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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


11x14 Archival Photograph

We are fortunate to live in an area filled with herons, mostly great blue herons.  Their wing span is about 5 feet.  I watched this one fishing, i.e., waiting stock still, for a long time, until he/she decided to move on.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017


16x20 " Archival Photograph

This is actually a hatch or door which is used for cleaning the tank used for the fermenting of grapes for wine at Hermann J. Weimer winery. 


Monday, November 13, 2017


20x16" Archival Photograph

This is an image from the ancient site of Knowth (c. 3200 B.C.) in Ireland, an hour northwest of Dublin.  We were able to go into a part of the underground tomb here and at nearby Newgrange.  The purpose of the tombs under the very large mounds are not known, but they are fascinating.  The passageways are aligned with the sun, so that they are illuminated briefly during the equinoxes.  (In my image, it was artificial lighting.)


Friday, November 10, 2017


20x16, Misprinted Photograph

This is a misprint of an image I have been working on.  I put the paper in upside down, and the image was printed on the wrong side. 

I liked the way it looked --- a little spooky --- so I baked it in the oven to cure it.

It attracted lint at some stage, and there are roller marks from the printer, but these things add to its accidental-ness, making it all the more attractive to me.

I am also showing you here, how the original image looks.  It is of a passageway in Somerset House in London, where we were visiting the Museum of Water, a special exhibit which was being held down there in the lower regions.

Apparently, in these very large old buildings, there are lower passageways to connect the wings, and the outside ones are called lightwells, so that natural light can reach the underground areas.  You can click here to see the Deadhouse and Lightwells at Somerset house.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

"The Troubles"

"The Troubles"
16x20" Archival Photograph

The frames I ordered arrived yesterday, so I am starting to frame my new work.

This first one is from our trip to Northern Ireland in September, from Belfast, where we learned about the conflict between the unionists (mostly British or Protestant) and the nationalists (mostly Catholics).

There are large-scale murals throughout the city, on busy streets, with people walking past them, and becoming part of the story. 

Here is a link with a summary of the conflict between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, if you have more interest.   http://passage-new.cappelendamm.no/c453153/artikkel/vis.html?tid=498532


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Ode to Durer" Oil Painting

"Ode to Durer"
6x8" Oil

I painted an oil version of the rabbit, and using the wood carving from Oberammergau as my inspiration.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Ode to Durer" Make-up Painting

"Ode to Durer"
4x6" make-up painting in 8x10" frame

This make-up painting is based on my wood carving of the iconic Durer rabbit which I bought back in 1985 in Oberammergau, a small town in Bavaria, Germany known for its wood carvings and passion play.

It has lived on our mantel at home, and now resides in my studio as my muse.  One of his ears has been glued back on, but he is still handsome.

I tried to soften the rabbit up and make him look somewhat natural.  In reality, he is made up of many sharp angles and planes, from the marks of the woodcutter.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Quiet River II with frame

"Quiet River II"
18x24" Oil

Just posting a photo of the Quiet River II in its new frame, for those of you who asked. The painting is 18 x 24 inches. Add 2.5 inches all around for the frame, which is a wood, in a warm silver finish.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Moonlight" LIttle World Oil Painting

Little World No. 9-"Moonlight"
1.5" round oil, 8x10" framed

This is my newest little world, entitled "Moonlight."  And it is the last of the original batch of 9 black frames and companion collages of origami/international currency.  Click  here to see all nine.

Well, this "end" created a dilemma for me.  Do I stop making Little Worlds now that I am out of materials?

I have lots more ideas for Little Worlds, and it was making me sad to think about stopping, so I started to track down the materials I would need.

The frame is discontinued.  The wooden rounds are discontinued.  The fiber washers I bought from CBC and painted gold are discontinued.

But I was able to find more international currency, from our travels in the past: Italy, Austria, Singapore, Mexico, Bermuda, China, Taiwan, ---even a note from Cambodia when I went to see Angkor Wat  --- and from Argentina which was from a business trip over 25 years ago.

Finding the money and thinking about all of those experiences made me even more motivated to keep going.

So, I persevered and have now found everything I need but the frame.  And I will keep on working on a source, or evolve to a new frame.

I have two "drafts" of paintings on my easel now.  one for "Armchair Traveler" and another for a "Drive-In" movie theater.

These will be the beginning of the next generation of Little Worlds.


Monday, July 17, 2017

New Book on Colville

Alex Colville is one of the most popular artists in Canada, and there was a retrospective of his work in 2014, shortly after he passed away at age 92.

My art buddy, Anne, got to see the show in person in Canada and showed me her hard copy of the book associated it during my visit with her last January.  I was hooked.

