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, March 29, 2012

Poetry Inspired by our Exhibits at The Arnot Art Museum

Book of Poetry

Poets made selections from exhibits at the Arnot Art Museum to inspire poems for the annual reading of the Sage Daughters of the Muses last Thursday evening.

The Museum produces a handsome chapbook of the poems and the work the poets chose.

It was a particularly touching evening, because they were honoring the memory of a treasured friend, and a leader of the group,  Clare Reidy.
Of course, I loved the fact that some of my pieces were inspirational to the poets.

Here is an example of one of the poems and the image chosen from my collection.

Ellis Island Ladies

Her Shoes

They were her shoes
but she'd never been to Ellis Island...
of that I can be sure.

They were her feet
but she never had felt that stone below them,
that cold, alone stone,
that had cracked the heal of marbled Venus
and left her alone, the eons rushing by
like the Atlantic on an immigrants' afternoon.

Her eyes had never seen,
her hands never touched,
her heart never allowed
so cold a day
as waiting in line
so long
to taste a morsel of freedom.

You can't see Ellis in just one day, they had said to her,
it's just too big.  It's just too heavy.
It's just filled with too much history
of pain and separation and sorrow.
You'll have to come back;
you'll have to visit us again,
maybe tomorrow
so that you can feel Liberty's guiding Lamp
as she drew the "tempest-tossed"
toward these "gleaming shores."

They were her shoes and her feet
and she never visited Ellis Island again.
Why would she want to?

Miriam Biatch

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blurb Book of The Observer is Now Available

Thanks for the recent inquiries about buying the book version of The Observer.  The enthusiasm is much appreciated.

You can view the book by clicking on the book preview badge below.

By Barbara Hall Blumer

or by clicking on the link here:  http://www.blurb.com/user/store/BarbBlumer

It is hardcover, 40 pages, and includes all of the images currently being shown in the exhibit at the Arnot Art Museum.

Blurb is an online, on-demand publisher.  It means that they custom produce my book for you when you order it. 

fyi - my other books  -- Cottage Quiet and 75iPaintings --- are also available in my Blurb bookstore, here's the link:

I will be curious to hear what you think of The Observer book.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Unusual Friends" Oil Painting - Revised

Unusual Friends
8 x 10 Oil on Panel

Although The Observer exhibit was my priority, I have continued to paint with Lin on Monday afternoons.  The weather has been so nice we were even able to paint on her porch last week.

However, I didn't start anything new.  I reworked older paintings, including this one from 2008 -- it used to be called "Tomato and Corkscrew".  "Unusual Friends" is a better title, I think.

The first change I made was to paint a shelf for the subjects to sit on, and then I made the background more interesting by mixing greens and blues together to make it look more atmospheric.  The background is now a less saturated blue, too, which makes the area recede, and helps the tomato pop.


I pumped up the highlights on the corkscrew and lightened the areas on the shelf where light would be falling --- to increase the contrast.

The biggest improvement to the painting, I like to think, is the tomato.  I added more definition to it, and made it the star, when previously the corkscrew had been my focus.

I am pleased with the results.
I will be dropping this painting off at West End Gallery soon.  I have signed it and now the varnish is drying... and I put it in a black frame instead of gold. 


Friday, March 23, 2012

The Observer Opening and I Love My Banner

 Arnot Art Museum -- with glare from the evening sunset

Thank you to everyone who came to the opening reception at the Arnot Art Museum last Friday night!

The banners for our openings (Treacy's and mine) had been hung in the center.  We were both very excited and in awe of our banners.

Food and Drinks were set up in the main gallery
Rick P. said there were about 150 people in attendance.  He and his staff did an outstanding job of creating a warm, and inviting reception. 
Giving my speech in the main gallery  - photo taken by a friend

It was a wonderful evening in so many ways.

I had lots of fun giving away my" Moo" cards --- I had people choose a favorite from the exhibit.  "The Priests" was very popular, and discussed in detail.  (More on that in another post.)

I enjoyed hearing the various impressions, answering questions, and celebrating with those who have been so supportive over the years. 

Cell phone photo Tom took when we were leaving -- Me with my banner and the flowers from friends

Did I mention I have a banner?  I still can't get over it.  Who'd have thought I'd ever have a banner hanging outside a museum.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Friday, March 16th is The Observer Opening Reception, 5 - 7:30 pm

Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York

Tomorrow, Friday, March 16th, is the big day for the opening of The Observer!

