About csir2014

Retired architect reborn as a painter and sketcher.

Paris by Sketch

My husband and fellow traveller Tom and I spent a month in Paris in an apartment North and West of the Pompidou Center, about a 10 minute walk. It was a great month. We walked and metroed and bussed, and drank cafe au lait, and ate and saw almost everything we wanted to see. I had planned to do 4-5 or even 6 paintings, and only did one. We learned a lesson, being don’t expect a lot of yourself when you are in a fabulous city like Paris.  Every day was too interesting and too full of new experiences to find time, say 3-4 hours, to sit down and paint. Next trip will be planned with a section of time in a fascinating city, and a section of time in a delightful town.

So, the only painting is of the Ile Saint Louis.

Paris painting

It’s an ink (pigma micron) and watercolor, 10″ x 15″. I sat on the banks of the Seine in the same place I had sat and sketched back in 2006 when we first visited Paris together.

It took me a few days, really two weeks, to forgive myself for not painting, but I did sketch everyday. I took my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, 5″ x 8″, with me everywhere. Used pigma micron pens, some watercolor pencils and watercolor graphite pencils, and filled the book with items we collected, sketches and daily journal entries. I love doing this.  It adds a lot to our trips for me, and serves as a good record for Tom when he creates his videos of our travels for youtube.  His youtube name is Graygeek.

So, here are the pages from my book.  Hope you enjoy them.

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The sketch on the left is from our dinner table the first night in our neighborhood. On the right is from our coffee break near the Pompidou.

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There are always things to draw. Left is shelves from a creperie on Ile St outs, and right is a market on Rue Montorgueil in our neighborhood.

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Left is a wonderful Sicilian Restaurant near our apartment, and right is a very quickie after visiting the Musee du Quai Branly. Place de la Contrescarpe at the head of one of our favorite streets, Rue Mouffetard.

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Left a trip out to La Defense, and right Rue Cler.  So different, both fascinating sides of Paris.

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One of our favorite hidden treasures, Saint Paul Antique Village in le Marais, and the Eglise Saint Eustache at Les Halles for a 5 pm Sunday organ concert.

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A quick, very quick and unfinished sketch, during Richard Sack’s walking run, not far from Palais Royale, and a leisurely dinner sketch at Restaurant Le Taxi Jaune, a favorite.

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Musee Rodin, Paris, though under reconstruction, still a glorious place, and our back view out the kitchen window on Rue Saint Martin.

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At Metro station Abesses at the base of Montmartre, and a quick view from the top of Georges, the restaurant on the 6th floor of the Pompidou.

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Another quickie, this one from the steps of Sacre Coeur. Another sketch over coffee at Rue Montorgueil, our market street of choice.

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Our only day trip, to Giverney, and a sketch from the rooftop cafe at Musee Picasso.

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The magazine stand by our coffee stop one mid morning in the 2nd arrondissement, and a beautiful fountain, Fontaine de Louis Visconti at Square Louvois.

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We loved our metro ride to Saint Denis.  The basilica was wonderful, being lovingly restored, and we lucked into the Festival of Saint Denis, the town!

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Wandering through the sun dappled Cemetery Pere Lachaise. Quiet except for the gathering at Jim Morrison’s grave. Our view from Cafe de la Paix after being amazed by Opera Garnier.

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I loved Centre Pompidou, especially reconnecting with Sonia Delaunay. We understand why Parisians love Luxembourg Gardens, especially the Medici Fontain.

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The view from our balcony on Rue Saint Martin.  This is the church that has been adaptively reused as part of the Musee Arts et Metiers across the street.  We took many photos of this view and down toward Centre Pompidou whose rooftop we could see. A wonderful airbnb apartment we recommend to anyone thinking about a week or more in Paris.

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Our last night we stayed in the hotel on the Left Bank that I stayed in with friend Yvonne and her mom, 2001. The Hotel Pas de Calais has been renovated and is perfect, especially the living wall in the lobby.

