Cows & Bulls

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Penny Santy’s bull paintings are currently hanging on the walls of the Chittenango Middle School library.  She will be visiting us on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 for an artist talk during 10th period!  In honor of her visit, four of my Art-8 classes created cows and bulls in both acrylic paint and oil pastels.

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I have them hanging on the walls of the hallway outside of my art classroom.

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The oil pastels are done on black Strathmore paper.  Students created the drawings on white paper, transferred them onto the black using graphite paper (which introduces a bit of magic, and you all know I love magic!).  Then they painted out the lines in black acrylic and went to town with the pastels – creating rhythm and texture via their own individual styles.

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The acrylic paintings went through the same initial process – drawn on white paper, transferred with magic .  Students were also encouraged to create their own styles, although I did have a handout to give what I call Ms. Tash Pearls of Wisdom.  These are pointers to mixing colors so that one color ends up permeating throughout the canvas.  Raw Sienna is that color.

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Black outlining was an option.  Penny Santy utilizes complimentary color schemes.  Most of the pieces she is exhibiting have an orange/blue color scheme.  I was pleased to see so many colorful animals, purple cows and red bulls, lol, as well as the rest of the rainbow.

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I wonder which ones I should enter into the Scholastic Art Awards competition?  I like them all!  Thank you, Penny Santy, for being such a marvelous inspiration to my kids!

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Serendipity in the Saddle

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There was this Scholastic Art magazine with a Jaune Quick-To-See Smith painting in the centerfold – of a canoe.  I loved the way she expressed social injustice with paint and collage.

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I had been planning a series of art projects using horses and thought her work would be a perfect fit.  And then, upon further investigation, it turns out that Jaune Quick-to-See Smith had created a series of horse paintings in this style! Isn’t that crazy???  It was a perfect fit.  Serendipity at its finest!

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This year, two of my 8th grade art classes learned about her work.  What is great about this school year – my students all have I-pads now and they can research as they work.  My ultimate goal is to connect with the artist and share this work with her.  That would be a dream come true!

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I taught them how to draw a horse using shapes and the technique known as measuring – all parts of a horse are actually in proportion to each other!  We created the drawings on tagboard, cut them out and used them as stencils on the paintings.

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They painted in acrylic then added the horse.  Collage items from magazines that represented themselves were affixed with Mod-Podge.  Then students added more paint to create rhythm and texture.

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Finished work is on display in the Chittenango Middle School library!

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Art & Birthday Cake

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The reception I planned for my art exhibition at the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro in Jamesville, New York on Thursday, October 20, 2016 was more a birthday party for my mother and a chance for my friends and acquaintances to come and experience this quaint business on the corner of East Seneca Turnpike and Apulia Road.  It is a tiny place and quite honestly, I did not expect such an amazing turnout for the hours of 3:00 to 5:00 pm.  Thank you so much!

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I am grateful for all of the wonderful people who came to celebrate and to support me and my artwork, and to eat delicious cake made by proprietor Debbe Titus.  I gave her full reign on the design of the cake and she created something spectacular for my mom and for us to share with the thirty + people who attended the event.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Thank you, Debbe, for all of your hard work and for the opportunity to exhibit in this space.  I don’t actively seek out art exhibition opportunities – they tend to fall into my lap serendipity-like.  I seem to spend more time these days with my fashion interests, as well as supporting other artists, and so it meant the world to me that so many people took the time to spend an afternoon chatting with me about my artwork.

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The Talisman series is about seeking love, the desire to be loved.  I created the paintings in 2008. I’m finally breaking free of my lifetime of limiting beliefs regarding love in relationships, realizing that it is in fact, all around me and living inside of me.  I love my life and spending time with friends and family.  Love my world –  that I can create magic – see magic all around me every single day.  And that is just really fun.  I am truly blessed.  Thank you! ❤

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15 Miles

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Can my life get any better?  OMG, I was in a music video today!  A bunch of us met this morning at the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, New York 13202 to sing into a camera and a drone.  It was more like lip-syncing to the tune of “Low Bridge”, the ditty we all learned in 4th grade, which is about the time all New York State kids find out about the Erie Canal.  It only took an hour and a half, but it made me smile the whole day and I am still giddy about it. ❤

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[excerpt from Facebook] The popular song “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” was written in 1905 by Thomas S. Allen after Erie Canal barge traffic was converted from mule power to engine power, raising the speed of traffic.

There’s an age old debate between each coast about whether the lyrics are “15 miles or 15 years”

Originally it was 15 years – but it was folk artist Pete Seeger who made the song become part of the folk repertoire and recognizable to every child in every school!

In fact, you would sing the song in class…and those days seem to have passed. So, we are asking our community to come out and sing our modernized re-imagined version!

The song will be recorded locally and utilize local musicians to create a fun easy to sing – a – long to version that James Domroe of 325 Productions will create a music video for with scenes in Clinton Square and by the Erie Canal Museum downtown!!!

Low Bridge

I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
She’s a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

We’ve hauled some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
And every inch of the way I (we) know
From Albany to Buffalo

Chorus:
Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal

Get up there Sal, we’ve passed that lock,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
And we’ll make Rome before six o’clock
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

One more trip and back we’ll go
Through the rain and sleet and snow
And every inch of the way I (we) know
From Albany to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge for we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal.

