Friday, July 27, 2012

Asgaard Farm in the Adirondacks

Asgaard Farm painting
c. K Schifano
Ausable Forks is the home of Asgaard Farm, which is the location of Rockwell Kent's artist studio. The studio was interesting as it was presented just as he left it, brushes and paints in plain sight, unfinished paintings and all the accoutrements of an artist in a secluded cabin in the woods. It has been carefully preserved by the farm's owners who also have cows, chickens, lots of goats, horses, tremendous fields rolling into the distance, artisan cheeses, goat soap, fresh eggs and meats all managed on their certified organic farm.

Since this is such a large working farm, there were tractors and silos, a variety of buildings, fenced and open areas, animals and gardens all around the 1500 acre spread including deep forests, rolling hills and fields for cattle and crops. It was impossible to choose one thing to paint and there were 48 artists set up to paint as well, we had decided to have the group photo taken there. After walking around, I chose an old milk can minding a quiet spot in the center of several farm buildings, it turned out that behind the white doors were a flock of goats occasionally making goat noises, and they quieted as I sat and drew.

Much later, I learned that the goats escaped, trampling and eating the entire herb garden, surrounding the artists working on the opposite side of the barn. A single riderless horse galloped around them, much like a sheepdog and herded them into an area with buckets of feed that they also got into before they went through a gate and were safely rounded up. My friends took many photos of this melee, I am amazed that I was so close and missed all the action as the photographs are hilarious. Imagine quietly sitting with paint and suddenly having a flock of goats circling your easel!

I bought goat cheeses, of course, two dozen beautiful colorful eggs and some fresh caramels which hardly lasted to the end of the ride home.

While Goats Ran Wild pastel 9x12, 2012

Publisher's Invitational 2.0 2012

c. K Schifano
Another invitation to paint with artists near the Trinity Lakes in the huge Adirondack park got me packing and driving 6 hours in June. THis time, we didn't drive hundreds of miles during the week to the well known Hudson River School of Artists sites, that was my focus last year. Instead, I tried to capture some of the sights of the Adirondack Park that make it memorable, a place to return and rejoice in nature, year after year. I found pleasure in roadside streams, long vistas and beautiful farms, the contrast between open sunny fields and dappled light of deep woods as well as the lakes and mountains.
Reviewing my camera memory cards, I found daily records of the ever changing morning light on St. Regis mountain as I walked to breakfast as well as dozens of rocks and huge boulders sitting in streams, on roadsides and buried in mountain walls. At one spot, I set my camera to movie and turned 360' to record the lake, stream, woods and animal sounds at my spot. Listening and looking at the film at home I am amazed at the variety and volume of the birds recorded.
I walked a little into the woods off a back road and painted this birch tree rooted on the shore, it was surrounded by pine needles from massive evergreens that had been there for generations. It was quiet and meditative, only a single car could be heard during the entire painting process.

c. K Schifano
Miles of Mountains, pastel 6x12, c. 2012
Sun Salutation, pastel 9x12, c. 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I do on my vacation.

Kathy Schifano, ocean plein air
Staying just half a block from the ocean, I spent a week of mornings and evenings painting the tides and this jetty, thank goodness for the umbrella! I have decided that the only thing I really NEED to paint is water, the more action the better.

I also realized that as an Aquarius, I was raised on Long Island, live on Grand Island and never lived further than 3 blocks from the Niagara for 22 years living in Niagara Falls. This painting included several surfers and was sold with wet paint from the easel. I love when that happens, a person loves the work I do and makes a decision on the spot. Since I was traveling home the same day it was especially nice to have one less (actually two) paintings to transport. Will post photos of the artworks next.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Niawanda Park's 9th Annual Art on the Riverwalk

Kathy Schifano painting at Riverwalk, Tonawanda
Spectacular weather along the Niagara river combined with a Sunday art show in Tonawanda was an opportunity to paint plein air at my tent and chat with viewers about the process. Nearly full sun along the river while my pictures were set up under shade trees with a picnic table and water and parking right there made it perfect.
I started this picture when a couple placed their chairs in the shade and left for a while. Just as I was ready to work on the chairs, they returned and remained for quite a while while I was painting. It tookk a long time to finish, I had to stop frequently to talk to visitors and friends who visited the tent, so I appreciate that they stayed until the figures were completed.
c. K Schifano

The Polka Dot Chair, pastel 12x9, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

ADK Mountain School Painters and Me

Recently returned from an invitational paint week with the publisher of 'Plein Air' and 'Fine Art Connoisseur' magazines, we made headlines in the Adirondack newspaper. I am the fourth in the front row, with hat and sunglasses. We were all painting at lovely Asgaard Farm when this photo was taken.