So that’s it. We had a time unlike any other, and hope to return to Paris someday. Here’s a picture of me sketching, and another of Tom and me. Now that I’m home I have much to do.  Will post again soon!

t&c3c sketching

Painting in Gardens

For the past two years, in July, as part of the National Garden Festival here in my home city of Buffalo I have taken part in the Artists in Gardens, a very enjoyable opportunity for local artists to sit in beautiful gardens and paint. These gardens are open to the public the same time each week, Thursdays and Fridays. I painted in four gardens this year and twice in the same garden last year.  I also enjoy sketching and painting in my own garden.

http://nationalgardenfestival.com/garden/opengardens.asp

Here I am hard at work on a pen and ink sketch of Ellie Dorritie’s front yard. I haven’t finished the watercolor additions yet, but here’s the sketch too.  A great cottage on Little Summer Street in Buffalo.
IMG_3411Dorritie drawing

I also painted at Arlan and Dominic’s Garden on Norwood Avenue. Arlan and Dom have been involved in the Garden Walk Buffalo since its inception. They have a wonderful victorian home and a yard full of surprises. As a former architect I was drawn to their back porch and back elevation.

gardenwalkbuffalo.com

PetersandDeFilippoGarden 2015.web

 I drew this in pen and ink and added the watercolor while I enjoyed ice tea and even birthday cake made by Dominic. What lovely people!

There were two other homes whose gardens I painted, one the Timlins’ on Park Street. The point of view was challenging, but I think I did an ok job.This is a beautiful brick home with a very  sensitive entry and garage addition. Nicely done!

Timlen.web

The last garden I painted in I also painted in for the 2014 Artists in Gardens. 8 Paths Garden is unlike any other I have seen. Such a eye and attention to detail. The gardener has an unusual selection of plants, some that I’ve never seen before.

2014 8 paths 2014 8 paths 2

Image 68 paths 2015.web

I also like to paint and sketch in my own garden. Here are a few from the last three years of Garden Walks, together with some photos of our garden.

 5.Tom's Garden Fence.2013.web 4.Last Night - Open Garden.web our garden.web3.SummerBackyard .ElmwoodVillage 2013.web

pansies our house front hellstrip  begonias backyard2 backyard photo

I also like to pick flowers and make bouquets just as my father the gardener used to pick so that my mom the artistic flower arranger could work her magic. Every bouquet reminds me of them.

bouquet 2 bouquet 1 front hellstrip

Experimenting with Gessoed Watercolor Paper

I have learned something, sometimes many things, from every water media workshop I’ve ever participated in.  Just finished one with Susan Webb Tregay which leaves me with Sue perched on my shoulder whispering one of her multitude of quotable quotes all great advice about color and composition strategies.  Maybe my favorite is the most piercing -“things not worth painting are not worth painting well”.

All that being said, one of the approaches to watercolor and its paper that has most stuck with me, and continues to challenge me, is what Mark Mehaffey had us try during the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society’s Spring 2013 Workshop.  Paint with watercolor on gesso coated arches 140 lb paper.  Two coats of gesso each side, dry in between. Paint in any set of colors you choose all over the paper, best if pretty intense but not required.

Loving Burchfield .web

My first attempt, after the workshop was over and I had had a chance to mull over all that I had learned, turned into a “harmony of intensity” color strategy without any conscious direction from me.  I call it “Loving Burchfield” because it reminded me of one or two of Charles Burchfield’s periods. Being a Buffalo resident, and a former docent at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, I have spent a lot of time studying Burchfield. He was a lover of light and nature, as am I.

My second attempt was not as successful, in my opinion, as the first, and I think it’s because of the rather intense color scheme.  It could be relieved with some much lighter tones, and a little more cool areas of contrast to the warm.  This is called, appropriately, “Heated Landscape” and is for sale at Art Loft just outside the entrance to the Chautauqua Institution.   I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t like this painting – I do!  It was really fun to work on.  The paint has a mind of it’s own, and even so can be added and subtracted easily provided you don’t care about controlling everything that happens.  It’s almost like painting on Yupo, but not quite as slippery.

Heated Landscape.web

This painting which I call “Bidwell Market Zinnias” after our summer Saturday farmers’ market, also for sale at Artloft, is among my favorites ever.  I started out with a circular swirl of high intensity colors, red, yellow and blue, and moved the paint around, adding and subtracting to come up with a painting I really like.

