Welcome

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.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lake Wildflowers

Lake Wildflowers
8 x 10 Oil Alkyd on Masonite

I picked these wildflowers alongside the road last September and put them in a jelly jar on the windowsill of the sleeping porch at the lake, then photographed them as a reference. I painted more brightly and more loosely than I usually do.  This is a overdue gift that I recently finished and put in the mail.  Hope she likes it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Woohoo! It's Beginning to Sink In

I am just starting to feel the positive effects of letting go of something as big as jewelry-making was in my life. I have so much more time to think!   I feel free because I don't have any obligations other than those of my own making. 

I still have a lot of work to do to finish selling off my beads, etc. associated with the jewelry business, but somehow it doesn't feel like work. 

I can't believe I don't have to spend time making jewelry for the holiday events! This is the first time in many years that I won't participate in Sparkle.  Which is a relief for me.

Instead I have been finishing up the art projects that I said I would do, and I may actually start the new year without any promises from the past hanging over my head.  That will be a first!

Woohoo!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Change is Good

Thank-You Sale for Two Sisters Studio with my artwork in the background

End of an era.  I have stopped making jewelry and have been selling off all of my stuff:  beads, displays, tools, etc. 

In a temporary storefront on Market Street, I recently held a Thank-You Sale for all of the Two Sisters Studio customers and their friends.  It was a big success and I am grateful to all who came.

I presented some of my artwork on the walls in the space so that all I had to do was turn around and show them what I will doing in place of jewelry. 


I also laid out my books, including my food blog cookbook.

Some knew of my photography.  Fewer knew about my painting.  It felt good to show everything together, even though it was a temporary space.

I have use of the storefront space until they find a new renter, so I am enjoying having a satellite studio.

It is great to have so much space.


Stop in and see me if you are in the area.  It's at the corner of Market Street and Cedar, in the old Treu Office Supply space.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New York City Door

New York City Door

While preparing the Ellis Island studies, I ran across this image from several years ago, during my "digital transition" phase.  I took it during our walking tour of Chelsea Market and the meatpacking district.  The vignetting on the edges of the images was a mistake, part of my learning curve with the new camera.  But looking at it with fresh eyes, it doesn't detract.  Some photographers even add vignetting as an artistic element.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 14


Ellis Island Study - No. 14

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 13


Ellis Island Study - No. 13

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 12


Ellis Island Study - No. 12

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 11


Ellis Island Study - No. 11

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 10


Ellis Island Study - No. 10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 9


Ellis Island Study - No. 9

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 8


Ellis Island Study - No. 8

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elllis Island Study - No. 7


Ellis Island Study- No. 7

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 6


Ellis Island Study - No. 6

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 5


Ellis Island Study - No. 5

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 4


Ellis Island Study - No. 4

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 3


Ellis Island Study - No. 3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ellis Island Study - No. 2


Ellis Island Study - No. 2

This is what I saw at the top of the stairs, to the left of the great hall, that got me excited.  I saw patterns on patterns created by the beautiful bright light coming through the panes in half-circle windows.  The patterns of the tiles on the floor and the shadows on top of those patterns were dramatic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ellis Island Studies - No. 1

Ellis Island Study - No. 1
Passing Lady Liberty

I have wanted to go to Ellis Island for a long time and finally got there recently, thanks to a travel gift from my generous husband. 

Like millions of immigrants did, you take a ferry past the Statue of Liberty to get there.  Then you embark, line up to enter the building, and climb the stairs to reach the large, vaulted main hall used for processing.

I did not intend to make a series of photos when I went, but I found myself responding to the patterns of light, and the emotion of the place, so I got out my little camera and came away with a group of studies which I will post over the next week or so.

First a couple of comments about the image of the Statue of Liberty.  I love the fact that I could take this photo while on a moving boat, just holding my camera above the heads of all the tourists craning to take their own souvenir photo, and still get the details in focus!  Her hands as well as the people at her feet are all in focus. Today's technology is great.


Here's what was in front of me.   A lot of time it's what you don't put in the frame that makes a better photograph. 

