Category Archives: art

Au Naturel

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Today in Syracuse, New York, the weather took a nosedive into frigid dead-of-winter temps, but inside the Edgewood Gallery, ( 216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, New York, 13224) the landscape is vibrant, warm and creatively cozy.

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Proprietor Cheryl Chappell has curated “Nature of Things”, a delightful show of oil paintings, ceramics and jewelry, which will be on exhibit and for sale now through February 22, 2019.  The art reception was tonight with two of the four artists in attendance.

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Rob Glisson‘s landscapes in oils are the stars of this show – several of them sported red sold stickers within the first hour of the opening.  He starts the work as plein-air pieces then takes them into the studio to re-envision them as fantasy worlds contemplating shadows while paying attention to color, volume and depth.  He concentrates on creating worlds that tell a story inviting the viewer to lose themselves within the frames.  I am a huge fan of his work and it is such a pleasure to see so many pieces hanging salon style alongside the lovely cow-dominated oil paintings of fellow artist Adriana Meiss.

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Jan Navales pinch-hit for Dana Stenson tonight, offering visitors information and guidance in selecting for purchase some of the silversmith’s latest creations.

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Karen Jean Smith‘s ceramics have the look of carved wooden objects.  These tromp l’oeil pieces are thrown then hand carved.  She adds the knots and other textures using an intuitive style.  Her work evolved into these thrice-fired amazing creations via an interest in representing nature, specifically water chestnuts, which led her to focus on representing wood.  Some of the pieces are kiln-fired and others are wood-fired.  They are painstakingly glazed using a watercolor technique.  They are really so, so cool.  I just love this series!  She also sold a few pieces at this opening. 🙂

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These artworks are surprisingly affordable.  A lot of them smaller pieces, to add to your art collection or to start one, which is a great New Year’s resolution – I will start my art collection this year!  I will support local artists! Oh, yes.  That has a nice ring to it. Seems like the natural thing to do. ❤

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2018 Fashion Finale

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Rebecca Taylor top, French Connection skirt, Calvin Klein booties
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Talitha top, Banana Republic pants, Nine West booties
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Saks Fifth Avenue sweater, BCBGMaxAzria skirt, Eliffete tights, Marc Jacobs booties

Here are my #ootd pics from December 2018.  A few new pieces are in the mix, like the lace tights and my first Milly top.  OMG, I love stretch silk, which is a silk blend with a bit of spandex in it.  You can tell that I am a huge fan of silk, cashmere and leather.

I wear two smocks while painting and using Mod Podge, which is my new go-to instead of using Plaster of Paris for sculpture.  I’m doing a form of papier mache instead and it is amazing.  Can’t wait to share my donut project!

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Aqua Cashmere cardigan, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGeneration booties
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Rachel Zoe dress, Calvin Klein booties
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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

The other big project is…Artist Books!  My Studio in Art students are creating these very cool books using sports equipment, lunch boxes, ceramic bowls and musical instruments.  They will be done by the end of the semester.  Then we will start watercolor!

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Trina Turk dress, Marc Jacobs booties
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C by Bloomindales cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
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Milly top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Marc Jacobs booties

I will eventually clean off the back counter and prepare for new students in February.  Art – 8 only meets every other day for one semester.  I am able to do about three or four projects in that time – a drawing, a painting, a sculpture and a clay project or some combination of those things.  Right now we are finishing up sculptures in the five classes and drawing in the other two.

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C by Bloomingdales cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings, Ugg boots

I did not get any clothes for Christmas, lol.  Or did I?  Santa was good to me.  I know him!  (I really do!) ❤

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Rachel Zoe dress, Coach clutch
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BCBGMaxAzria top, pants, and belt, Nine West boots

Who’s Greek Now?

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I decided to infuse the 8th grade Medusa  drawing project with real people.  I was driving to work a few weeks ago and the idea just came to me, lol, but would the teachers at Chittenango Middle School go for it?

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On the half day, I sent out an email then I ran around taking pictures of those who were receptive to being immortalized as Medusa.  The principals were even on board, which was so, totally, awesome!

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Students selected from the faces and added the snake hair and Greek pattern border.  We watched excerpts from 1981 and 2012 Clash of the Titans while using Sharpies and colored pencils.  Here are the results.  They used 16″ x 20″ white heavyweight tagboard and Prismacolor colored pencils.