Bidwell's Zinnias.web

Friends who know me well, and admire my paintings, have given me some good advice. They say, in one way or another, include some architecture, some neighborhood, in your paintings, even when you are experimenting.  So, these two are very recent, and include architectural elements from my home city, Buffalo. The first, “City Sunset” is the view I have as I look out of my studio across the street, almost due West, at sunset. It was accepted into the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors which opens August 8th in Old Forge, NY. Very excited to have been juried into this terrific show.

City Sunset.web

This last painting, called “Canalside” is a view from across the newly constructed memory of the Erie Canal at our Lake Erie Shore, is also a favorite.  It will be included in the group show, “Art Exhibition – Seeing and Being: Making Art in WNY Neighborhoods” opening Monday, June 1 at 6 pm at Betty’s Restaurant, 370 Virginia St., Buffalo.

Canalside.web

I love to try new ways to work with watercolor and all of the other water media. I am not a young person, though I am a young artist, having really started to get serious about this in the mid 2000’s. Architecture took all my work time and energy for 44 years.  I don’t think I’ll be  able to paint for the same amount of time….as I’d be painting at age 107, but maybe I’ll still be at it!  I’m pretty young at heart!

An Amazing Amarylis

Every Christmas Holiday my wonderful friend Judy Shanley gives me an amaryllis bulb to watch grow.  This years lay dormant for some time, and finally started to show green in February.  It didn’t bloom until just before Easter, and then it was amazing!  Not red, but crimson-tinged white with green centers, eight flowers on its two stalks at first, and then, when they were done and I was about to put it in the cool back hall, four more! Definitely worth photographing and drawing, it sat in my kitchen window next to the sink so that I could enjoy it all the time.

Here’s the photo, taken at night, with the window blinds on the left and the kitchen cabinet doors on the right.  I liked the contrast the dark window and door made.

amarylis photo.webBefore I tried any painting, I sketched the beauty in my moleskin sketchbook with pigma micron pens. It obviously begamarylissketch2.webged for color.  In Sally Treanor’s Watercolor Salon on Mondays we were trying our hands at ink and watercolor on rice paper.  What better subject, I thought.  I had forgotten a lot about painting on rice paper, especially how you really have to be patient and let it dry in between layers.

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I began the drawing with an 03 pigma micron pen, very light, knowing that I would want to darken it, accentuating the places where lines began and shapes met, at a later sitting.

Starting to paint, using hansa yellow, pthalo blue, permanent rose and quin gold.  Let it dry. This is when the lines begged me to be brought to life, so I added some defining with an 05 pigma micron, and added some more color, still not much of the darker colors, though my dark reds were a bit worrisome.  Must have included some brown madder at this point.

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When I started to add the background, the painting took on new life for me, but then in the next sitting I began to lose the light from the darker blossom.  Not good.amarylis4.webamaryllis5.web

I resorted to chinese white to rescue the light in the darker blossom, and felt pretty good about the results. Now to finish the blossom on the left, very sparingly though that is tough for me, and to to complete the background.

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And for the final touches on the lighter blossom, and the background, darkening here, lightening there, and I can call it finished! I am proud of myself for taking the time to do it right! Hope you like it. amarylis final.web

Markets and Coffee Shops are among my favorite Subjects!

When Tom and travel we often plan our days and weeks around when the local markets are open. We have favorites. The Ballaro Market in Palermo, Sicily is in our top 5. The painting of Ballaro is actually a studio work, not plein air.  I took lots of photos and painted it upon our return.  The fellow in the painting was priceless.  I wish we had recorded this market.  The cry was, from almost every stall, “Broccoli Broccoli Broccoli” which was really cauliflower!!!

Balarro Market.Palermo

In Rome we visited three different kinds of markets, the famous, and tourist-full Campo dei Fiori, and the less travelled Print Market in Piazza Borghese was fascinating. We found a Piranese-like lithograph to take home….Piranese’s work was really expensive!

Campo dei Fiori. Rome   Print Market. Piazza Borghese.RomePorta Portese Flea Market

 

 

 

 

 

The third type of market was the Flea. Staying in   Trastevere, we couldn’t leave without  visiting the famous Porte Portese Flea and everything Market. Packed and worth the trip though I wasn’t tempted to buy.