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This was the brainchild of uber-cool guy Michael John Heagerty.  His enthusiasm for this city is so infectious.  You may recognize him from the New York State Fair, riding around in The Big Yellow Fellow, a barcycle for ten.  I rode on it at the Irish Fest a few weeks ago and it was so silly fun.  I just love that I can now begin a sentence with – one time on The Big Yellow Fellow (someday I will also be able to begin a sentence with one time in Paris or one time in Milan, or one time in Mykonos…).  Michael was the man in the yellow suit minus a Curious George monkey.

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The video we made will be joined with the music track, edited and distributed to local elementary schools.  The Erie Canal is a big deal around here.  I mean, we all spend time on it – hiking, biking, rollerblading, etc., that is, the mule named Sal’s trail, not in the actual drink, although I do see people kayaking in there sometimes.

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The museum itself was fun too.  I walked around both floors and checked out their little gift shop.  They are open Monday-Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sundays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Next month there is a gingerbread house contest and other festive events for the holidays.  Call (315) 471-0593 for more information or to schedule a school tour.

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Event Horizon

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The great thing about having an art exhibition and art reception at a restaurant is you forego the traditional crudities in favor of sampling the cuisine.  And in the case of Maxwell’s, this involves a gourmet spinach salad, brick oven pizza and hot wings.

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Toss in a performance by a band starring a whiz kid on drums and you have one amazing evening with artists and friends!

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Artwork by Kara D. Cook is on display and for sale at Maxwell’s for only one week, but I am certain she will sell everything in that short time.  Like me, she has her BFA and MS from Syracuse University, and she is a local art teacher.  She is also a fan of Jasper Johns and Alice Neel, but her fanaticism does not spill into her canvases.  Her work is original, fresh and captivating.

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The show is titled Bricks & Bones.  Kara preps some of her canvases with paper collage of sheet music or maps then creates landscapes of local haunts, places she sees as she drives to work, places from her childhood in Chittenango, New York…places that have been discarded and left to rot in a way.

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But there is so much beauty to see in these images, I think, like the beauty of everlasting love explored in The Velveteen Rabbit.  Memories of the past that make you say – I remember that place and I will try to not forget that past.  She attacks the canvases with a combination of materials beginning with acrylic then adding charcoal, colored pencil, marker and whatever else works.  I actually thought they were digital photographs when I first walked in.  I was delighted to see all of the nuances of the mixed-media upon further inspection.

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I purchased a print of the Cinema North, the old free-standing movie theatre in Mattydale, New York.  I was trying to remember what movie I went to see there, something with my cousins who lived out that way.  So, yeah, it’s like that – a faded memory that had to be a good one but now it is sort of missing its pieces too.

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According to Wikipedia, In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman’s terms, it is defined as “the point of no return”, i.e., the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible, even for light. An event horizon is most commonly associated with black holes. Light emitted from inside the event horizon can never reach the outside observer. Likewise, any object approaching the horizon from the observer’s side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon,[1] with its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses.

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This provocative timey-wimey feeling is what I get from Kara’s work.  You are most definitely pulled in, and the effects are impossible to escape.  They linger, like that reoccurring dream you keep having or like that math problem that seems easy yet you cannot solve.  According to her literature, “[the work] retain[s] memories of the past. Bricks and Bones is meant to appreciate their narrative.”  I am so impressed with the depth to which Kara reveals emotion in her work.

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Oh, and she makes jewelry too!

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Maxwell’s is located at 122 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York 13202.  Call (315) 299-6633 for information or visit their web-site here.  Kara D. Cook can be located on all the usual social media locations.  You can start by liking her on Facebook here.

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Cure-All

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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Steve Madden boots
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Trina Turk dress, BCBGeneration sandals
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGenration booties

I allowed myself to fall into the trap of disappointment once again, an energy that I would gladly trade for anything else in the world, lol.  The problem always lies when I forget to stay present, when I imagine a particular future then become attached to it to the point that when it doesn’t manifest I have this wonky misery.  Like, I bring it on myself, and can even make myself sick over it until finally I arrive at the place I belong, in the present moment (yes!) where nothing has really changed at all.

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Nine West cap, BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Banana Republic skirt, Ellen Tracy boots
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Coach headband, Berkeley Cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic dress, BCBGeneration sandals, Michelle DaRin bracelet

This funk doesn’t happen often.  I am usually so la-la-la positive, so when I fall out of that, I fall kind of hard.  Like migraine headache hard.  But I take solace in aesthetics.  In the beauty of the world – the love I have for friends, family and pets; the incredible feeling I have when I hike around Green Lakes; the delight I take in listening to live local bands (I am a first-class groupie!); the exquisite artwork my students are creating; the smell of beeswax when I am working on encaustic paintings; the satisfaction of seeing my own art on the walls of a restaurant; and, of course, fashion.

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Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Mia shoes
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BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, BCBGeneration sandals

I just love fashion.  It’s fun to put myself together for work, to put my best stilettoed foot forward.  I wore a lot of skirts and dresses in the past two weeks.  The weather in Syracuse, New York has been magnificent!

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Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGeneration booties
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BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, BCBGeneration sandals

Life is a fun dream, isn’t it?  Even the perceived bad is really good in disguise and it allows me to have faith in the knowledge that whatever happens is for the best.  The universe is my best friend and ultimately, my life is a romantic comedy.  Thank you, Almighty, for putting me in situations that bring me closer to my wishes/prayers/dreams every day.  I trust you. ❤

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Michelle DaRin choker, Rachel Roy top, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties