Sunday, November 18, 2012

New name

I know.  I'm restless.  I get bored quickly and have changed the name of this blog 3 times since I started keeping it.  This time I've named it after my old wooden palette that my father bought me in 1968.  It's covered in dried paint and it's hanging on the wall like a Jackson Pollock painting. I keep thinking I should smear it with some paint stripper and get it back to bare wood.  It's hard to use a palette covered in old paint,  because you can't see the new paint you've squeezed out. I labor enough over my color choices and don't need to add that obstacle. 
I wonder how long it will be before I change this title again?  Hmmm.  Maybe it'll be Old Wooden Easel next!

Burns' Red Barn

Old friends asked me to paint their home here in the town of Olive.  They recently had their barn painted a true "barn red".  It made a nice contrast with the evergreens in the back and the lawn which
was still green when I took the photo.  The leaves were still on the apple trees in the front lawn, but I did take some artistic license with them.  They weren't quite this full of foliage.  The trees are old and my friend said he soon will have to cut them down.  I wonder how old they are?
12" x 16"  Oil on canvas

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mohonk Cliff

I intended to post my progress on the Mohonk glacial cliff painting, but I forgot!  I showed the underpainting and now I'm posting a photo of the finish.  The paint was barely dry when I took it to Olive Day yesterday.  Everyone recognizes those famous gazebos!  Actually, that's the trademark of Mohonk.  If you visit their gift shop you'll see that symbol emblazoned on lots of items as well as little gazebo pendants. Cute!  The following is a quote from Wikipedia.

"Mohonk Lake is a lake at the northern end of New Paltz, Ulster County, New York, U.S.A., about 14 m. N.W. of Poughkeepsie. The lake is a small body of water, picturesquely situated 1,245 ft. above sea level in the towns of Rochester and Marbletown, on Sky Top Mountain (1,542 ft), one of the highest peaks of the Shawangunk Ridge. The highest point of Sky Top lies just east of the south end of the lake; close by, to the west, Eagle Cliff rises to a height of 1,412 ft."

If you've never seen it, you must add this to your bucket list.  Here's their website link.  You. Must. Go!

"12 x 16"
Oil on canvas

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Olive Day Art Show

Olive Day 2012 has come and gone.  We didn't have one last year, because Irene had ripped up our town and while that Sat. after Labor Day was clear, there was no way an event like Olive Day could be held. Olive Day is a Democratic fundraiser for their party and it's an annual event that started in '75.

 Our art group has had an art show twice before and I volunteered to manage it this time. First I had to get my DH involved, getting the snow fence at our town garage and then erecting it around some trees.

 Then a few raindrops fell not long after my friend, Carol, and I finished hanging the paintings on the snow fence. We took them all down and covered them up with plastic!  I waited an hour and then re-hung them.  We had a lot of lookers and tons of my relatives stopping by which is always great!  My cousins, cousin's kids, second cousins, a bunch of one removed cousins,  parents, brother, nephew and great-nephew all stopped to chat!

The day was spent trying to keep the wind from blowing the fence over and a couple of times the paintings landed on the ground.  A storm was brewing, but we hung in there until 3PM.  I hope I convinced a few new people to join our painting group which starts up on Monday. 

I was pleased to sell one of my paintings, but I would have loved it if a bunch of paintings had sold that belonged to some of my worthy friends.

The McDaniel Road Barn hung in my kitchen for over a year.  It now has a new home in a guest bedroom of the wonderful lady who purchased it!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Painting Mohonk

I thought someone might be interested in this.  Not sure exactly who, but maybe someone out there in the great World Wide Web! LOL.  Remember when we used to call it that? Way back in the 90s?

Anyway, I just started a new painting using a photo for reference.  The photo was taken at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz last week.  Evening was upon us, but there was enough light to take a few photos down by the lake.  My friend took a lot more and they are spectacular!  What great subject matter, huh?

So this canvas is 12 x 16, gallery wrapped, gessoed and toned with raw umber.  I did a
sketch with vine charcoal and using thinned raw umber I did a line and mass in underpainting.

 This phase allows you to make changes to the composition very easily.  I want the little gazebo that is the Mohonk trademark to be the focal point, so I started the color layer in that area.  My plan is to finish that part in great detail and then give less attention to the other areas as I paint outward.  At least that's my plan!  We'll see.  My mind knows what I want to do, but getting my hands to do it is another thing!  I'll post the progress. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Leaping Trout Art Project 2012

Wow!  There are 35 different fish sculpture/paintings hanging all over our area!  I picked up a brochure that features the Leaping Trout trail at Brio's last night.