Markets in smaller cities and towns in Italy are fascinating, but different.  On Lake Como, the market day is different for each town. We liked Lenno’s because it had everything. This is a detail, looking up over coffee on a market break.

Lenno Market. LakeComo

Markets in smaller cities and towns in Italy are fascinating, but different. On Lake Como, the market day is different for each town. We liked Lenno’s because it had everything. This is a detail, looking up over coffee on a market break.

Via degli Orefici Bologna

Perhaps the best Italian city markets, that we saw, at least, are in Bologna. What a wonderful surprise Bologna was to us. We stayed there to satisfy our search for the perfect Bolognese dishes, and we found so much more. Seemingly empty streets around the city center opened and filled with people shopping on their way home.  This painting on rice paper is a studio piece painted from photographs we took on Via Pescherie Vecchia. What a wondrous display of food and flowers!

We loved our visit to Argentina, and Turkey, and took in as many markets as we could find.  Buenos Aires is famous for it’s weekend markets.  We loved the street markets in Palermo Soho and Palermo Viejo.

Sunday Market Palermo Viejo BSAS

San Telmo.BSASSan Telmo was a crazy weekend market in Buenos Aires, full of everything including tango, and tourists! We enjoyed the music, the variety, people watching and of course tasting the local faire.

Luncheon umbrellas.Salta

 

 

We travelled to the the Northwest corner of Argentina to Salta, a much smaller and very welcoming city, full of more spanish and indigenous influences. This sketch is of the umbrellas at lunchtime. Lunch was relaxed and warm!

 

I was surprised that I didn’t do any sketches of markets in Turkey, especially in Istanbul. We stayed in Istanbul for a week. I think it was just so much! Here are some photos of the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market and an area on the Galata side of the Golden Horn which was an area selling fish and household hardware. It was amazing!

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The Spice Market was fascinating inside, and even more interesting in the small alleys which surrounded it.

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The Grand Bazaar was too much! We spent a few hours there, but could have spent several days and not seen everything!IMG_4686The markets in the shadow of the bridge to Galata were a total surprise.  No tourists there. The buckets are full of pigment for custom-making paint. We had fresh fish cooked on the grills and ate at tables with the fishermen and market workers.

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Siegburg Cadessi.Selcuk.Turkey We left Istanbul and flew to Ismer and drove to Selcuk, a small city/town that served as our center of activity for visiting the archaeological sites. I loved the town; loved coming home to the quiet streets each night to sample the local faire.

I sketch wherever we go as much as I can, markets and coffee houses, and food carts. The sketch below is of the wonderful Queen Anne Thursday Market in Seattle, WA.

Queen Anne Thursday Market, Seattle copy 

Garbo's Food Wagon.KeyWestThis is the Garbo’s Food Cart in Key West. Great food! It was the last stop in one of our southern trips, some by plane, some by car. We stopped in Virginia on the road in Stoney Creek to sample fried chicken at the Tastee Hut.Stoney Creek Tastee Hut, VA

Washington DC is a favorite.  The sketch below is from a Starbuck’s coffee break near the Eisenhower Building at 14th and New York Ave. NW.

Starbuck's at 14th & NY NW

My resolve for 2015 is to sketch more at home. These three are from favorite local places, some still here, some moved and changed. Favorites are Sweetness 7, Bistro Europa in its older more intimate setting and location and, for those of you who are Buffalonians, the inimitable Spot, this one is on Elmwood.  Love it.

Bistro Europaspot Sweetness 7

We certainly have plenty to sketch and paint in Buffalo.  Look at these shots from our Elmwood Village, Bidwell Park Farmers Market.

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IMG_8415So, time to finish this blog post and think about sketching and painting!

Figure Studies – a perfect way to perfect your skills of observation and hand-eye coordination

I love to attend figure study classes, afternoons with other artists as we work on our skills. There is no better way to perfect your skills, to rekindle your enthusiasm than by studying and drawing the human figure.

