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.

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"
(UPDATED 2018 Version)
 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,


Sunday, March 5, 2017

New Little Worlds Oil Paintings

The second group of new work includes three more of my little worlds oil paintings.  The paintings are 1.5 inch round and mounted on collages made of discontinued international paper money and origami paper.  They are 4x6" in an 8x10" deeply scooped, custom wood frame.

The new ones are entitled:  "Magic Carpet", "Floating" and "Kite Flying" and are shown below.  To see all 7 of them, please click here.  

I have enough components to make one more Little World, and three ideas in the works, so when I am done there will be 9 in total.  


"Magic Carpet"
Little World No. 5
Little World No. 6
"Kite Flying"
Little World No. 7

Friday, March 3, 2017

New Pen Drawings

Now that March is here, I thought I would start to post some of the new pieces I have been working on.  
The first group I completed includes four pen drawings.  I bought a set of COPIC sketching markers in a range of neutral grays.  These pens/markers are permanent, alcohol-based inks and were developed in Japan over 25 years ago for designers and fine artists. 

You can't erase, just like when I am creating my eye make-up paintings, so it is a challenge to plan the highlights (i.e., the whitest parts) and protect them.  

"Ode to Kertesz" 
4x6 in 8x10 frame
We got to see the original Andre Kertesz photograph of this subject at the Barnes Museum in Philadephia in January.  He has always been one of my favorite photography pioneers.  

"Lake Sketch"
4x6 in 8x10 frame

This is an imaginary landscape of how the lakes look around here, including an imaginary celestial sun or moon. You can decide if it is daytime or nighttime.  

"Pear Studies"
4x6 in 8x10 frame

This was the first time I used the new pens.  What's fun about these sketches is that this is the reverse side.  The inks collect in interesting ways, and the result is a batik-type feel.

"Three Pears"
4x6 in 8x10 frame

When I added two pears they seemed to connect to each other.  Then, the three pears began to look like birds in the bottom sketch.  All of the pears are imaginary.

I have framed all of them in 8x10" mats and in a classic, black wooden frame.  The size of all of the drawings are 4x6 inches.