We were there earlier in the week while Rick and his staff were finishing up the installation.

 They have done an excellent job of creating an unexpected way of presenting The Observer

It is not hung in a traditional eye-level, same-height, single-file way.  Instead, they have made interesting groupings around the room.  They are interesting to look at from afar but invite you to come in for a closer look.  It has a theater in the round feeling to it, which adds to the experience of viewing the images individually.

The opening reception is 5 to 7:30.  Children are welcome, but there will be adult only food.  Please stop by if you can!

The Arnot Art Museum is located at 235 Lake Street, at the corner of Lake and Gray, downtown, near the courthouses. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Turtle Cloud - Landscape Oil Painting

Turtle Cloud
18 x 24 Oil on Panel

Dropped off this painting at West End Gallery for their new show, Director's Choice, which opens this Friday, March 16.

It is one of my larger paintings ---of a simplified landscape, including a barn, and a voluminous cloud, which Lin, the gallery owner, thinks looks like a turtle; hence, the name.

Lin also chose The Princess and The Pea for her Director's Choice show.

"The Princess and The Pea" oil painting at West End Gallery

Coincidentally, the opening for West End Gallery is the same night as the opening of my exhibit, The Observer, at Arnot Art Museum. 

I have fought with myself --internally ---for a long time, that I had to do one, or the other, not both.  Painting and photography, that is.  So, it feels good to be able to have the wonderful opportunity to have two openings on the same night!

Hope people will try to make it both.

West End Gallery, Director's Choice, Friday, March 16, 5 - 7:30

Arnot Art Museum, Ziegler/Blumer opening reception, Friday, March 16, 5 - 7:30


Friday, March 9, 2012

Donation for Red Cross Spring Seasonings Fundraiser

Still Life
10 x 8 Oil on Panel

Today I am dropping off this painting at our local Red Cross office.  They will be having their Spring Seasonings fundraiser on Friday, March 23rd. 

In our area, the Red Cross is in constant need of funding to be ready for the floods, fires and other emergency assistance situations.  It is an important cause to support, by giving blood and money when you can. 

Tried giving blood without much success, so I like to give them something I've made for their annual fundraiser.  I started with jewelry, back when I was doing Two Sisters Studio jewelry, and then moved forward to photography, and now paintings.

I do think it is important to give back, and I do like to use my art work to help when I can.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Artist's Statement for The Observer

"Peeking" from The Observer

Below is the artist's statement to go with The Observer exhibit at the Arnot Art Museum. It will also be in the companion book I am having made at Blurb.

Artist's Statement for The Observer
There is separateness in observing life as it happens, yet in the condition of being "outside," one can find inspiration, even comfort.

My work is is about storytelling without all of the blanks filled in. Each image has a story to tell.

The photograph itself is the touchpoint where my work as The Observer ends and your work as The Observer begins --- to create your own narrative.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Exhibition in Progress: Delivery

Arnot's West Gallery Where My Exhibit Will Be Hung

All 36 pieces for The Observer are now in the hands of the Arnot Art Museum.  It was crunch time until the very end, but I got it done, and I am very happy with the work, and the many layers of learning that have come along with creating this collection.

The far wall, across the entrance, which you see when you enter the room is where the big graphics (title, my name, etc.) will go

The space for the exhibit is great.  It isn't too small, nor is it too big.  You will be able to walk in and "take in" the images as a group, then look at them individually.  There is a bench in the center.

 The door to the left is a cool alcove that has natural light coming in from outside and a view to the downstairs gallery.

This is the view coming back into the gallery from the alcove.

Rick, the Executive Director, and I talked about using the alcove as a reflection space, where a more in-depth artist's statement will hang, which you can read --or not-- and then go back again and revisit the images before you leave.

Delivering the photographs to the space -- we inventoried everything and lined them up along the walls

The walls are a warm neutral, and have some texture which makes black and white images which really pop. And I like the contrast in textures of the linen walls and more graphic photographs.  And the floors are wood and beautiful. 

More images lined up to be hung

I am looking forward to seeing what Rick has in mind for how to present the work within the space.  We agreed that the titles are needed to support the storytelling aspect of my work, but other than that, I am open to his design for hanging the work.  I feel that each image will work well on its own, or in any order, so  I am intrigued to see what he will do with them. 

The work will be hung between now and March 9, when the show officially opens.  The opening reception will be the following Friday, March 16, from 5 to 7:30.