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).
Bob Ripley was manning the register. He is a former Advertising Design man turned full time watercolorist. His work is AMAZING!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. <3
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.