So, I tried to track down a copy for myself.  It wasn't available in the US... until now.

A deluxe paperback edition became available on June 27, 2017.

It is cleverly edited by Andrew Hunter of the National Gallery of Canada and explores how Colville's art can mean so many different things to so many people, including how it impacted himself.

Wes Anderson's movie shot on the left.
Colville's painting on the right.

Much of the commentary is about Colville's influence on pop culture and other artists and writers, including Wes Anderson, the director of Moonrise Kingdom.  

The book is chock-full of his highly personal, quirky, moody pieces.  Animals are frequently in his paintings.

He was a WW2 war artist the book includes some of that work, and how it affected him.
He explores everyday stuff from unusual perspectives.  
The book also includes his highly contrived works, like this one.  

Faces are often turned away or completely obscured, making us wonder what is really going on.

I have also been clipping his paintings and putting them in a Pinterest album if you want to see more of them.  (Click here to see my pinterest page of Alex Colville's work.)


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Quiet River II" Oil Painting

"Quiet River II"
18x24" Oil

I recently re-worked this painting.  Last year I was using saturated (vivid) colors.  And this year I am working on being more subtle, but still using lots of color.

Last year
I also corrected some of the drawing issues, and prioritized what the painting was really about, i.e., the sky reflections and the quietness of the river as the sun goes down.  I gave up the drama of the sunset.


"Long Lake View" Oil Painting

"Long Lake View"
12 x 24 " Oil
Here is another one of my imaginary landscapes.

I drove everyone around me crazy because I kept changing it.

Here is how it looked after the first session.  Too linear.  Too pastel and flat.  Sort of reminded me a giant caterpillar.
Then I created center for it. To try to break it up.  And add layers of hills as we have around here.

Then I focused on light coming from behind the imaginary bluff and warming the other side.

And that's the mood I settled on.  And then kept working on the size of the bluff, and the light and shadow of the water.

I won't bore you with all the other variations.  But I counted them.  There were 15 separate days of messing with it.

Now I hope it finds a new home, so I don't un-frame it and start to change it again.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Imaginary Landscape" Oil Painting (Updated)

"Imaginary Landscape"
8x10 Oil

This is an experiment where I utilized a raw sienna (yellow) ground as a jumping off point, and created an imaginary landscape.  The yellow brush marks of the yellow ground reminded me of fields of grain, which became the foreground.  I created a path leading to distant farm fields in the hills beyond, past a pond on the left.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Pear" Oil Painting

6x4" Oil

This is an imaginary pear --- and a small painting --- only 6x4".  I find myself interested painting pears when I get stuck --- as a way to get back into painting again.  This one became a golden pear.  

Here it is in an 8x10" frame.  


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"The Three Cows" Oil Painting

"The Three Cows"
8x10" Oil

Summer is just around the corner here.  So, I felt like painting something summery.  Saw these cows last June when visiting the peony farm up north of Penn Yan, here in the Finger Lakes.

I painted it over the top of an old painting, so there is a lot of texture in the surface.  And I wanted to try this unusual composition (trees in the middle) and a high key (i.e., very light) color palette to see if it would work, especially with a black cow smack dab in the middle.

The three cows are very different from each other but clearly spend time a lot of time together.  Doing whatever cows do.


Friday, April 14, 2017

"Ode to Buechner" Oil Painting

"Ode to Buechner"
12 x 9 Oil
AVAILABLE at ARNOT Museum Gala Auction

We took a week of vacation and when we returned one of our onions had sprouted.  It reminded me of the late Tom Buechner and how he would paint still lifes of onions and potatoes in various stages of sprouting.

So I decided to set up a still life in my studio and paint our onion as an "Ode to Buechner."  It is hard for me to believe that he has been gone now for almost 7 years.

It is was fun to paint the onion and think about what Tom would say about it.  He wasn't one to mince words.

I put it in the studio window yesterday when I finished it.  Then a painter-friend came by with a box of frames he was giving away because he is moving to sunny New Mexico.  Luckily, one was the right size.

Here it is sitting on top of the frame because the painting is still wet.  I think it makes it look even more like an ode to Buechner in this style of frame.


Friday, March 31, 2017

March Madness Results -Studio Tour Video

So, this post wraps up showing my new photography.  And the results of my March madness.

Take the 1-minute tour of my studio to see how the photography side of the studio now looks.

Or check out the page on my website which shows all the photographs now available.  Click here: http://barbarahallblumer.blogspot.com/p/available-photographs.html

Thanks for all of your recent comments on my new images.  I really appreciate the feedback and your interest in my work.