Directions are given in the map to each business where a certain fish is hanging.  You can bid online at website.  This is a fundraiser for the Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited.   My rainbow trout can be seen at Tiso's in Mt. Tremper on Rt. 212.  That's just down the road from where my husband, Ed, grew up at the Rainbow Lodge.

Here's the link to my fish:  It's 36" long.  Oil on aluminum. I primed it first with automotive primer, painted it with artist quality oil paints and  I left parts of the aluminum visible on the under belly to give it some sparkle.  It was finished with oil painting varnish.  It should be hung indoors even though it looks like a sign!

Todd Spire did a great job setting up the web site and the photos of the artwork are amazing. So much better than I usually do! Higher a professional!  Here's a link to his business if you need help with web design, etc.

At the end of the fishing season, the artwork will be gathered for a group show at The Arts Upstairs on Main St. in Phoenicia.  They'll be exhibited there all winter and in the spring of 2013 the art will be auctioned off.  As I said, you can bid online if you can't attend the physical auction.
Trout Unlimited's mission is to conserve, protect and restore our cold water resources which benefits our native trout and the drinking water.
My father in law, Dick Kahil, was one of the charter members of Trout Unlimited, but I believe it was a different chapter than the Ashokan-Pepacton.  They held their first meetings at the Rainbow Lodge. Ed was just a kid and when he first heard of Trout Unlimited, he was overjoyed because he thought it meant there was no limit on how many fish you could keep!  No, he's not an outlaw, but he loves nothing better than a trout dinner that he caught himself.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

1000 Islands Serenity

1000 Islands Serenity
5 x 7
Oil on board
$75. unframed, $100. framed in black plein air frame.

One day while riding with my husband in his fishing boat, I was able to do a quick plein air painting of this sweet little cabin on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. It was surrounded by lots of green!
It has a red door that made it stand out from all those trees.

Bridge to Morgan Island

Bridge to Morgan Island
5 x 7
Oil on board

Painted plein air from our spot on Kring State Park on the St. Lawrence River at 1000 Islands.
Morgan Island is a day use island where shore dinners are served by fishing guides.
We like to ride our bikes over this little bridge and around the island.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Leaping Trout 2012

I tried to post this photo and write about it at least a month ago.  I have no idea what happened.  I think I closed the window before I was finished and lost the whole thing!  Trying again....

This is my submission for Trout Unlimited's fundraiser "The Leaping Trout Project 2012".  My friends,  Ed & Lois Ostapczuk, asked me if I wanted to paint a fish for this year's display. 

I was given a fish "blank".  That is a fish cut out of aluminum about 3 feet long I think. I didn't measure it.  I primed it with automotive paint and then using my regular oil paints, I did my best interpretation of a rainbow trout. I used a real mounted rainbow trout that my husband caught a long time ago.  I went through our collection of trout books that belonged to his dad, Dick Kahil.  I wanted to paint mine in a realistic style.  After it was dry, I sealed it with a couple coats of retouch varnish. 
Hopefully, whomever buys it will hang it inside.  Although it looks like a sign, it wouldn't do well outside.

All the trout paintings submitted by local artists will be hung all over this general area.  In the fall there will be an auction and they'll be sold with the proceeds going to Trout Unlimited.

Friday, February 3, 2012

After The Storm

Another, UFO, finished! I started this oil painting more than a year ago. I was working from a photo of my parents' log home after a snow storm. I had to change the composition up a bit since the horses were not in the best spot for a painting. I put down my brush and never finished the scene because I wasn't sure how to approach putting the horses in. In the photo, they were pure silhouettes. So, a couple of weeks ago, I held my breath and popped those two mares in the field without over thinking it! I feel nostalgic towards this painting. The horses are Olive and April. My dad bought Olive for me back in 1970 and April was a Morgan horse my mom raised from the time the horse was one year old.
April died suddenly a little over a year ago. She was 29. I think Olive lived to be almost 40. Two good horses.
Posted by Picasa

Free Pineapple Wallhanging

A couple years ago, I went on a quilting shop hop with my girlfriends, Jane and MaryAnn. At Flying Geese, a cute quilt shop in Colonie, NY, they gave us a free wallhanging kit. Inside were small pieces of fabric in yellow and green plus a pattern. We had to assemble the patchwork and add our own backgrounds, binding and backing. Well, once I got started, I realized they didn't give us enough of the yellow to complete the pineapple. Okay, it was free, but still!! I threw it into a bin and forgot about it for a long time. Then recently, I decided I MUST finish up these UFOs. (to those of you who do not craft, it's "un-finished-object". I picked up a little more yellow fabric and finished the wallhanging a few days ago. The pineapple is a symbol for welcome, so I have this hanging in my kitchen. Thanks Flying Geese Fabrics! 16" x 26".
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2012

