Monday, August 1, 2016

Learn to Paint with Acrylics!

Clouds Rolling In

Well, this is where you will find me next week!

No. Not swimming in the river.
Teaching at the TI Arts Center!


Thousand Islands Arts Center                                                                                                              

Clayton, NY
August 9 - 10
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
$75 ($65.50 TIAC members)

Acrylic painting is a great way to get started as a painter. Colors mix beautifully, the paint dries quickly and mistakes can be easily painted over with this medium.

In this class you'll learn how to mix colors and to use complementary colors and neutrals to their best advantage.

We'll also cover several techniques for applying paint including palette knife, dry brush scumbling and wet into wet blending. Each student will be able to complete 1 or 2 small paintings.

All materials will be supplied by instructor. No need to bring anything but your desire to learn this exciting technique!

You can call the TI Arts Center for registration information 686-4123 or visit


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Capturing Atmosphere With Color

"Sun-Soaked Afternoon" watercolor

"Invitation" acrylic

Same Scene, Different Mood

Whenever I am kayaking on the lake I stop by this scene just to take in the natural beauty and the man-made additions which just seem to invite us to stop and take a break. And since I'm usually tired from paddling I do stop. Sometimes I take a few pictures, other times I have sketched this scene.

The two paintings above inspired by this scene are very different in mood. "Invitation" was painted in acrylic using a full palette of color. And it was under-painted in complementary colors to give an extra depth to the painting. The red chair on the dock is in real life a white chair, but I painted it red because I felt that the scene needed a bright warm color to draw attention to the focal point. The reds in the trees and on the ground create a balance of warm colors throughout the painting, leading our eyes around the composition.

"Sun-Soaked Afternoon" a watercolor, is less about depth and detail and more about creating a mood: a hot, sunny, somewhat hazy day. The limited palette of harmonious colors (all lying next to each other on the color wheel) and lack of detail create a dreamy atmosphere. I omitted the hammock in this painting because I wanted less details in the composition. Color, especially the push and pull of warm and cool colors becomes more important than details when trying to set a mood. The fade in/fade out quality of the wet-on-wet watercolor technique lends itself nicely to the subtle blend of colors giving an overall dreamy, hazy feel to the piece.

Related post on limited color palette:

Related post on painting atmosphere:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Art Along the Way: the Pacific Northwest

Art Along the Way--Seattle

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle & Bellingham, WA and Vancouver, BC. Along the way we encountered so much wonderful art.

In Seattle the Chihuly Glass Garden and Museum was nothing short of breathtaking. I became a fan of  Dale Chihuly's work after reading an article about him in National Geographic. When his "Seaforms" exhibit was shown at the Everson Museum in Syracuse back in the 90's I made it a point to go and see the show. I was delighted  by the colorful undulating forms illuminated from below and displayed against a black background. The Chihuly Museum in Seattle utilized the same presentation.

As we made our way from Seattle to Bellingham we saw the work of many other glass artists in various gift shops and galleries. Some had studied with Chihuly; his influence seemed to be everywhere.

Art Along the Way--Bellingham

In Bellingham we discovered the Lightcatcher Building which is part of the Whatcome Museum Complex. There was an installation of large scale works by 4 different artists with color as the uniting theme. Pictured below are sections of two of the installations--I had to get those complementary colors in the same picture! And below that, an abstraction of water, sky and sun.

In Bellingham we also saw these charming sculptures on the campus of Western Washington University.

Art Along the Way--Vancouver

We saw Totem Poles or Story Poles from Seattle to Vancouver. The ones pictured here are from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park outside of the city of Vancouver and Stanley Park in the city of Vancouver. 

I was happy to see my favorite character: the Raven. I have used the stories of Raven The Trickster in some of the art lessons with my students at the YMCA Arts Studio. How the Raven Made the Tide was my favorite lesson, integrating art, music and storytelling. And Raven the Trickster tricked us by turning our black tempera paint a funny greenish black. The kids were enchanted by the idea of the Raven tricking us. I didn't have the heart to tell them that it was just the paint going bad.

The real star of the Pacific Northwest is the natural beauty of the area, but I've gotta say we saw some really fabulous man-made art too!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Somethin's Fishy and It's 5 O'clock Somewhere

Breaking Out

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to break away from the watercolor and acrylic landscapes for a bit. I had been thinking of experimenting with mono-prints.  I had taught a mono-print class at the Y Arts Studio a couple of years ago and really enjoyed experimenting by adding other media to embellish the final piece. 

So I printed several color field backgrounds (it looked like Mark Rothko had invaded my studio---Ok that's an Art History reference --you can look it up). Anyway, when the color fields had dried I added the focal points by printing fish stencils on the top print, and creating martini and wine glass shapes out of cardboard for the other mono-print. The shaggy borders were made by inking cardboard scraps and printing them to help define the picture plane. (I actually used paint, not ink but you get the idea.)

After all of that had dried I added other decorative elements with markers and stenciled letters. The process is a lot of fun and it's very freeing to break out into something new and different.

Fine Arts and Crafts and even Belly Dancers! Join us at Arts on Genesee June 18 - 19.

