Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Domestic Violence Awareness Month-October

This moody little oil depicts Navy Island in the Niagara River with the Robert Moses Parkway shoreline of Niagara Falls in the distance. It was rainy, foggy & chilly on the northwest corner of Grand Island, a pocket park call 'Eagle Overlook'. I painted it plein air from inside my car with the window open, the dampness crept into my bones as gulls & seabirds flew into the water & floated by. It was even grayer as I began, but the fog lifted so I could see fuzzy outlines in the distance. Despite the gloomy description it was a peaceful & lovely experience.

The Family Justice Center of Erie County and Artspace Buffalo invited artists to participate in an art auction for the benefit of the Family Justice Center of Erie County. The auction will be held during "A New stART" on October 22nd, 2009 and as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This painting, & two others I entered were juried into the Family Justice Center's annual auction. See all the auction images at their website for A New StArtClick here to view the artwork! You can also get tickets to the event, it was a lovely affair last year, great restaurant treats & wines from around the area - the art was beautifully displayed & lit for the auction. It's at Asbury Hall, formerly The Church, on Delaware Ave. & is a wonderful reuse of an elegant building, with great acoustics.

Gulls & Niagara Fog, oil, 11x14 2007

Saturday, September 26, 2009

16th Street in Niagara Falls painting - a portrait

Niagara Falls pastel Kath Schifano Kathy PaintingPainted from a grand old home on 16th in Niagara Falls, as well as old & new photo references, this house portrait includes details that no longer exist-the awnings, trees, windowboxes & flowers. No longer in the family,  the portrait was commissioned by Nardene Bradt as a gift to her family who grew up in a traditional blended household, aunts & uncles, cousins & grandparents in the same house.

I intended this to be all pastel, but various details of window lights, trims & brick were too small for fat pastel pigments. I chose to underpaint it with Golden fluid acrylics, a rich flexible paint that would preserve the Wallis pastel paper surface. Pastels were used on top of the dried color, allowing the hard edges & details to remain while capturing the rich qualities of pastels as well. I have used the two media together before & have always been happy with the result.

Memories of 16th Street, 16x16 fluid acrylics & pastel 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

This post is for Jim Sheusi

Art Alive is an Albright Knox activity in June, featuring individuals or groups acting out famous artworks. 'Girl With A Pearl Earring', the famous artwork by Vermeer suited my former student, Jenna Miller, perfectly. We used a painted telephone booth box with a gold frame hanging in the doorway. Her top was a cut off graduation gown, the pj pants, striped socks & sneakers were her adaption to the scene & gathered a lot of laughs.

This picture is the invitation announcement that was used the following year for the same event. The designer grayed the scene to emphasize Jenna's face in the frame-she was a clone of the original 'Girl with a Pearl Earring.'


oil on canvas
18 1/4 x 15 3/4 in.  (46.5 x 40 cm.)
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Postcard image, Jenna Miller at AKAG, 2004

Music is Art, Albright Knox 9-12-09

My first movie! Always interested in the 'view' of the moment, I have photographed, painted & drawn countless scenes. In the midst of a lovely festival afternoon displaying my work & painting the scene (it's in progress on my easel) during the Worldwide Paint-out weekend, I realized I could use my camera to record the sounds & sights I was enjoying. I'm just a film newbie, but turn up the sound to watch my first attempt! Now I will go read the directions for my camera!

This 47 second clip of our 'Music is Art' experience is on the lawn of the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The traveling band gave us a personal concert; added to the five stages of bands, performances & continuous music, kids activities, fire jugglers, robots & food of the 12 hour day of spectacular weather, it was a wonderful experience for everybody.

A fundraiser for the non-profit 'Music is Art' organization, the day featured a raffle of donated artwork by the 30 selected artists. Carl & I had packed the car & were enjoying a performance in the evening when the winners were posted. A couple had claimed their prize and were talking about it in front of us on the lawn when I realized they were holding my picture of the 'China Lighthouse' at the Buffalo Harbor.... I was so pleased to meet the winners of my lighthouse picture, they were as pleased as I was to have been the winners!.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Plein Air in Buffalo

I've been painting more than I have been posting here-this pastel shows the view between two older homes on Pearl Street in Buffalo, the path leads to a 'Buffalo in Bloom' garden. It was completed last month during a flurry of pastel paintings. I had decided that it would be easier to paint pastels & pile them up in my studio than to find more room for wet oil paintings that need to sit out to dry for 3 months. Of course the pile of pastels never got themselves into my camera in a timely manner. 'Out of sight, out of mind'. Pastels are beginning to get the respect they deserve, there is no difference in quality of one media over the other. As an oil painter & pastelist, I love slipping back & forth between media, learning & improving as I go.

A Pearl on Pearl, pastel 16x12 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Niagara Falls Paintings Calendar

I had released the 2010 calendar for the Lewiston Arts Festival, and it has begun to show up in a few local shops. This year features 12 new paintings of Niagara Falls, as requested by many friends & customers. It was difficult to put together as I just like to paint-not 'paint to make a calendar'. It required some new layouts & interpretations of the paintings so that it was not 12 pages of blue water, waves & blue sky. I also had to make a few extra painting forays to the Falls in some very cold weather! Only two are studio paintings, so it is nearly all plein air art. 

As usual, the 2010 calendar is for sale in the gift shop of the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University as well as The Book Corner in Niagara Falls. It will be also be sold at the Niagara Falls' Earl Brydges Library gift shop soon as well as the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. That should make them available to everyone around WNY!
 Contact me soon to purchase gifts early through www.kschifano.com, the price is only $12. You can also click on the blog icon for an envelope below 'comments' to contact me. {people who receive my regular posts sent to their phone/inbox will have to access www.blogspot.kschifano.com to leave a comment}

Friday, September 4, 2009

Next Saturday 9/12

'The Music is Art Festival' is next Saturday on the grounds of the Albright Knox Art Gallery. I will be one of the 50 selected artists/presenters in the tents. Be there-& find me to say hi! The music is always amazing, it goes from 10 am til late & in the evening all the stars show up, even if it is too dark for the artists.
This is one of those Robby Takac [of GooGooDolls] events that are always fun for everyone. I'll have prints & 2010 calendars, some originals, but I will also be painting there.