These drawings are from three different periods in my life. First from 1974 when my then husband and I moved from Ithaca, NY to Fredonia with our three year old daughter Cynnie. I hadn’t found a job yet; finding a job as an unlicensed architect, really a designer/draftsperson, was not easy in a small town south of Buffalo. Instead I found a figure drawing class at Fredonia College with professor David Small. He was willing to let me audit, and I loved it. These next few drawings are from that class, 3 hours two afternoons a week. Heaven for a person who had not drawn, except with architect’s tools, since 1964!

1074 Female 2 1974 Male 5 1974 Male 4 1974 pen and ink 1974 Female 1 1974 Male 3  1974 Male 2 1974 Male 1

I found a job in early 1975, and didn’t draw for fun again until I moved to Buffalo in 2001. My daughter Cynnie convinced me to sign up for a Figure Drawing Class at the Buffalo Arts Studios. I could only find two drawings from that class, these 5 minute gesture drawings.

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I got very busy at Cannon Design, and could not continue with the figure drawing class. (I substituted my Monday nights with Sally Treanor, also at the BAS, learning about watercolor painting).

It wasn’t until this past year, in the fall, that I started with the figure again. At Sally’s suggestion, I joined a group of artists on Friday afternoons at the BAS. We rent a room, hire a model and draw and paint together. These next drawings, and paintings are from those afternoon sessions.

AShley 1B 2014 Ashley 3 2014 - 3 minutes sketches 2014 body study Jordan2.28.14 2014 Ashley 2 Nov. 2014 female 12014 (all about the throw)

We also did some work with clothed figures in Sally Treanor’s Watercolor Classes this past session. Working in watercolor with a figure is a real challenge!

2014 Sally's Watercolor Class 12.08.14 - Watercolor movement sketches

I will return to Figure Drawing next week! It’s worth it.

Buffalo, A Love Affair

I love Buffalo, New York. Moved here from Fredonia, a college town south of Buffalo, in 2001. As luck and love would have it, I was offered a perfect job with Cannon Design, architect/educational planner for their public school projects, and a few months before met Tom Palamuso, a retired teacher and interior designer. We found in each other all the things you look for in a mate. We exchanged vows in December 2001.

Around the same time, probably the winter of 2002, my daughter Cynnie Gaasch, then the curator of the Buffalo Arts Studio, convinced me to take a figure study class at the BAS. Another daughter, Margaret Treanor, convinced another mother, Sally Treanor, to take the same drawing class. Sally and I became friends, and shortly thereafter I signed up for her Watercolor Class, and the rest is history.

It was a natural progression for me to paint and draw my surroundings. As an architect, and an emerging painter, I was and I am still drawn to and inspired by the wealth of Buffalo’s rich architectural environment. The paintings and sketches in this post are a sampling of my 10+/- years of  loving this place.

Heath House.webRose Garden Pergola.webBuffalo Seminary.web

  The Heath House                  The Rose Garden                  Buffalo Seminary 

Allentown Corner.web

Sunset Light in Allentown

This is my favorite corner, Allen Street and Elmwood Avenue, where the bubble man blows his bubbles down on the passersby.

Botanical Gardens.web

 

View from Within the Botannical Gardens.

I like the stag horn fern that climbs up the right side of this early painting.

 

 

Lafayette HS Detail.webLafayette High School Detail

Tom and I got a special look at Lafayette High School from the construction scaffolding; a treat from Christine Hentz, from the Buffalo Public Schools Facilities Office.  Incredible terra cotta!

 

 

Guaranty Detail.web

Homage to Louis Sullivan

My favorite building in Buffalo….no, I love City Hall and the Darwin Martin House as much….well, I do love the incredible terra cotta detailing on this, the Guaranty Building.

 

 

 

City Hall.web

 

Hanging Out at City Hall

More incredibile terra cotta, and brilliant coloration. Tom took the photo I worked from. We didn’t realize until we took a much closer look that there are two workmen “hanging out” on the building. Look closely. 

 

 

 

 

Delaware Park Casino.web The Casino at Delaware Park

I think that this was the first time that I drew in pen and ink and then added watercolor. I like the flowing freedom of the line. 2007 – 2008

 

 

 

History Museum.web

BECHS – The Buffalo History Museum

When I painted this pen and ink and watercolor painting this building was called the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.  Now its the Buffalo History Museum. The photos I took were just after sunrise, coloring the marble beautiful shades of yellow gold through deep purply blue.

