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

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.