Category Archives: watercolor

Watercolor Lesson

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Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year.  I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors.  They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques:  saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.

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Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper.  They drew landscapes with barns.

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Paintings took weeks to create.  Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details.  These kids are extraordinarily talented.  I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson.  My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge.  My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.

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I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!

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Paintings are currently on display on the hallway walls at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.

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Best Intentions

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Janine and I took a trip to Cazenovia, New York today.  We visited Cazenovia Artisans, an artist’s co-op.  It is located at 39 Albany Street in the heart of the village.  Linda Bigness just joined, so I thought it would be fun to visit and see the new work. (For a full list of artists in the cooperative, visit their website).

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Bob Ripley was manning the register.  He is a former Advertising Design man turned full time watercolorist.  His work is AMAZING!

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It was such an honor to meet him and speak with him about his art.  Bob uses Windsor & Newton watercolors and Arches 300 pound paper, which he staples into foam board while working on the individual pieces.

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Bob shared his technique – here he is working on a commission.  He added the figure of the man into the landscape and strategically placed the fishing line to add rhythm to the composition.

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He uses frisket to assist in the layering process of glazing.  It stops the paint from bleeding into areas and also helps to save the white of the paper, which is a watercolor technique used instead of painting with the more opaque Chinese white paint.  In addition, he shared a method he’d perfected through trial and error – placing clear transparent tape on an area then going back in and shaving the edge with an Exacto blade to match it with the landscape, all to insure that the paint stays where it belongs.

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Watercolor is tricky that way.  It is about sheer layers blending together.  Bob was very clear about never using black.  Instead, he combines Hooker’s Green and Alizarin Crimson or if he wants a cooler looking dark, he mixes the Alizarin with Ultramarine Blue.

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This work is really incredible.  Each piece takes about seventy or eighty hours to complete.  Bob draws the basic lines of the landscape then adds more detail with pencil as needed.

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There are original watercolor paintings on the wall for sale, as well as high quality Giclee prints, which look almost identical to the originals in quality and color.  Each piece is infused with Bob Ripley’s vivacious spirit.  He is so talented!

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Thank you, Bob Ripley!!!  And thank you, Janine Hudun, for joining me.  We also popped over to the Cazenovia Public Library to visit their museum and gallery (blog to follow) then had lunch at Empire Farm Brewery.

I privately set an intention this morning – I wanted to see a cardinal, believe it or not.  People always say that when a cardinal crosses your path, it is a sign that someone who has passed away is nearby.  I was sifting through Bob’s prints thinking I might see one (I can’t explain why I thought he would even have one). Then I turned and found a cardinal print in his section on the greeting card fixture!

Later that day, I saw an actual cardinal while hiking around Green Lakes.  It literally called out to me then it frantically fluttered about while I flustered getting my cell phone from my pocket.  I was laughing and crying at the same time while trying to get the shot, so this is not a great picture, lol, but it doesn’t matter.  Thanks, Dad. ❤

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Cazenovia Artisans is open Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  For more information call (315) 655-2225.

In the Flesh and Flora

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It was only my second time at LeMoyne College.  I remembered which street to turn into to get to the parking lot that leads to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library on the campus in DeWitt, New York, but once inside, the Wilson Art Gallery was not where it used to be.  I guess they renovated since I was last there, lol.  It was sort of strange, coupled with the fact that I got the time wrong and missed the entire two hour party by fifteen minutes.  The art is currently gracing the walls directly opposite the front door, which allows it to greet all visitors in the captive-audience style.  It also appears as a larger space than the previous venue, which, I admit,  is a win-win.

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The new show is titled Spring is on the Way.  It offers lovely floral incarnations by Judith Hand.  She is a retired art teacher who has worked at Westhill, as well as schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts.  She is also a member of the Cazenovia Watercolor Society and a signature member of the Central New York Watercolor Society.

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I found out about this show via Facebook.  Judy is a FB friend I hadn’t actually met until this day.  I told her I was a blogger and she said she knew; she’d just read about my student’s Google doodles that morning!

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I shared that my Studio in Art students are working on landscapes in watercolor, so we talked shop for a bit.  And took a selfie, of course.  The art reception was yesterday (she’s sold five pieces!).  I  love the positive flavor of these pieces, the richness of color and, you know, the subject matter.  Who doesn’t love flowers?

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There is plenty of time to view this show.  Judith Hand’s paintings will be on exhibit through March 2019.

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Allentown

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Left Hand Path is the title of the latest art exhibition hanging on the walls of Apostrophe’s  Art Gallery, 1100 Oak Street in Syracuse, New York.  Glendon Allen has curated an exhibition that includes ten artists –
Charles Buechner
Ray Madden
Star Daniels
Jessica Whitely
Dylan Allen
Risa Fox
Maggie Carlin
Sherry Spann Allen
Katelinn Carrier
Glendon Allen~ Curator

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It is a family affair.  Both Glendon and his brother Dylan are graduates of Syracuse University.  Their mom, Sherry Spann Allen, is a recently retired art teacher, as well as a nationally recognized abstract artist.  Their dad, Peter Allen, is a successful local graphic artist, painter and musician.  Alice, Dylan’s daughter, poses here with her artwork on the wall as well.  (She said it was a giraffe!)