So, I am now "done" with photography for a while, and will start working on creating new landscapes in oils for the walls of the painting side of my studio.

Spring is here, and I hope to prop my door open and get to work at my easel.



20x16 Archival Photograph

We walked the streets of Brooklyn in October a year ago in search of my husband's ancestral homes. They moved here from Germany in the 1870's -- as the Brooklyn bridge was being built to connect Brooklyn to Manhattan --- and became successful costumers, called Wustl and Sons.

We also went to see the Brooklyn Museum (one of the oldest and largest art museums in the US) where the late Tom Buechner, one of our most popular local Corning painters, was once director before coming here to Corning, to start the Corning Museum of Glass.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Lucky Wishes"

"Lucky Wishes"
11x14 inches

Looking closer, these are sparkling coins under water in the pond of a temple in Kyoto, Japan.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Mechanically Minded"

"Mechanically Minded"
20x16 inches

This is really an ode to Peigi.  She was the one who got me to print it two years ago as a gift to her husband for his birthday.  And this Spring she has helped me edit and prioritize my "inbox" of art projects. She has been one of my art "consultants" over the years, and I really appreciate her perspective/input.



20x16 inches

A new image.  To remind us that art is an experience.  In this case, the architecture, the light and the people are all intertwined at the Guggenheim.    Not to mention the great art we were viewing as we spiraled our way to the top and back down again.  Great people watching.  Looking closer at this image, there are people-vignettes on every level.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017


11x14 inches

Saw this pod-looking, extra-large rock in the beautifully wooded area surrounding Garrett Chapel on the bluff overlooking Keuka lake.  It looked as if it had landed there and had mysterious powers.


Monday, March 27, 2017

"Brick and Mortar"

"Brick and Mortar"
20x16 inches

This week, I am continuing to print and frame new photography to show in my studio on Market Street, here in Corning, New York.

This image was taken in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few years ago, but could be anywhere that old retail buildings still survive.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Nature Sketching

Colored Pencil  -- A new medium for me

Yesterday, I took a half-day workshop with Bridget Bossart Van Otterloo which was fun and I learned a lot, too.

It was a nature sketching workshop held in her light-filled studio here in Corning, New York.

Bridget had nature specimens -- bugs, dried plants and flowers, birds, even an animal skull, etc. -- available for us to draw.  She showed us how to sketch using pencil and pen, by studying the structure and form, and then she demonstrated options for applying color.

I chose a maple leaf.  I tried colored pencils for the first time, and had no idea you could build up layers of color like you can with oils. It was fun.  Then, I made a watercolor of the same leaf.

Watercolor version

This year, as you might have noticed, I am experimenting with new techniques and revising my process.

I am not planning on specializing in nature or watercolor, but I am in search of a portable method of making art.

A small kit of a sketch book with a few pens/pencils and watercolors, will weigh a lot less than my big camera bag. Plus it will fit easily in my purse when we are traveling.  Nor create problems going through security checkpoints.

I will be able to pull it out and record what I am seeing whenever I want.  


Thursday, March 23, 2017


Archival Photograph
14x11" Framed

Had a tremendous number of issues trying to get my old Epson Stylus R2400 archival-quality printer up and running again, after letting it sit idle for several years.  Had to update all of my editing software, like Lightroom, too.  Plus, my printing skills were rusty.

But I am finally back in the swing again, and have started printing a few new pieces.

"Underground" is the first.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Ode to Carlsen" Oil Painting

"Ode to Carlsen"
10x8 Oil 

I am experimenting with some new subjects for my paintings, including nocturnes.  I really like the work of Emil Carlsen, including his nocturne of Old Wyndam, so I started there, as if I were visiting.

I have also been looking at the nocturnes of Whistler, Turner and contemporary artists, like Detroit painter, Stephen Magsig.


Monday, March 13, 2017

New Infinity Mirror Rooms Exhibit by Yayoi Kusama

Need to escape reality? Step into infinity with Yayoi Kusama image
87 Year Old "Polka Dot Artist" views Art as Medicine

Need to escape reality? Step into infinity with Yayoi Kusama: At the Hirshhorn Museum, visitors are lining up to experience Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's world of whimsy, color, shapes and a peek into the beyond. Jeffrey Brown tells us why this new exhibit is currently the toughest ticket in Washington, D.C.  It is there until May 14, 2017.

I discovered this "Infinity Mirror Rooms" exhibit on the PBS Newshour last Friday, and now have it on my must-see list.

Luckily it is traveling to

  • Seattle  June - Sept 2017
  • LA Oct 2017 - Jan 2018
  • Toronto  Mar-May 2018
  • Cleveland July - Oct 2018

So I hope to see it in Toronto or Cleveland.

