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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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!

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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

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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