The snapshot above was what I would call a warm-up shot.  It's when I start thinking about what I want to do.  Am I more interested in the clamouring tourists?  There were some interesting characters on our ferry. Or the cruise ships in the harbor? or Lady Liberty?

I decided it was dramatic size and iconic nature of the Statue of Liberty.   So, I waited until we got closer and could see her face well.  I chose to put her to the left in the frame, since most of the souvenir photos put her in the middle.  And because, as painter, you are taught to give your subject some room to gaze, if you are doing a portrait.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Paintings from the Lake - Peony Farm Barn


Peony Farm Barn
10 x 8 Oil on Masonite

My in-laws chose this painting as their guest painting when they visited us at the lake last August.  I am delivering it to them this coming weekend.   I hope they like it.



I could not have predicted who would choose which painting from the grid. It was fun to give away the paintings to guests.  It was a good project.  I am glad I did it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Paintings from the Lake - Happy Tulips


Happy Tulips
10 x 8 Oil on Masonite

My niece selected this painting from the grid at the lake because she said it made her feel happy; hence, its name.  I recently finished it and sent it to her for her birthday, belatedly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paintings from the Lake - Dappled Path

Dappled Path
8 x 10
Oil on Masonite

I started this painting en plein air and finished it recently.  It is now on its way to our guest who selected it.   It is a path in Penn Yan at the head of the Outlet Trail.  I tried to be very loose.  I had seen a demo by a painter using a very long bristled brush to do a landscape so that it didn't allow you to get too tight.  So, I bought a couple of the brushes he recommended and dabbed away.  I like the effect. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Paintings from the Lake - Keuka Lake with Vineyards

Keuka Lake with Vineyards
8 x 10
Oil on Masonite

Early on, this painting was chosen from the grid.  I had fun framing it and delivering it to its new home last month.  It has really worked for me, as a process, to have "the grid" as a project, to paint these summer studies, knowing that I will be giving them away.  I have learned that it seems strange to others, but to me, it is very motivating and freeing. In this painting, I worked on how to create lots of layers in the landscape, starting with the posts of the vineyards in the foreground to the hills behind the lake in the far distance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paintings from the Lake - The Grid

Paintings from the Lake  - The Grid

If you recall, I had a painting goal last summer which was to fill up the grid in the guest room with 8 x 10 paintings; and, then to let our guests choose which one they would like to have.

Here's how the grid looked at the end of the summer.  I was two short of my goal, but still pretty good, considering how busy our summer was and how little painting I did.

B

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Transition Time

 9 x 12 Oil on Masonite

Time and time again,  I learn that if you let go of something, then something new and more fulfilling will arrive in its place.  As with most transitions, when you get to the other side, they are actually freeing.

I have finally decided to let go of my jewelry business so that I have the time to do other things I love, like painting and food blogging.  This coming weekend I am having a big blowout sale of all of my beads, displays, tools, signage, etc. 

I have dismantled my jewelry workshop and taken everything downtown to a temporary location in Connor's empty space at the corner of Cedar and Market Street (where Tru Office Supply was). 

My doors will be open to anyone who wants to buy.  It coincides with the Apartment Tour to support the Arts on this coming Sunday.  Be sure to email me, or call, if you want to arrange to make an appointment to buy.  Or just stop by!


In the meantime, I am going to post the paintings I am in the process of completing. 

This is one I think I am almost done with.  I started it during the summer and recently added color to the pitcher and the yellow flower.  I've put it in a frame and have been looking at it for a week or so now.  I see a few things to touch up, but it just needs a good name.  Suggestions are welcome.

Unlike other paintings, I did an underpainting for this one.  I did the underpainting fairly quickly, in one session, on the Lin's porch.  Marty Poole had showed me how to do an underpainting in a very loose way during the workshop I took with him back in June, so I wanted to try out the technique.  I used a new color:  Van Dyke brown.  You apply the paint with a brush on a white surface, starting with straight color for the darks, adding solvent to lighten the paint for a range of tones, and then wiping away the lightest, highlighted areas with a rag.  It was helpful to solve most of the drawing issues during the underpainting stage.  It may have actually reduced my stress!  I am usually teetering on the edge of being out of control because I go right into painting with full color.

