Sunday, May 21, 2017

Buffalo Psych center becomes the Henry Hotel

I made it to HH Richardson towers yesterday to paint with NFPAP, in the driveway saw 5 painters buried in their work. I drove all the way around to the new Henry Hotel side and painted a pastel of the new and old entrance.

I went around the building late for lunch and the painters were gone. It had become difficult to work in the cold wind and they had decided to go home. It seemed much more breezy there compared to the Buff State side.  I had seen patrons and workers entering the massive doors and knew the hotel was beginning to host guests. Bravely, I entered the building, walked around, tried out the elevators, admired the fresh clean spaces and artwork; what a change from the scrappy paint peeling filthy garbage strewn floors of my last visit.

I had taken a class of high school students in the 1990's, we were investigating the building for a potential adaptive reuse with an architect. At the time, it was being considered as a magnet school. We still called it the Psych center and it had been vacant for decades, a victim of time and neglect.

The memorable part of this earlier trip was gaining entry to the highest towers, a barn sized space, almost scary dark with high windows shining into the dust laden air. There was dated graffiti from the early part of the century and a huge Bible nailed to the floor. This massive medina limestone building is a jewel of Buffalo architecture, about to fill another century with history.
Buffalo famous buildings, SchifanoMy painting needs a little more work to brighten the windows, correct some perspective and give more emphasis to the new glass entrance, but I am pleased with how I captured the late morning light on the curved facade. Just a few minutes in the studio and it will be grand.

Henry's New Hotel 12x9 pastel c. 2017

Miebohm Gallery accepts a window view

Grace Meibohm, East Aurora gallery 

After a lovely long season of plein air painting outside I was attracted to making a larger painting indoors. My corner windows in the gallery room look upon the woods and a huge set of 5 trees in the neighbor's yard which lean over the property lines and shade the roof for half the day. The long tall windows frame ever changing views in all seasons and distract me every time I pass the door. 

Using the window as a frame for my composition I moved my big easel from the studio and set it on a drop cloth to capture the colors of autumn as they rotated from green to yellow, orange, red and brown. 

This painting has been selected by Grace Meibohm into the Meibohm Gallery on Main Street in East Aurora. She is mounting a juried show of 'The Art of Native Plants' to benefit the Western New York Land Conservancy.

The exhibition is up now, the reception is June 10th and will be there until July 29. Half of my commission will go to WNYLC.

Lights of Fall, oil 30x15x3 c. 2016

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rochester Pastel Workshop

Each morning of this 3 day pastel workshop named "Color Confidence" began with a demonstration by presenter Marla Baggetta. It was a pleasure to get to know her, the creator of a series of paintings that I have admired in several magazine articles. (photo 2 shows the composition she created 100+ times)

This last one is my first afternoon's experience with crazy color experiments using structured color combinations. I later used similar restrictions in a series of Niagara Falls' Horseshoe, all 5x7. 

This workshop was a bit of a challenge to 'stay on task' and 'follow directions' but that's what I paid for and appreciate the experience and opportunity to work with Marla Baggetta. After years of NOT attending workshops I find I can always add to my repertoire of skills by listening, trying new approaches and learning from painters that I admire.

Buckhorn emerges from Winter

Pastels are so satisfying. Making marks with richly pigmented sticks makes a subtle sound on the drawing surface. The colors envelop each other, layer upon layer bits of pigment wink and chortle from beneath and add a dimension not possible with other media.

 A Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters outing to Grand Island's Buckhorn State Park contains more sights and compositions than many other locations. A simple bridge over the creek, White and Grey Herons, fishermen, wooded areas and flowering fields, the canoe launch and the wood deck can all be captured with camera or brush.

This tree is across from the canoe launch and the mild weather barely moved the water, allowing the reflections to barely ripple. I've painted this mighty oak in the brilliance of Autumn but this is the first time I considered the elegance of the bare branches.

Genuflecting to Woods Creek, 12x9 pastel c.2017

Artists Group Gallery BNAA

The Buffalo Niagara Artist Association Spring show is at Artist Group Gallery this year. I've prepared two water paintings, the smaller one is the edge of the Horseshoe Falls while the larger one (Also on the postcard) is 'my jetty' in Long Beach. Don Siuta judged the show and hung it in the two gallery rooms. My two paintings were displayed a few feet apart, the photo here is just a quick snapshot before the show, on a wall outside my studio.

Cool Mist, oil on panel 16x20 c.2016
Slack Between Tides 30x30 c.2016