Saturday, September 10, 2016

LAND--SKY--WATER opens Nov 4 at Tyler Art Gallery @ Oswego State Downtown

"Daybreak"  watercolor


I've been preparing for an exhibit at Tyler Art Gallery@Oswego State Downtown. Yesterday I had an opportunity to see the space which is located in an old bank in Downtown Oswego. It is conveniently located near bookstores, restaurants and an artists' co-op/store. So I'm happy to be surrounded by so much culture. And of course to be near the water.

Water plays a huge role in my work as it has been the focus of so many pieces. Especially in those pieces where sky and water merge almost seamlessly, so that you can't tell where the sky begins and the water ends. 

Other times water has served as a vehicle for reflection and distortion of landscape with colors and shapes bouncing recklessly across the picture plane.

The focus of this exhibit will be on landscape, specifically on relationships between land, sky and water. I am intrigued by the drama of light and moisture mingling in the air creating those silvery spaces where land, sky and water connect, resulting in portrayal of atmosphere rather than of a specific scene.

The unique characteristics and challenges of each medium (watercolor, acrylic and pastel) will influence the final look of each painting.

Locations: Bellingham WA, Dingle Ireland, Cape Henlopen Delaware, Hull Massachusettes, St. Lawrence River, Grass Lake-- just to mention a few

For the most part the locations in the paintings are non-specific, except for a few landmarks which you will spot right away. The show will open on Friday, November 4, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, with a reception open to the public.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Been a Great Summer!

"Marina #1"  acrylic

It's Been a Great Summer!

And it's not over yet. Thank goodness. I have come to the conclusion that we need an extra week in each month, especially in the summer.

Once again I have had the privilege to teach a few summer classes at The Thousand Islands Arts Center in Clayton. I've lost track how many summers I have taught painting there but it is one of my favorite places to teach. It's also been a treat to see some wonderful art shows in the TIAC Gallery.

This summer I taught a couple of watercolor classes, an acrylic painting class and an intro to painting on silk class. In each class I was impressed by the students' willingness to try something new. And as always the teacher learns as well as the students,  so I have a few new ideas to experiment with in the coming months.

What's coming up for Windy Hill Studio?

In November I have a solo show at SUNY Oswego State Downtown Gallery.

The show titled "Land-Sky-Water" opens November 4 and I'll have more information about the show in upcoming blog posts.

Meanwhile, here's a preview of one of the images from the show.

"Dingle, Land, Sky and Water"  pastel

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!