If you haven't heard about her, the video explains her fascinating work.  Click on the link above to go to the short video.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Extra Large Landscape Oil Paintings

"Meditation on the Meaning of Home"
36x48" Oil 
I guess I forgot to post "Meditation on the Meaning of Home," which I completed last year. It is a painting of a stylized farmhouse and birdhouse, derived from a view looking west during my visit to the peony farm last June.  It is large:  36x48 inches.  And oil.  I was exploring how to simplify the landscape into its essential elements, while thinking about the farmhouse and the birdhouse.  They are shelters, but are they homes?

Plus, last year I updated "Big Sky, Country Road", my first large painting.  I re-painted the sky based on re-reading Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, making it bluer and darker at the top then transitioning to make it lighter and greener as the sky meets the land, to make it more atmospheric.
I painted the sides of these big canvases, too, extending the landscape around the edge, so that they would look more finished, because...

Left side
a guy from the U.K., who judges work there, told me that my landscapes would not be accepted into their competition unless I did. Interesting. Since I had never painted a large canvas before, I did not know this. It's either paint the edges, or put it in a frame, from what I understand.

That's one of the benefits of having a studio on the street.  I am constantly getting input on my work.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Imaginary Friend - JooYoung Choi | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

I love this episode of The Art Assignment on PBS about the value of creating imaginary friends as an adult.  Plus JooYoung is inspiring on many, many levels.

"Larry likes to eat bad feelings."  JooYoung was seeing feelings of hopelessness in her friends and wanted to do something to combat them.  Which led to Bernadette.  "Who is a fabulous dancer."  "And reads through her nose."

Well, you can watch and see how she works with her creations, and then she gives an assignment for you to create your own imaginary friend.


P.S.  If you can't see the video in your email, then click here to go to it directly.  https://youtu.be/LZCft9u_NgM

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Making Mobiles

One thing I like about having my own studio on Market Street is the ability to experiment and try new things, then quickly put them up in my space and see how they work.

I can get things out of my system, after thinking about doing them for years and years.  Mobiles are one of those things.

Mobiles are moving sculptures.  The artist who developed kinetic sculpture and changed the art world, was Alexander Calder, (1898 - 1974).

International Mobile, 1949, Alexander Calder, Houston MFA
when I visited in January, 2015
The first one I saw was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and loved it.  I went back to look for it a few years ago, as part of revisiting my past.  Now, I am not sure that this is the one I saw back then, but that's neither here nor there.  Because that was a long time ago...
And I have had this book on making mobiles forever.  It has moved with me wherever I have lived over my lifetime.  And I had put on my list of things to do in 2017 was to finally decide if I was keeping it or giving it away to someone who might use it.

Plus I started to miss making jewelry, especially earrings. (I used to have a successful jewelry business with my younger sister, before having my art studio.) I was missing using the tools, and working with wire and beads.

I reviewed the hankering with my art buddy, AJP, and to my surprise she did not discourage me from making up a batch of earrings and putting them in my studio. In fact, she encouraged me. But, I just haven't been able to make that decision yet.

Then, a week ago, my husband and I went on a trip.
Mass MoCA, Nick Cave Exhibit, Until 
First, we saw this amazing installation of 16,000 sparkling, twirling metal forms by Nick Cave at Mass MoCA.
Then, I spotted one of Calder's mobiles in the library at Bowdoin College while visiting our niece.  Now that's a sign.  Time to make a mobile.

On the long drive home, I thought up a bunch of ideas, mostly about unexpected objects being in balance, e.g., rock, paper, scissors--- but I had (and have) no idea how to execute them.  
When we got home, I dug out my mobile book and boy, was I shocked to see the date on the inside was 1976 when I was still in college. Okay, that motivated me even more to finally do something about making a mobile.

Luckily, the author, John Lynch does an excellent job of simplifying the process and shows photos of the steps.  And I already had most of the tools.  I just needed steel wire, which I found at our trusty hardware store.  

Plus there are oodles of YouTube videos on how to make a Calder-like mobile.  So, if you want to make a mobile, I encourage you to explore the many available sources out there.

Nonetheless, I was hoping to make mine a little different than a Calder, even though his work is clearly the inspiration.  I found some embossed metal designs I drew a long ago, and combined them with jewelry components to create a gold and silver mobile.

Here is the result:    
Mine is small.  Only about 18 inches overall.  And it is difficult to photograph, since it moves.
It is hanging in the front window for now.  

It was fun and I am glad I got it out of my system.  Let me know what you think when you walk by or stop in the studio,