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Left hand path is a term to describe the religious practice of dark magic.  (I Googled it.)  In this case, the artists are aligning with the feeling of being placed in the category of outsider.  Their emotions play a significant role in the production of their artwork.  Discord is at the center of this vibration, although the work here is a combination of action strokes and calm precision.  A sort of beautiful aesthetic meets the doom and gloom of the future kind of thing.

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The above prints were available for immediate sale, the rest can be purchased once the show comes down next week.  Apostrophe’s is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment.

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Friendship & Art

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Coach baseball cap, Halston Heritage dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

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The closing reception for Art & Baseball, my watercolor show at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro, was sooooo much fun!  The baseball cupcakes were so cute, and delicious too.  I had a lemon one – yum!

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I have such an amazing support system of love from my immediate family.  My sister Kathy and my mom were there and my dad stopped in after a long morning of tilling his vegetable garden.  My friend Penny was doing the same at her place in Sylvan Beach before coming!  I have the best friends and I know how fortunate I am to have them in my life.

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Proprietor Debbe Titus said exactly that – “you have the best friends supporting you”.

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After the reception and take down, my friend Kim and I drove over to her hair salon, Kimberly’s Salon at 2520 James Street in Eastwood (Syracuse, New York).  We hung the paintings there.  So that is the answer to the questions, when and where is your next show?  They will be up indefinitely and are available for sale in a cash & carry.  I will just replace them with more art.

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Kimberly’s Salon hours of operation are as follows:  Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 am – 6 pm, Wednesdays & Fridays 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Call (315) 463-2735 for more information.

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I do have the very best friends a girl could ever ask for.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Today was such an amazing day in my universe.

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Life’s a Game

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Another perfect day in my universe…

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I knew I would install my art exhibition at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro today, but the details of the how and the when, and the other stuff of it all were not planned.  The artwork had been piled into a big blue bin on my back porch with two other similar bins resting on top of it (very difficult to access without making a huge mess) – so instead of wrapping my head around figuring it all out, I just had breakfast and sat in front of my laptop scrolling Facebook, mindlessly loving everyone’s posts.

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I was thinking about my friend Bobbi because she and I helped each other with our last events at the bakery.  My mind kind of wandered into – wouldn’t it be nice if she was available to help me?  And then, out of the blue, she texted me.

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I turned myself into a Tasmanian devil and within twenty minutes I had loaded the car with the art and all of the necessary install junk.  I have no recollection of how that happened mind you; it just DID.  We ended up meeting at Clark Reservation State Park in Jamesville, New York, which is down the street from the bakery, and hiking one of the many breathtaking trails there concluding with an awesome butt-blasting stair climb.  Then we headed over to Half Moon and had lunch – spinach quiche and a goat cheese side salad with maple syrup balsamic dressing.

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We hung the show together – thirteen watercolor paintings.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would not have been able to do this alone!  It really took two sets of hands to map out a plan with one holding the artwork while the other eye-balled the positioning.

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It really didn’t take long with my good friend by my side (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  I ❤ you, Bobbi Petrocci!) and the result is a very different exhibition than the one I had last time in October 2016.  These are my baseball titled watercolors.  They are priced to sell at $125 each.

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Proprietor Debbe Titus and I planned the artist party as a closing reception.  It is set for Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  We will have adorable and tasty mini cupcakes (planning three dozen) with frosting to resemble baseballs.

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It is going to be so cute and fun!  Please come if you are in the neighborhood!  In addition, I will have unframed watercolors there to peruse and everything will be a cash and carry sale.  You can leave with a happy tummy and a watercolor under your arm.

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The Half Moon Bakery and Bistro is open Monday through Saturdays.  Monday 10:00 am-3:00 pm, Tuesday 8:00 am-3:00 pm, and Wednesday-Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Call  (315) 492-0110 for more information or visit their web-site, www.thehalfmoonbakery.com. I trust I will see you there!

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Wearable Art!

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I have a BFA in Fashion Design, as well as in Studio Arts from Syracuse University.  I used to imagine being on the cover of WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) as a fashion designer.  All the headlines that would work.  Like TASH SPELLS CASH or if I was designing bathing suits, TASH MAKES A SPLASH.  There was TASH IS A SMASH, and, lol, if I put out a bad collection, TASH MAKES TRASH.

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Being a fashion designer has never stopped being one of my deepest desires.  And now… I am!

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www.redbubble.com has added new merchandise to include dresses, skirts, scarves, leggings and chiffon tops!  I spent about five hours last night updating my work.  I have several watercolor paintings on the site.  You can purchase all sorts of items designed with my original paintings’ images on them – phone cases, satchels, stickers, mugs….and now all of these clothes!

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The quality of the image on the merchandise is really outstanding.  And there is a quick turn-around time.  Items are usually shipped within a week!  Right now they are offering a 20% off sale on all goods and in addition, the scarves are on a special sale.

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I am sooooo excited about this!  This is a sample of the abundant choices in the Karen Tashkovski – Visual Artist line.  I will link each picture to its page on the site for easy access.

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