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I have two classes working on a new batch on brown Kraft paper.  It is such a fun project.  So many possibilities with regard to color schemes and composition.  So incredibly satisfying!

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This artwork is currently on display in the hallway outside of my classroom at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.  It will be up for a while, at least until the end of the semester at the end of January.  I will display some of them at the school fair in May too.

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In-Your-Face

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The year was 2006 – I started working at the middle school after another teacher retired ten years into my career.  I would be teaching 8th grade Art and an 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art class, for which I had to plan a field trip to New York City.

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I followed the guide left by the previous teacher using the same bus company.  In addition, I planned every detail including the itinerary of visiting two museums and the cost calculations to include fees for the museums and meals from the school cafeteria.  It was a lot of work, a huge responsibility on top of preparing new curriculum and all that teaching stuff.  I was excited though, because I focused on all the cool things the kids would learn about art, all the amazing art and art history to see and experience, and of course the thrill of being in Manhattan.  My students all kept saying they just wanted to see a real live hobo.

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Finally, the day of the trip arrived.  It was November 10th, the day before Veteran’s Day. Everything was going at a good clip until about five hours in when the bus started having wonky problems.  It took us an extra hour to get from Macy’s in Manhattan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because the bus kept, like, shutting down-starting up again-shutting down, etc. at every stop light.  We arrived, spent five wonderful hours enjoying the Met and the American Museum of Natural History.  Instead of the company dispatching another bus, the driver returned with that faulty one.  Start-stop-start-stop-infinity until we made it to a Mobil station where we evacuated.  The bus driver put transmission fluid in then said he would drive around the block and come back for us.  He left us stranded for six hours, maybe seven.  We, kind of, became hobos.

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Luckily, it was a warm November night.  The children took it all in stride.  An adventure for them – they never felt in danger or scared.  Lol, I am pretty sure some of the chaperones are still traumatized to this day.  A one-day trip turned into an overnight ordeal.  Somehow the principal paid for us to take taxis to rendezvous with the dead bus now parked in a grocery store parking lot somewhere in the Bronx.  We made it home the next day via a bus dispatched from Quebec that had smashed both headlights in a collision with two deer on its way to save us.

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Those students are about twenty-five years old now!  Wow, that is just so crazy.  I suspect they are all doing amazing things these days and are not among the homeless faces exhibited in this art show.

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San Diego artist Neil Shigley has been working on this series of prints for about as long as I have had this memory in my head.  He interviews the subjects, photographs them then begins sketching their faces and transforms them into these larger than life prints.

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Each one looks to use two large pieces of linoleum; they are printed on two sheets of paper and mounted with large tacks directly into the wall.  The result is an in-your-face type of statement.  Making the invisible visible in terms of the scope of homelessness in our society.  Apparently, it is a vast and growing population in the San Diego area with people of all ages living on the streets and in parks, and just barely existing in this nomadic way.

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The exhibition is titled Invisible People:  Portraits of the Homeless.  The art reception was tonight.  It continues at Art Rage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, New York) through October 27, 2018.  Shigley will talk about his work on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the gallery.  Call (315) 218-5711 for more information.  Gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2:00 – 7:00 pm and Saturday noon – 4:00 pm.

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In Bronze

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Syracuse University has wowed us yet again with another fabulous art exhibition at their art gallery in the Shaffer Art Building on S.U. campus.  This time a collection of bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) fills the space.  The art is actually owned by the Iris and Gerald Cantor Foundation – they organized the show as well.

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Penny Santy and I attended the opening reception tonight – it was the perfect thing to do on this back-to-school night, an opportunity to fully immerse myself in the visual stimulation of an artists’ life work and then discuss it all with my fellow artist friend. The kind of discussion that catapults our individual journeys as we sort of translate what we see into how we see ourselves as artists – our respective places on the path.   It is just so incredible how modern this body of work really is – how this master artist took things a step further, editing body parts to emphasize movement.  Doing things because he wanted to, because it was necessary for his own growth without crumbling in the face of criticism.

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Innovation always comes with critics riding shirttails, doesn’t it?  People can be so limited in their thinking and so, when I see a show like this, I see that Rodin’s confidence and trust in what he knew was right is what influenced and still influences artists one hundred years later.

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Inspirational thinking.  So, so amazing!

