Saturday, October 29, 2011

Letchworth State Park Plein AIr

Kath Schifano
When I am asked how I am, my answer has been 'wonderful'. Sincerely wonderful.

There have been many opportunities to paint this Fall in a variety of locations and I have not wasted a moment. These three were painted at Letchworth State Park at our annual overnight paint marathon. I missed the first day and night because I was in Houston, but drove down in the morning and painted two from Wolf Creek overlook. This was a new location for me, previous trips had brought us to many overlooks and 'Kodak spots'; this is a tributary to the Genesee River. The water passes under the road in a wide stream (a lovely view that needs to be painted on my next visit) and then condenses to rush through rocks.

Later in the day I turned around to the east and captured afternoon mist and shadows in the gorge, trees leaning into the late afternoon light.

The third tall image shows everybody's favorite Letchworth falls from Inspiration point. This is a tiny painting, on stretched canvas, so I painted around all the edges to continue the picture, it will remain unframed. Now just imagine me standing in the parking lot, holding a wet oil painting -on 5 sides- and figure out how I got it home without ruining it! The famous railroad bridge that passes over the falls was omitted, imagine what western New York would have looked like before trains and towns cut into the landscape.
Kath Schifano

Kath Schifano

Wolf Creek Moment 16x20 oil, 2011
Wolf Creek Mist, 10x8 oil, 2011
Inspiration Point at Letchworth, 12x4,  2011

Houston Painting Op

Kath Schifano
A warm sunny Fall week in Houston, while it turns chilly and rains at home. Could I ask for more? The big-happy-knee-grabbing-hug I got from little Amelia made the hours flying in a metal tube across the country worth it, but meeting the Katie Prairie being restored in Northwest Houston was a close second.

Watching suburban sprawl gobble up farms and old buildings, traveling on 12 lane highways and seeing endless stores and malls jaded me about this area. There was little to paint that looked different from anywhere else, Target, Walmart and Appleby's all look the same everywhere.

At Lone Star College, the extensive landscaping is totally a prairie restoration in progress and I had a wonderful experience making my own paths as well as following the suggested walkways. Standing under a live oak for shade while I painted, the water here was slightly misty in the morning. It dried quickly as the sun rose and the colors brightened.

I plan to go back here in different seasons and time of day to continue to enjoy an oasis of nature and paint the prairie as it expands and grows, hopefully inspiring similar natural restorations.

Katie Prairie Mirror 14x11, oil 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

2012 calendars

2012 is printed, packed and ready! The new calendar returns to the original format of monthly images with dates below. The past two years we used some innovative layouts with several months having full page paintings with the dates on the picture. That was a designer's challenge unless there was a lot of white mist to print over.

Since I chose to include just plein air paintings, most of my work was horizontal which made the traditional format a natural choice. They fit into wallet size photo frames; many customers have told me of favorite pictures preserved this way. I have also heard of the pictures used as bookmarks, coasters or inserts in a friendly note. The most flattering use was explained by Frank DiGaudio in Long Island, he rebuilt his kitchen and put in a heavy glass counter top, then mounted a whole series of calendar pages under the glass. Fantastic!

Calendars are sold at 464 gallery and the Niagara Holiday Market as well as The Book Corner, Castellani Art Museum, and Studio One.

Mail orders, $15 for one, $28 for two, 5 for $65. $12 for refills without a case. Prices include sales tax and shipping. There is a paypal link on my website or just comment her to get my attention!

Individual calendars may be purchased for $12 at The Book Corner or at Studio One, Niagara Falls, the Castellani Art Museum or at my Grand Island studio.

photo is back page of calendar, showing illustrations for 12 months of 2012

"Painting for Preservation" Exhibit in Buffalo

Kath Schifano
I have lightly aligned with a group called "Painting for Preservation" in Buffalo. I say lightly because most of their paintout events are on Saturdays and I can rarely paint then, although my heart is with the group. I have always felt a need as a painter to record changes around me, and as I look over my archived art works I am astounded at the number of things that no longer exist, lovely old barns, The Wintergarden, grain elevators and that lovely old ship that we loved to paint every year in the inner harbor of Buffalo.

[Copied from their website at] PAINTING FOR PRESERVATION
P4P is a group of eclectic and inclusive artists and preservationists that gather at historic places to make art on-site. We create positive awareness of distressed and under-utilized buildings; we create a record of current building conditions through the artist's point of view; we spark new and innovative preservation opportunities. We are inspired by our historic urban environment.

Painting for Preservation (P4P) will host its first show during the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference in Buffalo, New York in October.

Kath Schifano
 I am pleased to have these three plein air paintings included with a number of other artists at the Statler Hotel Exhibit of P4P artworks this month and the exhibit will remain in the stately Statler Hotel in Buffalo until December. A percent of sales from art in this show will go toward the restoration. There will be a private opening and a public one to be announced. I am thrilled to be able to go back into this historic building, I always loved the grand spaces, chandeliers and staircases and the sense of history that pervades the building.

Froze in Time, 9x12 oil 2011
Shadows in Elevator Alley, 9.5x12.5 pastel 2011
Tugs and Grain Elevators, 9.5x12.5 pastel, 2011
Kath Schifano

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Artist update!

This Fall has been spectacular for me, returning from a week in Houston I woke the next morning, repacked and drove straight to Letchworth to join NFPAP painters for an overnight paint out. The colors gently changed as I painted. It wasn't too cold and the sun was brilliant so I completed three plein air paintings surrounded by nature. Where there were green trees with golden flashes on my entry, overnight the reds and oranges appeared on the mountainsides. The frost overnight made a big difference. My favorite finished painting Of the three is just 4" by 8" & 1" thick, a dimensional canvas with two waterfalls in the distance, minus the railroad bridge.

There is something about placing manmade structures in great expanses of nature. It is always a dilemma to include or exclude items in paintings, so often I choose to omit built structures. I will post them all as soon as the conditions are right to shoot the dry oil paintings. That means morning light, not too sunny, no wind and I am not otherwise busy. Fat chance of that happening soon! Life is good, but hectic.