Princess Dollhouse

This doll house is so special to me! A family member from both sides of my family have given me such a wonderful keepsake.
History: my cousin, Doug Costanzo, made it for his daughters back in 1975. It's huge. It's made of plywood and has wheels under it so you can move it around. The roof opens up to reveal an attic and both side walls open on big piano hinges so you can access the rooms.
His daughters and nieces had a lot of fun playing with it over the years. He never finished the exterior, because the kids were happy with it the way it was. Then his grandchildren played with it until they outgrew it.
 Fast forward to 2009. He gave it to me for my granddaughter who had just turned 3. I have a large dining room and can accomodate a doll house of this gargantuan size! He and his wife, Joan, also gave me the plastic furniture and people for my little one to play with. Waiting for the day she's big enough to play with them without breaking them are the wooden furniture pieces his kids had acquired over the years. My granddaughter, who will be referred to as "the princess" from here on, absolutely loves this doll house!
My cousin, Nancy, came to visit and seeing this beautiful doll house in it's unfinished condition said "I think my dad would be happy to finish it for you". Well, her dad, my uncle, is 94 years old! Even though he is a guitar maker and is in amazing shape, I didn't want to ask him. This is a job for superman!
Well, Uncle Lou called me after Thanksgiving and offered to do it. I told him I didn't care if it took a year. My husband and I delivered it and three weeks later he called to say it was finished!
I was blown away. He made every bit of the siding, shingles, railings, door and window frames, porch decking, gingerbread, lattice and shutters! Most people would order the supplies from a catalog, he created them from scrap pine. The windows and door openings inside are all trimmed out. He carefully painted each piece before installing. He made miniature nails from straight pins that belonged to his MOTHER! My uncle will be 95 in March. He is truly a one-of-a-kind. Go on You Tube and search "Lou Mancuso Guitar Maker". My son, Tom, did a short documentary about him.
I will treasure this doll house forever and I know the princess will, too.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread

After reading the NY Times article about how to make artisan bread like they make in Europe in your own home, I decided I had to try it.
It's called No Knead Dutch Oven bread. I actually did knead it a little because I like to, but I believe the results would turn out just as good if you didn't. When I read the recipe, I couldn't believe that it only called for 1/4 tsp. of dried yeast! It has very few ingredients. The preparation couldn't be easier. However, you have to plan ahead.
 It rises for 18 hrs. In other words, you make the dough the first day and let it sit at 70 degrees for about 18 hrs before forming your boule and then allow it to raise another 2 hrs. before baking. You bake it in a dutch oven that can handle a temperature of 450 degrees! With the lid on, it mimics the humidity filled ovens that the pros use to get a nice thick and crisp crust with an airy crumb inside.

I've baked bread on a stone. I've put water filled pans inside or sprayed the oven to get the steam you need to make Italian bread crust. I have a bread machine. Forget all that! This method is so much better and the results are as good as any artisan bread companies around here and we have a well known one in our area! Stop paying $4. for a loaf of bread.  What's cheaper to make than this? Three cups of flour, a tiny bit of yeast and some salt.  Of course, you have to factor in the high heat of the oven for almost an hour, but it helps heat the house.  I can't wait to do it again.
 The dutch oven I used is a Lodge #10 which is only 4 quarts. You need a bigger one to bake a large loaf. Since mine was so small, I divided the dough in half and made two smaller boules. Here's the link to the method I used. You must try it this winter!

PS  I just baked two more loaves.  I covered them in sesame seeds this time. Wow!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Maier Home

This is the second painting I did of the Maier home in West Shokan. I tried to show how it looks in autumn. I'll always remember Marcel sitting on that front porch watching people come and go. Sometimes there would be deer under the apple tree.
Posted by Picasa

Long Time

It's been too long since I posted anything on this blog! I had intended to awhile ago, but two of the paintings I finished were gifts for people and I didn't want to spoil any surprises!

A good friend asked me to do them for each of her children. The house belonged to their grandparents.  I didn't want to paint them the same, so I chose two different views and different seasons. Both are 8 x 10, stretched canvas and framed in black. The one above is the summer view.