B


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thomas S. Buechner, 1926 - 2010

"Smoke"
Thomas S. Buechner

Tom is no longer with us, but his presence will be lasting. He has touched many, many people.  He had a long career as the head of the Corning Museum of Glass and was an active member of the community, but he especially touched the painters with whom he generously shared his passion.

West End Gallery is presenting an exhibit of his work, some previously unseen, and a tribute by artists who painted with him. Downstairs will feature his work, and upstairs with show work by over forty artists. The opening is Thursday, October 14 from 5-7:30 p.m.

"Smoke", shown above, will be included in the show. That darn cigar was always present, so I thought it appropriate. In addition, my painting of "Innkeeper's Doorknob" will be shown upstairs as part of the tribute to Tom.  He encouraged me to go ahead and paint the filigree detail, which was a challenge for me, and a door can be a metaphor.

"Innkeeper's Doorknob"
10 x 8 Oil


I am grateful I was able to spend time with Tom during the last year.  We became friends.  Our friendship started when I made his portrait for my In Their Studios photo essay, and then I took a painting workshop with him, which led to him inviting me to paint with him and Lin Gardner on Wednesday afternoons during what turned out to be his last six months.

He would work on his stuff while we worked on ours.  Some days when he didn't feel up to painting, he would read while we painted.


He has lots of rules -- don't ring the doorbell, don't track in winter slush on his refurbished studio floors, don't interrupt his nap, let him speak, stop at exactly 5 p.m.--- but we adapted easily.  The camaraderie more than made up for any conforming we had to do. 

We enjoyed feisty conversations about everything  -- from local politics -- to how best to help struggling artists we know --- to the "right" way to hold a paint brush  --- and how he should stop picking on the way Lin and I like to bring a lot of stuff with us to paint with him. He found my toothbrush holder for my paint brushes particularly peculiar.

I fondly remember one of our conversations.  We were sitting on his patio in the sun while he smoked his cigar and I showed him a group of photos I was considering for the basis of a new series of photographs, called Beyond The Path.  I was stuck and wanted his opinion. 


One of the images in the series was this tree  -- the Buechner tree next to his garage.  He said how intrigued he was that he had never observed it in this way.  And then, sarcastically said that he'd have to charge me for use of it!  So, I said I'd have to charge him back for some prints I had just made for him.  That was our banter.

What I will really miss about Tom is the opportunity to talk to him about what he thought of things.  In turn, I felt like he cared what I thought, which is a gift I will always appreciate.  But the more interesting thing to me is that he gave the same gift to hundreds of people.  He was very generous.

Tom in his studio






Saturday, October 9, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 10

Watkins Glen Study No. 10

Friday, October 8, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 9

Watkins Glen Study No. 9

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 8

Watkins Glen Study No. 8

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 7

Watkins Glen Study No. 7

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 6

Watkins Glen Study No. 6

Monday, October 4, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 5

Watkins Glen Study No. 5

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 4

Watkins Glen Study No. 4

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 3

Watkins Glen Study No. 3

Friday, October 1, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 2

Watkins Glen Study No. 2

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Watkins Glen Study No. 1


Watkins Glen Study No. 1

We hiked Watkins Glen in August and I took my camera along. No tripod, just handheld.  I ended up with a series of ten studies to post, after eliminating the blurry or less inspiring ones.  The gorge is 400 feet high. As you climb, you pass under and over numerous waterfalls along the way.  Watkins Glen State Park is located in Watkins Glen, New York, at the base of Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, created by glacier erosion.  I hope I captured the power of the water's ability to carve out interesting patterns and abstractions in the rocks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 29

Thousand Islands Study No. 29

My mother-in-law asked me when I returned if I found another little girl on the steps (like my image of Flip Flop Girl ).  Instead I found another little "girl" working hard on a crossword puzzle in the morning sun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 28

Thousand Islands Study No. 28

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 27

Thousand Islands Study No. 27

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 26

Thousand Islands Study No. 26

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 25

Thousand Islands Study No. 25

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 24

Thousand Islands Study No. 24

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thousand Islands Study No. 23


Thousand Islands Study No. 23