Sunday, July 26, 2015

Buffalo Garden Walk

The annual July garden walk in Buffalo is a chance to see spectacular picnic spaces, patios, ponds and dramatic flowers and trees. The largest walk in the country and one of the first, thousands of people converge on the West side to gawk and gape and wonder if they had extra hours to cultivate their plants could they have stunning gardens too? 

It's also quite social, we are guaranteed to see old friends along the way. In 2009 I had painted on Summer Street with my friends and the homeowner purchased the painting of her house from me. Happy with the results she had me return to paint the back yard as well. 

Six years later I was on her street and noticed how things had grown since my original paint date. Kitty was on her porch, surrounded by lush flowers and invited me in to see the paintings. Like I said, events like these bring old friends together...what a treat to visit the paintings in their own home. 

Kathy Schifano
Kitty in her beautiful Summer Street dining room

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

But the sign is in the way

Grand island painting 
Sitting in a marina Painters find boats, rigging, docks, gardens, buoys and bridges, ropes and restaurants to draw and paint. 

This time I never left the parking lot. This sign mired in an old tire had collected weeds and stood guard over the mini bump in the road for a long time. It wasn't quite as intrusive as the painting but that was my choice. I wanted it to seem like a golf cart path or narrow road and the sign seems to prevent passing by any large vehicle. While being painted huge cumulus clouds sailed over head and the boats stayed in their assigned dock spots. 

It's always a good day when a painting scene appears when there is both time and materials at hand. 

Speed Bump. 5x7 oil on board

Niagara Falls Red Coach Inn

Niagara falls building, pastel painting, k Schifano

Near the American Falls there is a grassy hill overlooking the rapids. I went there to paint the rush of a zillion gallons of water but again turned around away from my intended subject. The late morning sunlight on the famous Red Coach Inn was irresistible. I had to put in the shadows first and study the light and darks intently as the sun was heading around the building quickly. Early morning is the best time to 'catch the light' when painting but my cup of tea or coffee with breakfast and a newspaper is a treasured time and often delays my start. 

Red Coach Inn 12x16 pastel. 

Thinking About Frank DiGaudio

Frank was my stepdad and he suddenly died 3 weeks before 9/11. I'm glad he missed it but I wonder sometimes if he was lucky to be spared the experience. Anyway, his heart was with his BPOE group, the Elks, and he ran their Bingo, gaming nights, bought supplies and danced every song. When my friends went to Forest Lawn to paint I was immediately attracted to a huge elk sculpture inside the Main Street gate. Majestic and proud, mounted on a pedestal of rock I painted this elk and considered Frank. We had a lovely conversation. 

Where Elks Rest, pastel 9x12 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Japanese cherry blossom festival

The second annual Cherry Blossom Fest at the History Museum in Buffalo was perfectly timed with the best show of seasonal pink flowers. While I worked on my final larger picture, 'Cherry Blossoms on Saturday', the flowers cascaded like rain, carpeting everything in pink. WHen I returned home my tweezers picked a branchful of leaves and petals out of the wet painting. The NFPAP artists also worked here on both Saturdays of the festival. Everyone plans to return next year. 
Kathy Schifano      Pink carpet. 5x7 palette knife oil

Cherry Blossoms on Saturday 12x16 oil

Framing History 7x5 oil

Niagara Falls Music And Art Festival

June's wonderful weekend was warm and dry, the music was loud and Niagara Falls was hopping. My tent was nicely shaded, I enjoyed seeing old friends, and I was able to work on a painting each day. Neither if these show the finished painting but it does show my set up and what I was working on. 
I decided to create a display of the 5 x 7 paintings I have been painting recently, what fun to see them all together. 

The Giacomo in sunset. 9x12 oil
Holding Back the Rain   9x12 oil