Thursday, December 15, 2016

Renewing a Love Affair

Well, I'll bet I got your attention with that title!!!!

Over the last few months I've been renewing my love affair with glass. Several years ago I fell in love with stained glass and did quite a few pieces like small lamps and window hangings. My most ambitious pieces were two sidelight windows for my front door. But after I stopped taking classes I stoped working with glass, mainly due to issues of space and I wasn't keen on using lead solder in the house. I could have used unleaded solder, but it doesn't flow as well. So I put glass aside and went back to painting.

Last winter I decided to take a class in Kiln Fused Glass at Ilene Layow's Eye Studio. I renewed my love affair with glass (oh the colors, the luminosity, the subtle ripple effects!!!) and I have been taking classes on and off since then. For some reason I really love cutting and breaking glass! And okay it's another way of working with color, light, form and design: some of the things I am most concerned with in my paintings.

Pictured above are a few of the most recent pieces, all done with the intention of giving them away as gifts (it is that time of the year). The red, green white candy dish is a contemporary take on Christmas, the four blue and yellow combinations with red sprinkles (frit) are dessert plates, to be used at any time of the year, but they would be nice for Chanukah as well. And the yellow and red dish is an "any time of the year dish".

Here are a few close-ups.

The Land Between the Waters

I've also been working on and off with a series which I call the Land Between the Waters. My life, especially in the summer is all about spending time at camp on Grass Lake and over on The St. Lawrence River where I teach art classes and show my work. So the series began with that idea of me being on the land between the waters. The series blossomed into several pieces where the land, either green or brown glass, winds its way through undulating blue patterns. Some pieces I have kept, some given away.

The first piece in the series--going with a beachy look.

The piece above belongs to my son Michael and his wife, who also live in the land between the waters in the Pacific Northwest.

Green and blue combinations are the colors of the lake: blue in the distance and green in the bay as the green trees reflect their color into the water.

Today I created a piece where the water runs through two pieces of land, just another variation on a theme. If it comes out good, I'll post it.

And for old time's sake here is one of the sidelights in stained glass that I mentioned at the beginning of the post.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Ilene Layow's Eye Studio where I take my Kiln Fused Glass classes is moving in the next few weeks. When the Studio moves into the new and much larger space I will be teaching Watercolor Classes. I'll keep you posted!
Here's the link for the Eye Studio.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Catching Up, Taking a Break

Joan Applebaum, Barbara Baum, Bobbie Panek and Judy McGinn pose with Gambrinus the King of Beers.

Catching Up

After spending months preparing for two big events I decided to take some time off from studio work to attend to some things that had fallen by the wayside. The events were both wonderful and all-consuming and I was cramming in preparations for each as I was trying to keep up with my regular studio work. Exhausting! 

The first event was the 90th Anniversary of the CNY Branch of The National League of American Pen Women. I should start by saying we celebrated our anniversary for an entire year with special exhibits, field trips and events. And seven of us went to the Pen Women Biennial in Washington DC, an unforgettable experience.
(Above) Five members of our group outside the White House West Wing just after our private tour.

The culmination of our year-long celebration was an exhibit of art, poetry, prose from current Pen Women and artifacts from our 90 years of history. The exhibit was held at Onondaga Historical Association---the best place in town to celebrate history! We also gave out "Friend of The Arts" awards to three members of the community.

I was in charge of the art/poetry show and the exhibit of artifacts. Which means that for a few months a whole lot of artifacts sat in my living room waiting to be combed through and either selected or put back in storage (AKA still in my living room). 

Being a history buff I was in my element when I was sorting through the artifacts and placing them on display at OHA. But alas, the exhibit is over and I still have several boxes in my living room.

Many people were involved in making our Pen Women 90th Anniversary Celebration a success--too many to name here, but essentially the entire CNY Branch of the NLAPW and Onondaga Historical Association! What a great night it was.

And if you would like to learn more about the NLAPW visit

And On to the Next Event

As soon as the Pen Women event ended I started attending to last minute painting and details for my show at Tyler Art Gallery @ Oswego State Downtown. I was delighted when Amy Bartell the director of the gallery asked me back in 2015 if I was interested in showing my work in the Fall of 2016. I had planned on this show being a little different from my other exhibits. I always try to have a general theme (I'm usually all about the landscape and water) but this time I wanted a slightly different twist on my usual.

Land, Sky, Water

Land, Sky, Water are themes I have visited often in my work and this time I selected that theme but with a specific direction. This time I was concerned with painting atmosphere, rather than specific imagery. I had a few images all set for the show but planned on creating a few more. As it turned out I painted seven new paintings to go with seven other paintings I had done previously. I was very happy to sell a painting even before the show went up on display! But by the time I was done I needed a break from painting.

The opening reception which was part of the Downtown Artist Series, was well attended. There were friends from Syracuse, North Country artist friends, fellow Pen Women, friends from church and many students from SUNY Oswego.

The Downtown Artist series also featured the work of two student artists: Graphic Design student Melissa Digiovanna and Poet Milo Licata. Melissa, pictured here with her mom and yours truly,
 created a poster based on the colors of my painting "Daybreak". Milo wrote two poems based on my work. After the student presentations I gave a short artist talk.

Taking a Break

So, after these two big events I decided to take a break from the studio (yeah remember that from the first paragraph???) and concentrated on removing wallpaper, spackling walls, painting and otherwise finishing up the kitchen renovation started way back in the summer. Then I went onto tackle a few more neglected things on my list. And then a few more. Then it was time to put up the Christmas decorations.

All the while I kept thinking of my next painting. Break's over. Time to get back to the studio.

Oh, and those boxes of Pen Women artifacts are still in my living room.

Related Link:
My show Land, Sky, Water will be on display at the Tyler Art Gallery @ Oswego State Downtown until January 20, 2017.

"Daybreak" watercolor