Tuesday, January 26, 2016


On Saturday I posted a few photos from a weekend event at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia.
My husband and I participated in Snow Drawing, a unique collaboration between artist Sonja Hinrichsen, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park and over 100 volunteers.

So what did we do? We created huge beautiful spiral patterns all over the hill while wearing snowshoes. It was rather like walking a labyrinth as we slowly created big spirals, little spirals, corkscrew spirals over and over across the hill.

This was the first time I had been to the Art Park in the Winter. It was gorgeous! And covered in snow!


I have always visited in Summer or Fall. In the last 7 or 8 years I have spent at least two weeks per summer at the Art Park teaching Art Camps for the YMCA. It has been one of my favorite places to teach. I love the concept of blending art and nature. And not just making pictures about nature, but experiencing nature. Getting the kids out on the trails each day to see the sculptures, do a countdown in the "Spaceship", check out the books at "Stacks", catch frogs in the ponds, look for wildflowers and count the Triangles on our way to the Secret Garden, are always tops on my list of activities--oh and making art too!

And somehow the story of Bob and Dorothy Reister and how they started the Art Park always captures young imaginations. By the end of the week the campers can identify Dorothy's pieces around the upper garden area and can even remember names of other artists in the park like David Harper, and Rodger Mack.

So this past weekend I found out that Stone Quarry Art Park is just as much fun in the winter as it is in the summer. 

The Art Park is open all year for hiking, viewing art and enjoying the vistas. Rolling hills, wooded areas and farmlands are all visible from the top of the hill. And right now they are blanketed with snow. On a clear day you can see the wind turbines in Fenner.

So come on out to the Art Park! You'll love it! Even in the winter.

Related Link: Lessons Learned at the Art Park

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Art of Winter

"Winter Closing In"
It's time again for my annual blog about the Art of Winter at the Thousand Islands Arts Center in Clayton. I'm not sure how long the Arts Center has been sponsoring this show, but I have been a part of it for the last 4 years. Winter comes early to the North Country and tends to stay for quite a while, so rather than hide from the winter you might as well rejoice in its cold, crisp beauty.

This year I have painted the beginning and the end of winter. In the painting "Winter Closing In" the first snowflakes of the season are falling gently from the sky over Boldt Castle. Only the stag, a symbol of George Boldt's European lineage, is there to witness the silent snowfall as Fall fades away and Winter closes in.

"Spring Thaw" is a totally different take on Winter. After a long cold Winter it's good to see the land and water coming to life again.

In this acrylic painting we see the ice breaking up in front of Calumet Island. The water is still icy cold and the trees are bare, but we see hints of Spring in the warm colors peeking around the cool blues and purples.

The Art of Winter opens February 5 at the Thousand Islands Arts Center, 314 John St. Clayton, NY and will run through April 1.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Beginnings and an "Attitude of Gratitude"

"After the Rain"

Happy New Year!

I always like to think of the new year as a chance for new beginnings. Especially for Windy Hill Studio! And because it is a slower time of the year for me in terms of art shows and sales I have more time to experiment with new media and new subject matter and even to take some classes.

Last winter I took an on-line class in Art Marketing. One of the first things we were encouraged to do was to practice gratitude. To each day find a few things that we were grateful for and to integrate that practice into our creative lives. It is amazing what a difference gratitude can make as we balance our creative, business and family lives. 

In terms of Windy Hill Studio I had a great 2015, so I have much to be grateful for. But there is always room for improvement and new challenges, whether self imposed or of the "what ever life throws at you" variety.

New Challenges

So now that January is here it's time for those new challenges. One of the first will be branching out into different subject matter. I will still paint landscapes and waterways, always will, but I'm also intrigued by architecture and city life.

Since two of my three children live and work in the Washington DC area, I am a frequent visitor to our nation's capitol. And I'm inspired by the magnificent architecture and the vibrant city atmosphere.  My last two paintings, "After the Rain" and "Dining DC" both acrylics, portray two different aspects of life in DC.

"Dining DC"

"Dining DC" shows a colorful outdoor restaurant not too far away from the White House. I fell in love with the orange, yellow and blue umbrellas. This painting is all about color, light and shadow. The orange umbrella draws you into the painting and is complemented by the bright blue on the flag, the awning and the partly visible umbrella. Another complementary color combination red and green, is used throughout all of the vegetation. The neutral colors in the shadows were all made by mixing various combinations of the colors used throughout the painting.

"After the Rain" has a completely different feel. When I painted this I was interested in painting atmosphere as well as architecture. Although my reference photo was taken on a cold crisp January day with a brilliant blue sky, I wanted to paint wispy bits of cloud floating around and colorful reflections in the wet road. The architecture of the Capitol Building (my favorite DC building) is implied more than articulated. I used a combination of palette knives and brushes to apply the paint. My daughter Katie is in the foreground of the painting looking toward the Statue of Freedom.

And Now For Something Completely Different!

"In the Vineyard"

"A Little Tipsy"

I'm also working a "wine series" so look for some grapevines, wine bottles etc coming up in 2016!

And Last But Not Least 

I plan to work more with silk and silk dyes, and for subject matter I'm thinking Water Lilies! Yup, back to the lake!

Happy 2016 everyone! And thanks for reading my blog.