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Rodin: The Human Experience will be on display until November 18, 2018.  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.  In addition, they are open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays. (315) 443-4097

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Summer Fashion

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Rachel Zoe dress, Coach clutch, Calvin Klein booties
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Rachel Zoe top, BCBGMaxAzria shorts, Calvin Klein booties
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BCBGMaxAzria romper and clutch, Marc Jacobs booties

Summer 2018 has been amazing so far.  So many fun things to do during my staycation.  The weather’s great.  Syracuse, New York was blessed with Florida style weather – so wonderfully crazy!  Me-likey!

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Marc Jacobs sunglasses, BCBGMaxAzria top and shorts, Ugg boots
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MichelleDaRin jewelry, Trina Turk top, Banana Republic shorts, BCBGMaxAzria sandals

Since I cannot wear them to work, shorts and off-shoulder tops are in heavy rotation right about now.  I have been frequenting live band venues –  a lot of dancing’s been added to my exercise regimen of yoga, hiking and pilates.

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Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Rachel Zoe dress, BCBGeneration sandals
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Max Mara top, BCBGMaxAzria shorts, Marc Jacobs sandals

As for art, the Happy Little Treehouse exhibit is moving to another location with a reception sometime next week, I think.  My paintings are still available and the proceeds from sales will be donated to Golisano Children’s Hospital.  More to come on that front.  Stay tuned!

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MichelleDaRin jewelry, Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGMaxAzria sandals
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Trina Turk dress, Marc Jacobs booties
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BCBGMaxAzria romper, Joie sandals
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Trina Turk top and shorts, BCBGMaxAzria sandals
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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Marc Jacobs booties
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Rachel Zoe dress, Nine West booties
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Marc Jacobs sunglasses, C by Bloomingdale’s cashmere cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria romper, Nine West booties
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BCBGMaxAzria sweater and pants, Coach crossbody, Calvin Klein booties
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Nine West suede cap, BCBGMaxAzria sweater, top and leggings, Coach crossbody, Ralph Lauren boots
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Akemi + Kin for Anthropologie dress, BCBGeneration booties
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Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Rachel Zoe top, 7 for All Mankind jeans, BCBGeneration velvet booties
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Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Cinq a Sept dress, Coach bag, BCBGeneration sandals
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BCBGMaxAzria romper, Nine West booties
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Trina Turk top, BCBGMaxAzria shorts, BCBGeneration sandals
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Free People jacket, BCBGMaxAzria top, shorts and clutch, Ugg boots
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Mark Jacobs sunglasses, Trina Turk top, BCBGMaxAzria belt, shorts and sandals, Coach clutch

Little Birdie

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I hosted a closing reception for Jamie Santos’ art show.  The exhibition had taken place in the Chittenango Middle School library (Chittenango, New York) during May and June 2018.  Since they administered the algebra regents exam in the library today, we held the party in my art classroom.

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About twenty students attended this end of the year celebration.  Cookies were served.

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Jamie Santos is a tattoo artist.  She works at Tymeless Tattoo in Baldwinsville, New York.  Jamie is a 2003 graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High school.  She says drawing is an important part of her life.  She gets up by 9:00 am and starts the day by sketching ideas for tattoos or paintings – she brought several notebooks full of these wonderfully executed drawings to share with the students.

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Her focus lately has been on birds.

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Students had a lot of questions about the tattooing process – does it hurt?  How long does it take to finish a tattoo?  Do people bring snacks? ( Lol, love that one ❤ )

Jamie was very honest about the process, the time commitment, the pain.  She explained how the needle works, how it vibrates when you hold it, how the artist gets better with every job.

She used to work every day and now she books clients only four days a week, devoting the rest of her time to creating art in her studio.  Designing her own unique look, her own motifs are crucial to her success and she takes pride in the fact that her work ethic has truly improved her skill.

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I asked how many of these eleven to fourteen-year-old students think that they want to get tattoos when they are older and the majority of hands flew up!  Should I be surprised by that?  I guess not.

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The students absolutely loved her!  She is amazing.  Thank you, Jamie Santos, for being such an inspirational voice for your profession.

A thousand thank-yous, as well, goes to my fabulous colleague, Katy Conden, for working with me to make these art talks happen. They are no fun without you!

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If you would like to see more of her work, Jamie will be exhibiting in a show of tattoo artists at the Everson Museum of Art.

 June 30–August 5, 2018

Embracing the Underground explores the rich and diverse culture of modern day tattooing. This exhibition is the second presented through the Everson’s Community Exhibition Program, which provides opportunities for Central New York organizations to present the work of area artists.

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