View from Silo City.webDusk at the County Fair.web

The View From Silo City                                 Dusk at the County Fair

BethlehemPark.webBethlehem Park

Every time we drove down Route 5, especially at the end of a sunny day, I was drawn to this juxtaposition.  Finally convinced Tom to stop so I could capture the spritely row of houses built for the Steel Plant employees many years back.

FLWright.Fontana Boathouse at Sunset.web  Wright’s Fontana Boathouse

Painted for a fundraiser for the Boathouse. The light from the sunset on Lake Erie is unsurpassed!

 

Darwin Martin House Reflections

Looking through the door from the main house into the pergola that connects the restored house to the gift shop. This is a small painting that I love. Still hangs in my living room.

Darwin Martin House Reflections..web

Buffalo – a work in progress

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January 2015 has been a great month for me. My show with oil painter Sara M. Zak and photo-documenter Chris  Hawley opened at Studio Hart on Allen Street in Buffalo on Friday, January 9th to the fanfare of a gigantic snow storm south of the City.  We still had a wonderful steady crowd of old and new friends from 6 – 9.

The show, curated by me (:))) was to illustrate three very different artist’s view of the city that we all love. We limited the size of our work to 12″ square at the largest, the shape to squares, and the framing to very simple, keeping the work’s pricing manageable, while fair to the gallery owner and artists. We each had from 10 – 15 pieces, hung by each artist, hence three groups, “randomly”. It looks great.  The show closes on Saturday, January 31st.

This past Saturday, January  24th, we had a Buffalo-Style Winter Plein Air Painting event.  Sara and I sat in Studio Hart’s front window, and painted what we saw.

We had another 3 hours of show where art lovers were able to meet the artists. Chris acted as a charming greeter, documenter. Here are a few of his and my photos.

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This whole almost a month has been a very exciting time for me. My image of the Louis Sullivan Guaranty Building Cornice was featured on the cover of the new weekly PUBLIC, and our show got a terrific review in Artvoice, the other weekly newspaper in WNY. Also, just before the show opened we were featured on the website Buffalorising! Altogether a great time.

Look at the difference between plein air palettes, watercolor on the left, oil on the right! I hate to have the show end.  Did do a nice plein air pen and ink (pigma microns) and watercolor painting of the gloomy day and the wonderful brick Victorians across the street from the Gallery.   13.CarolSiracuse.LarkinPower.web

I had 14 pieces in the show, and have sold 11! The pieces that are left are three of my favorites so I don’t mind taking them home, but I wouldn’t mind selling the either! They are this 12″ square ink and watercolor of the Larkin Power House. The 6″ inch square ink and watercolor of the much invigorated Buffalo Canalside below left, and The Cobblestone District Wall on the right, also 6″ square.

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1.CarolSiracuse.CobblestoneWall.web

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12.CarolSiracuse.TheCotter'sBuffalo.webSo, it has been a great month so far.  Here are the rest of my paintings from the show.  They have all found good homes.  

Thank you to everyone who visited the gallery. Much appreciated.  Have to say, Buffalo is a wonderful place to be an artist.  Barbara and Dan Hart offer a great space to exhibit in Studio Hart. Big huge thank you to them!

10.CarolSiracuse.MainStMovement.web9.CarolSiracuse.GeneseeGateway.web 8.CarolSiracuse.ElmwoodSouthLight.web 7.CarolSiracuse.FadedTechnology.web 5.CarolSiracuse. City of Night Light.web  3.CarolSiracuse.WhiteCow.webPrints are available for all of the paintings. Let me know which ones you like and I will give you th6.CarolSiracuse.Connecticut St. Backyards.webe pricing. Thank you to all!  2.CarolSiracuse.Bidwell&Elmwood.web

