Last night Chittenango Central School held their annual School Fair at the high school. Each year, my colleague Katy and I spend several hours installing the middle school art show on the walls of the hallway between the two gymnasiums.
Then at 8:00 pm we take the whole thing down and pop the art into our cars to return it all to the middle school on Monday. We displayed around three hundred pieces of 5th – 8th grade artwork.
This was my twentieth year of said fair. Here are the pictures I remembered to take! It is pretty cool to see this visual representation of what we do all year.
My clay lesson this semester was the fish sculpture. I decided to do it with every class. My 5th grade, the 8th grade art students and the 8th grade Studio in Art students. It is such a great lesson because everyone starts with the same amount of clay creating a slab first that rolls up then adding the hand built elements.
They are all so beautifully unique! I decided to have a fishing derby. I weighed and measured every fish. Each class had a winner. The prize was a small bag of Swedish Fish, lol. Abraham’s was the biggest fish. He won a giant bag of Swedish Fish! So fun!
I did not use any silver paint this time, but I did turn my house into an art factory (Warhol reference) this past week. I went at it full speed, tackling masonite boards with a sort of crazy frenzy. I guess I should have put a drop cloth down on the floor and on my great-grandmother’s old kitchen table, but it was wax and ended up coming up pretty easily with a heat source and a crap load of elbow grease and an inordinate amount of time.
Seriously, now my kitchen does not look like like anything had happened in there at all and yet, I have three dozen completed encaustic paintings floating around my living room, dining room and back porch. It’s just nuts.
Futura was born. It is this series of angel paintings. They are 8″ x 10″ encaustics. They are mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard painted masonite but I cropped them here to show the detail.
I absolutely love the texture of the wax. It has the consistency of frosting. The house still smells of beeswax, so encaustic is this amazing phenomenological experience, affecting all senses. I am in love with this body of work.
I created a dozen angels. There are a dozen more on deck. I won’t get to them until the summer unless I spend another weekend yanking out the supplies and cordoning off that room from my cat. These paintings will eventually be available at Syracuse Yoga. I will let you know. It is opening sometime next month.
It feels beyond amazing to have given life to these pieces. Sooooo incredibly satisfying! I will upload pics of the finished horseshoes soon. I must go back to work tomorrow and this Saturday from 1:00-3:00 pm is my closing party at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro. Hope to see you there! There will be cupcakes! ❤
I spent the weekend creating encaustic paintings of horseshoes to exhibit in my sister’s new yoga studio. Sophie Tashkovski will be opening the doors to Syracuse Yoga sometime in May. This is such an exciting time for our family! We are so proud of Sophie. She is an amazing yoga instructor and business woman.
Sophie’s logo is a quatrefoil of horseshoes. It is a combination of relaxed elegance, abundant positive energy and a pinch of luck.
The artist in me had been dormant of late – the facelift I gave the Honor Thy Master series kickstarted an eruption in me. The red hot magma (love saying that) is the passion/blood/desire flowing from me to paint again. On Friday, I purchased some supplies then spent all day and well into the evening on Saturday in production. I felt the electricity of luck flowing through me as I worked. Today I mounted the dozen piece collection onto chalkboard-painted masonite. Tomorrow I will do touch-ups and pick up some hooks to attach to the backs so they will be ready to hang.
I also plan to purchase a few more things from the art supply store. I have momentum now and I don’t want to lose it. I will continue to make progress. There’s a smaller series of horseshoes on deck and I hope to create angel paintings and maybe more hearts – they are my bread and butter. I love when I not only have an idea in the creating of work but in addition, a place to put them once they are done. Yessss!
Janine came over as I was painting and I gave her a lesson in encaustics. That was fun – she took these great photographs to document the process. (And, OMG – no make-up and junky paint sweats, lol!)
As much as I love teaching, I really wish this could be my life all the time. It is so much fun! I would need more than a kickstart of motivation though, in order to turn it into a real 24/7 business. I would need to be passionate about the business end and that is more dormant/inactive (really closer to extinct) volcano in me all the time. When Sophie and our friend Gina were talking spreadsheets over drinks at Kitty Hoynes last month, I kind of zoned out, as if they both sounded like the teacher on Peanuts. Blah-blah-woh-waah….
Gina operates Saunacuse, a sauna studio using infra-red technology. (At Christmas, I bought my sisters gift certificates to go there – it is amazing!) I wish I could be as business savvy as they are, and like our friend Michelle DaRin is.
She is the business woman’s business woman role model – artist, educator, wife, mother, jewelry designer, and…kickstarter.
Michelle and her husband are looking to expand their business, which has gotten a lot of press/national attention recently. I am in awe of her raw talent. Her work is infused with so much positivity. Wearing the copper-based enameled bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, you can actually feel the energy radiating from the collection and affecting you harmoniously as you dance your way about the day. And by you, I most definitely mean me. I LOVE wearing her jewelry!
Michelle DaRin Jewelry has started a Kickstarter campaign. They are looking to fund a project in which Michelle has more studio space and in addition, a place to teach metal-smithing classes (She has an Art Education degree from Syracuse University).
