Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Post Marathon Thoughts

Wineglass Marathon 2015 posters

What a wonderful event!  The weather was beautiful on race day.  The people who came to town to run the race were enthusiastic and lots of fun to talk to.

My original painting and posters on display in my studio window

I signed posters for runners and supporters from all over the US --- Connecticut, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania -- to name a few.
Click on the photo to see the poster up close

In case you still want one, and want me to sign it --- just let me know.  Email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

I would be happy to coordinate with the Wineglass Marathon office to buy one for you  (they are $10 plus tax) and then ship it to you in its mailing tube.  The post office charges $2.75 for first class shipping. So, all in all it would be about $14.

It really made me feel good to hear how many people liked the painting which became this year's poster.

It was inspiring to be around the runners and to hear their stories leading up to and after the race.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Profusion" Oil Painting

20 x 24 inches
So here is how the big floral painting looks now that it is completed and framed.  It is large: 20 x 24 inches.   The title is "Profusion."
I was channeling Klimt's landscapes and the peony farm near Hall, New York.  The flower gardens there are in front of an old red barn.  But I was making it up, i.e, thinking about music compositions as I did.  The sunflower is the soloist.  And the other groups of flowers are the various sections of instruments in the symphony.
I utilized the pink background whenever possible --- letting it peek through. When needed, I bought some flowers from the farmer's market one week (for the white ones) and sunflowers from Wegman's another week.
Here it is in the window so that people walking by can see it.  It is a cheerful painting.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Wineglass Marathon Poster 2015

Mock-up of what the poster might look like--
Wineglass Marathon Poster prototype

The Wineglass Marathon organizers have chosen one of my paintings to be on this year's poster.  The race is in its 34th year.  It is a very successful, sold-out event which takes place this year on Oct 4, 2015 here in Corning.

This is the second year of their producing a poster to go along with the event, and I am very pleased that they thought of me and my work.



Monday, August 31, 2015

Back in Business

I happy to report that my windows have been replaced and that my studio is now open again.
Starting last Wednesday at 5am, the crew took out the incorrectly tinted glass.
You can really see how dark it was when the tinted glass in leaning up against the other side of my studio where there is clear glass.
The new glass is very heavy.  Double paned, UV coated.  Weighs 265 lbs.  This time it is see-through.  I started to feel better as soon as they started putting in the new clear glass.  The tinted glass had really been wearing me down.  

On the second day it was a 7am start to replace the glass on the other side.
As you can see, it now easy to see outside from the inside and the light for painting and viewing art is great.  
I had to remove everything from my windows, so it gave me an excuse to clean and rearrange while they worked.

The third day it was a 10am start, just to do the clean up, i.e., to reinstall the carpet and wash the windows while I put everything back in the windows.
I also prepped a new large 36x48 canvas to start painting in the window.  It is toned gray.  The other painting-- the one on my easel--- is one I started but stopped during the "dark" period ---but got out again to try to finish before the summer profusion of flowers is over.
And bought a nice bouquet of sunflowers to mark the new beginning.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

"Radio Flyer" Oil Painting

"Radio Flyer"
8x10 Oil

My landlord has reassured me that new windows are on order to fix the incorrectly tinted glass on the one side of my studio, but I will be lucky if I am back in business by the end of the month.
So, I decided to paint under the fluorescent light on the "good" side of my studio and see what happened.

"Radio Flyer " is a quick and loose painting which I sketched on Tuesday afternoon and completed on Wednesday.

I have been feeling nostalgic lately.  I used a photo I took at the 1000 Islands where my husband's family has a cottage.  There are signs of play all over the front yards there.  Usually left like this when they've gone inside to take a break.

It felt good to have something new to put in the window.  (When the painting dries, I will frame it. )


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Studio Disruption

Last Friday at 5 a.m.

No, a car didn't crash through my window.  No, I wasn't broken into.  No it wasn't vandalism.  But yes it is a problem.

What should have been a non-event for my studio became a fiasco last Friday.
There was quite a commotion going on outside until about 2 p.m.  

My landlord ordered new, improved glass for my windows.  The idea was that it would be safer --- because it would be safety glass if it ever did break --- and it would be more efficient ---because it would be thicker and double-paned --- and it would be UV blocking---which would protect the shop displays from fading as well as be energy efficient.  All good things! 
You can no longer see in my studio on the side where I paint
(Until it gets fixed) 

Unfortunately, unknown to me, the project specified a bronzed tint for the glass.  So, it changes the light inside, as if you are wearing sunglasses, and I need natural light to paint.  

And from the outside you can't see what I am doing, nor what is in the windows. Essentially, it is privacy glass.  The opposite of what is needed on a storefront.  The sunnier it is, the more reflective the glass becomes.  Hard to show artwork in those conditions, much less paint.
I still have one good display window (on the left) while I wait for new glass, but half is in the dark (on the right).

With the help of many advocates of the merchants on the street, the project got stopped.  So, at least only half of my windows are "in the dark."

Yesterday, I was reassured that everything than can be done will be done to see that clear glass is put in my windows as soon as possible.

So, if you were wondering what was happening, that is the scoop.  


Friday, July 17, 2015

Accidental Prints of My Oil Paintings

4x6 Inkjet Print 
of Heather Basket

So, this week I thought I'd share something which has gotten me excited even though I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet.

These are four examples of what happens when I print images of my oil paintings on the wrong side of the photo paper.  It happened when I was teaching myself how to photograph and print reference copies of my paintings.
This is what I got the first time I put in the paper in upside down by mistake.  (Kodak 4x6 Paper)

The ink sits on the surface in puddles because it doesn't have an emulsion to sink into, and so it creates an almost batik-like design.
I liked it so much that I tried a different landscape, and watched excitedly as it came out of the printer, just like I used to do when watching a Polaroid print emerge.