Holiday Cards, 2009 – 2014

It’s been a busy holiday season so far, definitely weighted toward the week before Christmas through today. Tom and I had to say goodbye to Michael yesterday, and Liz, Savannah and Ryan this morning. Cynnie lives nearby but we have seen a wonderfully lot of her since her sister and step-brother have been home. We will be back into our regular schedule of events and responsibilities Monday.  Today and tomorrow are days of rest. However, I had intended to post the past 5 years of holiday cards before Christmas, and did not get to that task, so here they are, still fitting into the 12 Days of Christmas. 2009 was my first year of homemade holiday cards. I painted watercolor on a pen and ink drawing of our front porch decked out for the holidays. We live in a 1903 victorian two family, a beautiful place, in the Elmwood Village Neighborhood of the City of Buffalo. 2009   In 2010 I was taken by the snow on a neighbor’s sedum. This card has been called a takeoff on a Japanese wood cut. I love that, and consider it a compliment since I studied printmaking as a college student, and have always loved Japanese artwork. 2010 2011 was a busy year, and I was lucky enough to have already painted this watercolor painting of the weeping mulberry in our backyard covered with snow. It’s a view I have from my breakfast table in our kitchen.  I love the patterns of light and shadow on the snow.

2011

In 2012 I had time to dig through the many photos Tom and I have both taken of our backyard garden in all four seasons. This watercolor and pen and ink winter scene is of the grape arbor sheltering our resting bench next to the pond and wall Tom created.

2012

2013 presented another incredibly busy fall and early winter, so I went back to an ink drawing I had started a year or so before, finished the drawing concentrating on the patterns of shadow from Tom’s fencing, and added watercolor.  The pergola is the structure that Tom and I designed together. He built it in his shop in the basement. What an incredible talent he has for planning and design. I’m good with ideas, but I like to have the option of being able to change my direction as often and whenever I want!  Not good if you are building a pergola!  Good if you are painting! It was a challenge to be an architect. I am very happy to have retired in 2010!

2013

This is this year’s card which I labelled on the back “Pine Cone Abstraction” because after I had finished it and had sent it off to Vistaprint, Tom looked at it and said -“I like it, but I have to admit that I don’t know what it is. Sorry.” I like it too, full of light, and cheery. It’s watercolor and gouache on a pen and ink drawing.

2014

So, there they are. I hope everyone had a wonderful, family and friend-filled holiday, full of shared good times and memories. It was lovely here, but I love the quiet house.

Hope Studio Watercolors: A seminar under the guidance of Sally Treanor.

I am busy “turning out” twelve new paintings for a show with Sara Zak, my favorite oil painter, and Chris Hawley, city planner and terrific instagram photographer. We three share a love for the places and architecture of Buffalo, our city. Our show is scheduled for Studio Hart on Allen Street in Buffalo, and will be called “Buffalo – a work in progress”. I won’t be posting these new paintings until the show is closer. It opens on January 9th, the second Friday which is being called the First Friday because of galleries taking time off the week after New Year’s.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, another cool thing is happening.

I’ve been taking watercolor classes from Sally Treanor, a wonderful teacher and artist, since we met in a figure drawing class at the Buffalo Arts Studio back in 2002. Our daughters, Cynnie Gaasch and Margaret Frey, were both working at the BAS, and thought we, the mothers, would enjoy figure drawing. Sally asked me if I had every tried watercolors. No, I hadn’t. She was in her second session teaching watercolor at the BAS. I signed up, and have been painting with Sally ever since, twelve years in fact.

Doreen Boyer DeBoth is also a student of watercolor with Sally Treanor. She is best known for her oils, and for the gallery she operates at 447 Amherst Street in Buffalo, Artsphere Studio and Gallery. She and Sally are curating a show of watercolors by Sally’s students over the years.  It’s called “Hope Studio Watercolors: A seminar under the guidance of Sally Treanor.” It opens with a reception on Friday December 5th from 5 – 9 pm, and runs until January 3, 2015.

Sally continues to be an inspiration for me. I never would have tried watercolor if our daughters hadn’t put us together back in 2002. I love painting.  Since retiring from Architecture in 2010, I have been loving it more and more.

I have 5 paintings in this show. I’m posting them here. Hope you like them. They are all Buffalo inspired.

5.Darwin Martin House Reflections

Darwin Martin House Reflections

4.Lafayette HS Detail 3.Cargill From The River

Lafayette HS Detail                                                  Cargill from the River

2.City of Night Light 1.Botanical Gardens

City of Night Light                                    Botanical Gardens