About csir2014

Retired architect reborn as a painter and sketcher.

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.

2001 BSA Woman IMG_6484

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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14.CarolSiracuse.HomagetoLouisSullivan.web

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.

4.CarolSiracuse.Canalside.web

1.CarolSiracuse.CobblestoneWall.web

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11.CarolSiracuse.ApproachingOhioStBridge.small

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

Love a good workshop!

Watercolor artist Jeannie McGuire from Pittsburgh came to Buffalo to conduct this fall’s workshop for the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society (I’m president :)) It was an incredible week, maybe the best workshop ever for me. We worked with faces and figures and groups of figures from our old and newer photos. We learned so much from Jeannie. She shared her approach, her stories and her talent. What a warm and wonderful woman and artist. She also judged our 12th National Watercolor Exhibition 2014, still on view at the Kenan Center in Lockport. I was thrilled to be among the award winners. Got the Silvestro Family Award for my watercolor “Faded Technology.” Thank you to DeEtta Silvestro and her family for supporting our Watercolor Society.

Faded Technology

I painted this using a photo I took during the first City of Night celebration in 2013, celebrating our wonderful Silo City and our Emerging Artists. Buffalo is a wonderful place to be an artist!

Back to the workshop. These are the photos I used as resources.

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I took this “family” photo in 1994 at my daughter Cynnie’s graduation from Hampshire College. From left to right, my mom, Suska, Cyn’s dad Jack, Jack’s wife Perce, and my daughter Liz, aged 15.

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This is a composite of the other resource photos. First my husband, Tom, then my grandparents, Bessie and Will (used Will only), my mom and her sisters (used Agnes on the right only), and me with Cynnie back in 1971 or 1972 (a photo taken by my wonderful friend, Cynnie Butler Parti.)

Here are my paintings, including the first “project”, the eye! We painted an eye first, then faces (Tom, Agnes, and Me with Cynnie), and then a figure (Grandfather Will Compton), and then a group of figures (Our Interesting Family!). We used transparent watercolor, lots of pigment on our flat brushes, only flat brushes, big flat brushes, and we experimented with titanium white. If you are familiar with transparent watercolor painters and painting, you know that pure transparent watercolor is TRANSPARENT! The white in such a pure painting is the paper. The addition of white pigment creates another entire aspect, opacity, the ability to do and redo. And it’s fun. So, here they are.

Eyes 1

Tom Auntie Boo Cynnie and Mom

Grandpa Compton

Our Interesting Family