Sunday, September 9, 2018

Winning is wonderful, but I forget to share it!

Two years ago I participated in a week long plein air event in Westfield, NY. During that week I stayed with friends and spent most of each day painting, there were several evening events for the artists and a lovely weekend art exhibition.
While there, I discovered the local bakery, Portage Pie where you preorder dessert pies or take a chance they have an extra. I left a fun painting of the Portage Pie shop with my hosts. The next year, the building which had been blue for as long as anyone remembered, was painted brown. Just another example of a plein air artist capturing an image that doesn't last.

Nearby Barcelona Harbor, which is along the nearby seaway trail has an eclectic collection of new and vintage boats including liveaboards on shore and rusting hulks in assorted places. I was attracted to a majestic sailboat in the harbor; while I painted a gentleman sat quietly eating for a long time so he was added to the boat portrait. Later I met him and thanked him for eating his lunch so slowly.
"Lunch?' he said.
"I only had a donut."

At the Riverwalk Exhibit in Tonawanda this summer that painting was selected to win an honorable mention. The announcer prefaced the prize  announcement with "This painting is of my favorite places, Barcelona. We are thrilled to be headed back to Spain next Spring."
Sheepishly I informed her that it was the Barcelona on Lake Erie and we all had a good laugh. So pleased to have had such a successful year with my paintings. I need to keep up with this blog better, the paintout was two years ago and the River Art Gallery sponsored prize awarded two months ago. Old news can still be good news.
2 Masts In Barcelona, 20x16 plein air oil

In progress, a season of sunflowers

Not titled yet!!! c. Kath Schifano

This fun old truck is parked at Sunflowers of Sanborn to add to the collection of curiosities that make a visit here special. The painting is in progress here, wet and on the easel.
The view from my parked car. 'Best parking space view' award.

Inside the field, you are surrounded by the joy of happy visitors and the sunny faces of the plants.

‘Calm’ A pastel at Tifft preserve.

Calm 12x16 pastel Kath Schifano
Beautiful, lush, quiet, peaceful, and natural Tifft Wildlife Preserve is a jewel of a place, formerly a massive and useless brownfield in South Buffalo. It used to be a busy railroad terminal for industry, full of crisscrossing tracks and the junk associated with a zillion old trains. With a great deal of help from  the community and government it is now a large sanctuary open to hikers and interested people. Nature has totally reclaimed this place. A few years ago you could see rust and grain elevators in the distance, as trees grow, that view disappears.

Love to paint here, I think some of my most peaceful moments painting happen here, every painting has a story. Ask me about the turtles. This calm pond sometimes has egrets and herons on the shore, it always has ducks and turtles and fish. Bring the kids, find peace.

Farm to Table in North Tonawanda

Partner's Flowers, 9x12 pastel c.2018

Who can resist an evening paintout? These are marigolds and coleus in a window box in front of Partners in Art, North Tonawanda. The Farm to Market dinner was happening in a few hours and I was assigned to paint outside of Partners in Art. I had planned to include the majestic marquee from the restored Riviera Theater in my plein air but didn't have a clear angle of view. I sketched several historic buildings across the street but was still not inspired. However, when the music began I was suddenly sure of my subject-the huge planter of glorious red and yellow on the sidewalk by the shop. 

A lovely dinner on the Webster Bistro patio and a perfect evening with artist friends finished with a visit to where Ylli Haruni was painting. Graciously, he stopped painting his own picture to sketch me while Caedyn and I chatted. What a treasure, he flattered me by eliminating about 30 years. I even approve his adaption of my all day in the sun hat hair. I hope that the joy he captured in this picture comes across to everyone I meet.
Kath in pencil,  by Ylli Haruni 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Playing in the Sunflowers

We decided to call it Tailgating at Sunflowers of Sanford with a number of other painters Arriving all morning. Arriving early, we backed our traveling studios to the fence and painted away on another spectacular WNY summer day. As part of my process I changed a photo to B&W to check the balance of values. I touched the painting up a bit after I came home; driving home with windows wide open isn’t a great idea with a pastel painting in the back.

Wind Dancers, 12x9 pastel c. 2018