Yes that's right! Fine art, crafts, art-to-wear, wood working and artisanal soaps. All in one location complete with on-site food trucks, live music and even belly dancers. And FREE ADMISSION!

We have an impressive line-up of artisans (check out the poster!!!), so come on out and enjoy the show on the grounds of May Memorial in Syracuse. 3800 East Genesee St.

You can find us on Facebook too, so please "like" us and share!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The NLAPW Biennial Conference: A Joyous Balancing Act and I Loved Every Minute of It!

A Joyous Balancing Act and I Loved Every Minute of It!

Although I have been an Artist Member of the National League of American Pen Women for many years I have never attended a Biennial until this year. I have to admit that half of the draw was the location. I LOVE DC and the fact that 2 of my 3 children live there made the idea of attending even sweeter. I could combine Biennial time with family time. Little did I know how much of my family would ultimately end up in DC for that weekend! My husband, his two brothers and sister-in-law added to my own children and their significant others made for an Applebaum invasion. But luckily our Nation’s Capitol provided plenty of entertainment or work for everyone, so I was free to go hang out with the creatives! Armed with my trusty iPhone onto which I had downloaded the DC Metro map and walking maps of the Dupont Circle Neighborhood, and an assortment of rain-gear I set out daily to join the most creative group of women that I have ever encountered. 

And they were not just creative, they were accomplished, and confidant in their abilities. And so willing to share. I loved the presentation on Computer Sculpting/3-Printing and was amazed by how many of our older members ( 70+ ) were working in those programs. Innovation is not bound by age. And the breadth of knowledge that one women had on the role of the WASP in WWII was incredible and I think she could have talked for another hour. Her technical set-up failed her and we were disappointed to not see the WWII photos, but she had enough knowledge of her subject to overcome the difficulties and carry on.

And the Painted Sounds presentation was extraordinary and something we should look at doing for our own branch. And yes, I am working on a painting based on one of the poems. I was also impressed by the Art Shows 2-d and 3-d, and the stately settings for both. Pictured here is CNY Pen Women Barbara Baum's oil painting (she made our banner too, which is held by our President Janet). Rachael Ikins and Ilene Layow were both represented in the PW Art Competition as well. Rachael's pencil drawing drew many favorable comments and Ilene's fused glass piece fairly glowed at the Pen Arts Reception.

Many years ago (probably around 1999) I arrived on the doorstep of the Pen Arts Building with my husband and three little children in tow. I introduced myself and family to a very surprised and gracious Judith Lafourest, who was at that time our NLAPW President. She gave us some lemonade and a tour of the building. What a treat to see her so many years later at the Biennial and to discover that she remembered me and my family. I have a feeling that not many other people show up unannounced on the doorstep of the Pen Arts Building with 3 kids in tow. No wonder she remembered us!

The Biennial provided opportunities to meet artists, composers and writers from all over the country. It also gave us (CNY Branch) time to bond as a group and I loved the goofy moments as well as the recognition we received at the Letters Luncheon. The opportunity to sneak away for a bit to see the National Gallery with Wendy and Rachael was a treat.  I wish we could have had one day to just all sightsee together! And Bobbie Panek and I need to do more press conferences together. teehee

Pictured below with Bobbie, me, and author Jackie Mitchard is Sheila Byrnes, our Biennial Chair and CNY Member and now one of our National VP's. Sheila did a fabulous job organizing activities, meetings, food etc. What a powerhouse! I hope she had a chance to take a needed break after all the work was done.

Although I enjoyed journalist Cokie Roberts take on Vinnie Ream,  Jackie Mitchard’s speech probably touched me the most. Jackie’s syndicated column got me through those years of balancing raising a family with feeding my creative soul. 

And speaking of balance, at the end of each day I had the opportunity to spend time with my family. As my family is all scattered across the country we try to catch family time whenever possible. So at the Biennial I found myself doing what I always do: balancing family and my creative self. 

And I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Except maybe to have had the "Applebaums West" (Mike and Kristi ) with us. But that's an adventure that's coming up soon!

And if you want to know more about The National League of American Pen Women click on the link! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Big Thank You to Thousand Islands Life Magazine!

"Rock Island Lighthouse"

A Lovely Surprise

As I was busily gearing up for another summer of art activities in the North Country, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from Susie Smith at Thousand Islands Life Online Magazine. She had seen my artwork on Facebook and wanted to feature me as the artist of the month in the April issue.

Of course I was delighted! Susie wrote a wonderful article about my work, and I've had several nice comments from people who had seen the article. The images selected for the article ranged from Thousand Islands area to the Indian River Lakes and even here in CNY.

I am happy and honored to have been selected for this publication.
And here's the link if you would like to read the article.

Meanwhile Back in the Studio

Meanwhile back in Windy Hill Studio it's business as usual as I package cards and prints for Bay House Artisans in Alexandria Bay and Sackets Harbor Arts Center. I will have original paintings as well in both locations. The painting above will be at Bay House Artisans, which will open for the season on Mother's Day weekend. 

Sackets Harbor Arts Center opens May 20, with a reception for their Spring Show. I haven't decided which pieces I am entering---hmmmm better decide soon. Drop off date is early May!

Time to get back to work. Postcards need to get addressed and sent--but here's a sneak preview!