winery in Appleton. Some of the painters headed into the fields to find apple trees draped with a season of healthy red ones, rows of grapevines, the view up the escarpment. I stayed right by the parking lot as I expected rain as well as a stiff breeze, neither of which help pastel paintings. Besides, I had enough of landscapes and haven't painted pumpkins in a decade or so! This was fun, people visiting the winery stayed back and had nice comments.

Saturday Pumpkins in progress


Monday, October 4, 2021

30th Annual Regional Artists Exhibition Acceptance

Pleased to have this painting selected by juror Lin Xia Jiang to be included in a popular and competitive annual exhibition, on view 10/8 to 11/12 at AGG, One Linwood Avenue Buffalo. The intention of the exhibition is to exemplify "the excellence in visual art found in Western New York".

Kath Schifano, marina, Buffalo, sailboats
Buffalo Marina and Skyline, 16x12 pastel ©K. Schifano

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Gateway Park Side trip

"Adult Entertainment", 12x9 pastel on UArt 400

GatewayPark in North Tonawanda is the junction of Tonawanda Creek and the terminus of the Erie Canal. Boats, bridges, historic restored buildings, mature trees, flowered gardens. So many directions to choose to paint from. My paint buddies settled in along the canal while I took a short walk. 
The sun was brilliant and I wanted shade which I found near Main Street. Looking down a side street, Alexander’s Lounge glowed in the light so I worked in the shadow of the bank. Occasionally a delivery truck blocked the view but otherwise the street was quiet, unlike the nightlife that would be here later. The sign stated 'Adult Entertainment' so that’s my title. 

The picture is mounted on my new En Plein Air Pro pastel setup and I am loving access to all my colors at once as well as the ease of setup. 


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Two Show AWARDS!

The Fall exhibit of the Buffalo Niagara Art Association was juried by Jody Ziehm and my pastel painting earned the Special Judson's Art Outfitters Award. Titled "Conflictions" it shows the crest of Niagara's Horseshoe Falls from the rapids.
In the Carnegie Art Center of North Tonawanda a plein air oil painting titled "Tuscan Morning" that I painted in Italy was awarded Third Prize by juror Alexa Wajed. She wrote 'This is a beautiful painting that reminds me of Italy I love how the brushstrokes obscure the lines and you, as the viewer, have to almost finish the piece. It easily feels like home, peace and comfort. The pop of color from the flowers calls out to you.'

I am so pleased that my work was chosen for these awards. With all the great paintings, drawings and sculpture in these shows I am excited to be exhibiting next to so many other wonderful artworks. Congratulations to all of us.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunflowers! Celebrate August Joy

Sunflowers of Sanborn, art by Kath Schifano, yellow pictures, studio display
Sunflowers by Kath Schifano

Sorting the studio and moving artwork I discovered that by painting every year at the sunflower fields means I have sunflower paintings to brighten my shelf. I do love being at Sunflowers of Sanborn for hours, among happy visitors and surrounded by (smiling) yellow and orange flowers. 

Top Row-I've Got Secrets, Wind Dancing,  Conversation, and oops, Niagara Falls, 'A Peek at the Plume'

Middle- Faces in the Wind, Truckin' in Sanborn, Some Rise Higher (which will have a mat, glass and frame), A Model in Austin

Bottom- Another View of the Sun, which is colored pencil a picture before the sunflower farm opened.

Just another August weekend

Lightened the car load and brought fewer framed paintings to the Lewiston Art Festival this month. I like when my clients choose their own frame with local framers. Displaying a variety of affordable unframed works  means more people can own original art. Painting with standard sizes means they can also purchase ready made frames if they like.

With so many events cancelled this summer many more people came to shop at Lewiston Art Festival, all of the artists expressed 'a better weekend' plus it DID NOT RAIN!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Grace Millar Knox Mansion

The Junior League of Buffalo Showhouse is presented biannually in a different local mansion. Decorators transform each room and artists contribute paintings making the house an amazing collection of talent and beautiful ideas. The money raised is used to support local charities and organizations.

I am thrilled to have been invited to exhibit ten paintings in this former home, soon to be the offices of Cellino Law.

EDIT-10/3 Although paintings are hung throughout the mansion, there is also an Artist Gallery, shown here. Paintings are available to purchase right away. I am pleased to have had four large works sold as well as several small paintings sold through the gift shop.

Only 4 are mine, can you tell which ones?

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Summer and Pastels in Buffalo

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is a prime painting spot all year long.

The first problem is choosing a site, followed by some housekeeping. Will I be in the way of visitors? What is the best view of an artist on site? We have to choose how the scene is viewed, is it on the side of the canvas or over the top? Considerations include keeping the sunlight off both the canvas and colors on the palette. In this instance I was under a dense tree, keeping cool on a hot Buffalo day. With the easel set in a lowered position, some of the foreground was blocked for me. It had rained and the greens were brilliant and flowers were blooming freshly.
Kath Schifano, working

Kath Schifano, plein air
South Side Garden at Botanical Gardens

Every corner and garden is fresh whenever I go back to visit or paint. These flowers are as large as dinner plates and the whole plant is taller than I am.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Art on the River

Two days before the Lewiston Art Festival the Youngstown Yacht Club invites some artists to display and sell. It’s just a few hours, a lot of fun and a way to check all my supplies for the weekend. 

Usually I paint the sailboats or the lovely restaurant but I decided to chat and enjoy the evening as I had painted earlier in the day. Laurene visited with me and brought the wine. What a great idea! 

Always Carry a Sketchbook

It looks precarious, but the hill isn't as steep as it seems, and it is raining lightly. Between my sun umbrella and the willow tree above I stayed fairly dry. This is on Lake Ontario, a lovely day spent with Laurene.

 This is my final Urban Sketch, but out in Niagara County, about 6x8" in my trusty sketchbook. It is a watercolored ink drawing. Some of these campers will live here until the weather turns and they leave to southern homes for the winter.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Mike Randall interviews us at Lewiston


Click to Watch the WKBW news report

Mike Randall from Channel 7, WKBW, came by Lewiston and the Silo Restaurant to see us painting and inquire about Plein Air. What a lovely report!

Here it is, still on the easel. nearly completed.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Buffalo Garden Walk Painting Invitation Step by Step

 The annual Buffalo Garden Walks offer opportunities for artists to paint in various gardens. At Vermont Street and 17th there is a public vegetable and flower garden and I reached out to NFPAP members to join me and Buffalo Society of Artists on a sunny July Saturday. The many visitors and especially children were fascinated to see us at work.

The back view of the tall Yarrow flowers drew my attention this time. Compared to the brilliant yellow flowers on top the underneath stems are deep rich greens and even blue in the shadows. I sat to paint to observe this view under the yellow Yarrow flowers.

Yarrow flowers, yellow painting, Kath Schifano, step by step paint
Step by step in the community garden

yellow flowers, yarrow, Schifano
Under the Yarrow, 9x12 oil

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Elevator Alley

Look carefully and find the source for the title. "3 Kayaks in Elevator Alley" 

Pretty breezy so I hid my palette and paints out of the wind on a pedestrian walkway. The coolest, sweetest kid was mesmerized, I had painted enough that he could see the relationship to the real view. Kids always want to look, but the little ones never last as long as this guy watched, absolutely engrossed. I always wonder what the takeaway is for little people seeing an artist working for the first time. Martha Rogala sent me the photo. It was suggested I paint the photo of him watching me paint, maybe next winter. 

Elevator Alley, Buffalo River painting, kayaks, grain elevators,

Three Kayaks in Elevator Alley, 9x12 oil, c.2021