And the exciting part is I don't know how it is going to turn out.
"Heather Basket"
The photo of a painting goes from this to this.
It takes DAYS for the ink to dry, and they must be kept flat.

The prints drying on top of my printer under a warm lamp (top view)

I scanned them into my computer today to load them up into this post, and learned that they look better as prints than as scans.  Something gets lost in translation, but I still think they have potential.
Here's one of the painting called Boots.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Big Canvas Progression

4 feet wide and 3 feet tall

One of my goals has been to try painting big.  I don't have an easel big enough to hold a canvas that large, so, I decided to hang it on the wall in the front window and paint it there.
Because I wanted to paint clouds, I chose this image which I took last summer with my cell phone and turned it to black and white.  I like to paint from B&W and make up the colors.  I want this to be a big colorful painting.
And so it began.  From the top down.  Probably unorthodox but that's what I decided to do.
The photo reference was taped to the wall so I could paint from it and compare. I realized I probably should have sketched the whole thing before applying color --- but live and learn.
It was very challenging to scale up the drawing, so I eventually drew a grid on the photo and on the canvas and painted each rectangle.
Here's where I stopped.
Until this week, when I pushed myself to paint the land.  Day one results.  Road, barn and right fields/distant hills.
Day 2 morning. Created the farm house on the other side of the road and the big trees to make the barn look far away.
Day 2 lunchtime.  Just a little more to go, to get all of the canvas covered. It was fun but hard to fill the gap in the middle ground.
End of the day 2.  Finally covered it all.  Now it is time to let it dry and assess and decide if I want to keep it as loose as it is or go back over the whole thing and soften all of the transitions.

Day 3.  (Yesterday).  I moved it from the front window to center of the studio so I could have a better look at it.
Day 4 (Today).  Not sure if I am finished with it.  But I am very pleased that I completed the entire surface and I learned as much as I did from painting big.  

It takes a lot of paint to cover such a big surface.  And it takes more arm movement and strength to paint so big.   


Friday, July 3, 2015

"Barn Fans" Oil Painting

"Barn Fans"
12 x16 Oil

This is the last of my backlog of paintings.  Feels good to be caught up  ---with the exception of the big landscape -- it's 48x36" --- that is in progress on the wall of my studio.
I hope to finish it next week, and then move on to some new projects.


Friday, June 26, 2015

"No Vacancy" Oil Painting

"No Vacancy"
Little World No. 3 Oil Painting

Little Worlds are very small round oil paintings placed in the center of a collage of origami paper and discontinued currency from past international travels.

This is my third one ---entitled "No Vacancy."  Today, after framing it, I put it in the studio window and I am posting it here to see if people "get it."


Friday, June 19, 2015

"Return of the Rudeboy" Exhibit

This exhibit made a big impression on me.  I keep thinking about it, even now, a year later.  And I have been pondering why it had such a lasting impression. 

It was called "Return of the Rudeboy."

One reason it made such an impression was the unexpected surprise of it all.  We didn't even know about it until we ran across it.  

We were at the Somerset House in London and had planned to visit one of our favorite small museums, The Cortauld Gallery, which is part of the complex, but decided against going in as it was late in the day.

So we checked out the other venues in the complex --- and there were three other exhibits ---all of which were free, which made it easy to take a look.  We started with the Rudeboy exhibit.

I didn't know what the title meant.  What is a rudeboy?  Perhaps it was about musicians?

We learned that Rudeboys express themselves through their dress.  Every detail is planned.

"...Somerset House is proud to present Return of the Rudeboy, an original exhibition created and curated by prolific photographer and filmmaker for music’s most wanted Dean Chalkley and fashion-industry favourite creative director Harris Elliott, which showcases a sartorial subculture through a series of portraits, installations and set pieces.  Over the course of the past year the duo has photographed over 60 sharply dressed individuals from across the UK, all of whom embody the essence of what it is to be a Rudeboy (or Rudie) in the 21st century, to document the life, style and attitude of this growing urban group.  The curated collection of images shows the subjects presenting their pure and singular sartorial swagger in locations linked to the Rudeboy lifestyle, whether it be on the streets of Shoreditch or Savile Row."  (Somerset House webpage)

Rudeboys originated in Kingston, Jamaica as a street movement back in the 50's closely linked to the music of that period, then it migrated to London.  This show showcased modern day rudeboys.

This show was very well curated.  It was a wonderful mix of 3D, 2D and sound experiences --- all enhanced by the juxtaposition of the old space, which previously housed the mini- Hermitage museum, and this trendy, fashion-oriented show.
The rudeboy outfits were placed in the center of the main room on pedestals and the images of the rude boys wearing the outfits on the street were hung on the walls.
Every detail is beautifully presented and well-lit.
Rudeboys spend a lot of time creating their looks. Lots of attitude.
A barber shop was re-created in among the photos and clothing, to represent the importance of its place in the movement, both in crafting their images, as well as a social gathering place.  This is a corner of the space where they had a barber chair and floors, etc.

In one part of the space, they played music from the street along with the images.  It was multi-sensory.
Remnants of the Hermitage period were still evident.  Look at the ceilings.
These contrasts---the old with the new, edgy vibe of the exhibit---were very enjoyable to me.

In doing research for this post, I have learned that there has been a book created from the exhibit. It just came out a few weeks ago in the U.K.

Here some links to learn more about the show and its creators, if you have further interest.

Somerset House show:  Rudeboy exhibit, Rudeboy Storify twitter, Rudeboy Facebook
Creators:  Dean Chalkley, and Harris Elliott,
Reviews of the show: Marco, Large Up, The British Blacklist
Book:  Return of the Rudeboy