Check out the link to the funding page at the bottom of this blog post – you aren’t just handing her money for the heck of it. It is a business transaction. You will receive jewelry – and basically get it for a lot less than the retail value. The more you give the more you get of her hand-made one-of-a-kind pieces. The money will also go towards the hiring of staff trained in the manufacturing of the goods, as there is a strong need to meet the demands of the increased interest in her work. Win-win!
I am so honored to know these beautiful, talented young business women! They are truly kickin’ it!
Click the link below to see how you can participate in manifesting this new and improved vision for Michelle DaRin Jewelry! I promise you will love it! ❤
If you search Instagram for the hashtag #fashionintherealworld, you will find all of my posts. I invented it and #fashioninrealtime, and #fashioninreallife. I just checked them; I think there are only two or three posts on them from random fashionistas. The rest is all me.
Here are my outfits of the day from the last two weeks. The landscape of my background keeps changing as I shift student work around the room. All of my clay projects are complete. The last batch went into the kiln today. The 5th graders are currently working on a three-dimensional wood sculpture, my Studio in Art students are learning watercolor techniques and the rest of the 8th graders are immersed in the various SLO test projects: Statue of Liberty paintings, “under the sea” landscapes with fish (mixed-media lesson), Japanese fan project (also mixed-media) and abstract paintings with realistic horses thrown in. So four additional different lessons for the six classes.
There is a lot going on, which will culminate in the School Fair set for May 12, 2017. I will have my hands full preparing for that exhibition and hopefully even with the upcoming state math tests looming, we will get everything accomplished.
But first – Spring Break!!! I will be working on the business of making art as soon as tomorrow. Can’t wait. Watching students make art is clearly a fun job, but nothing beats the guilty pleasure of creating my own artwork – even though it is super messy and therefore cannot be done in designer clothes. So…I will be sacrificing fashion for my art. I did buy a new dress for Easter though. It is Halston Heritage. ❤ OMG, I love it!
I took a lot of pictures at Maria Rizzo‘s art reception, mainly because she was exhibiting quite a bit of art! Maria has been busy – she curates the art exhibits at Natur-Tyme in Dewitt, New York, teaches entrepreneurial courses at the Syracuse Tech Garden, is a wife, mother of two, a painter and – something I did not know about her until tonight – an art student.
She is growing exponentially as a person of this world – learning, knowing, loving, teaching, giving…. It is really incredible to know her. Her positive energy is magnetic. This show marks the culmination of her art degree at SUNY Empire State College. Maria’s art is currently on display in the Central Arts Gallery of the annex located at 6333 Route 298 (3rd floor) in East Syracuse, New York.
Yes! This for me, was another case of making the invisible visible. I had no idea there was an art college around the corner from my house. Thank goodness Penny drove this time. Like that last time with the SUNY Oswego annex campus in downtown Syracuse, New York, I had no idea where we were going, but Penny did! (Am I the only one who doesn’t know about these things?)
It turns out that SUNY Empire State College is the largest of the SUNY schools fractured into pieces around the state. Students have the flexibility to create their own programs of study to a degree with many of them non-traditional students, like Maria, who are embarking on their studies after spending time in the real world. Classes are held at night and on weekends in some cases. The art degree is a B.A. due to limited studio space according to her mentor.
The show will be up for the next two months. Am not sure of the hours and how easy-peasy it is to view. We will need to look that up on their web-site. Maria’s original paintings are for sale. She has smaller versions, prints that are available as well. You can find them at Natur-Tyme or visit her web-site for more information.
It means the world to me to share my artwork with all of you. To find the perfect venue, Dolce Vita World Bistro, for the Honor Thy Master series. To take a group of paintings that had been stored under my bed, re-work them to give them new life, and get them out into this world. And to just see them again, breathing new life on the walls of this wonderful restaurant – it just feels magnificent. This is an artist’s bliss.
Today I installed my art exhibition at Dolce Vita World Bistro. It took two-and-a-half hours to figure out the placement and hang them all. I brought the paintings into the space and began by just leaning them against the wall where I thought I wanted them to go – the way I do when assisting the artists who show at the school library gallery. I rearranged a little bit but it pretty much looked like my vision very quickly. Then it was only a matter of climbing on a barstool, measuring with my favorite yardstick borrowed from school, and figuring out how to operate the clasps on the plastic cords that make up the display system on the walls. That, and finding the right bit for my power screwdriver, lol (I brought flat head rather than phillips head screws – how weird).
I love the way the artwork looks in the space. The colors work well with the terracotta walls, and I love the contrast of abstract work in this old-world classic style bistro. It just works.
Here is the menu for the special one-night only art reception on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
There may be a wine special – proprietor Antonietta Vigliotti is working on that, as well as selecting some great music via the sound system. I requested ’70s rock, preferably 1977 stuff, which is my definitive moment musically. I think you pick the music of your life when you are fourteen, am I right?
All are welcome. Make your reservations early if you care to join. Antonietta said she has already received a few reservations! Yessss! I am sooooo excited. It will be a fun party.
The paintings are only $200. The larger one – 24″ x 48″ is only $500 (regularly $800) and the three 11″ x 14″ paintings are only $75. They are priced low to sell. I want them to find good homes. That would mean everything.
Honor Thy Master will be on display through the month of April 2017, so if you cannot make the reception I trust that you will find the time in your world to visit the restaurant some time during the month! ❤