Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inspired by the Masters: An Atelier Class Experience




I am intrigued by figure drawing and try to attend a figure drawing session in my building several times a month. Drawing hands has been one area that has frustrated me. When my upstairs studio neighbor, talented portrait artist Suzi Zefting Kuhn, offered a one-day class in her studio recently to “demystify” and draw the human hand, I knew I wanted to attend.

We met in the Rochester Art Club gallery space on the fourth floor of the Hungerford Building, where I have my own studio on the third floor. Suzi offered the class the choice of working  from photographic images that she had selected or from a plaster cast. Since I had never tried drawing from a plaster cast and it is already three dimensional, I chose that for my reference.



My perspective on the plaster cast from where I sat.



Suzi, our teacher, is standing at the right. Pat Tribastone, left, who works in oil and pastel and creates beautiful still life oil paintings, has a studio two doors down from mine.



At the end of the day, the class members displayed their drawings. Each one of us gained greater understanding of the hand’s anatomy and how to simplify and draw its shapes. Can you guess which drawing is mine???

There will be more drawing classes in my future. It truly heightened my sense of observation as well as offered me the opportunity to appreciate and learn from a wide variety of drawing styles.



Here’s my first drawing of a plaster cast hand! I kept wondering why it seemed so stiff and expressionless and then I realized – it’s a plaster cast!! It doesn’t HAVE any expressiveness. Next time I’ll work from a real one or a photo!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rochester First Friday Hot Spot: Hungerford Open Studios

When I first rented a studio space 10 years ago at the Hungerford, a complex of three buildings at 1115 East Main Street in Rochester, NY ( a former fruit syrup factory) I found a few artist studios, lots of empty spaces and a revolving door of student and alternative lifestyle tenants. Situated “across the tracks” —literally, there’s a huge train yard directly behind the building –from the chic “neighborhood of the arts”, all the building seemed to have to offer was low rent and easy parking.


Slowly but surely, over the past decade more and more artisans of all ages and mediums have moved to this eclectic spot. Now the building boasts 100% occupancy with a waiting list for artists and makers eager to claim a studio space here. Young mix with old, craft with fine art, cast bronze figurative sculptures and oil paintings with miniature crochet sculptures and hand blown glass. From pottery to lamp work jewelry to three-dimensional felted fiber works, the building has a dynamic mix of personalities and mediums.


Once again, for the second year, a number of Hungerford artists participated in Thaw, a city-wide collaboration of small gallery exhibits that opened on First Friday, March 2.  Works in this years Thaw: Flux Annual exhibit at Hungerford ran the gamut from an undersea balloon art installation to photography and encaustic paintings.




 Eclectic was and is the best adjective to describe the mix in our building. Hungerford Urban Artisans, the tenant artists’ membership group, is now an official member of First Fridays, which publicizes openings in galleries and private studios all around the city. Hungerford now needs three security guards on First Fridays to keep the parking lots free from congestion and traffic flowing smoothly.

Our next First Friday event is Friday, April 6, 5 – 9 PM, just two weeks away. To entice you to visit, here are a few additional works from the Thaw exhibition for you to enjoy.



Artists above, top to bottom. Stacey Mrva, Coy Fish Lamp and Jennifer Buckley, Garden Tea Party.

Warning, one evening is just not enough time to visit all the Hungerford artist studios, unless you like to sprint! Take time to linger, talk with the artists and enjoy yourself – and come back again! We’re friendly, passionate about our work and love to share how we make it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Exhibitions & Openings

Finger Lakes Community College: Williams Insalaco Gallery 34


If you live in the Rochester area, please visit Finger Lakes Community College’s Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 in Canandaigua to view “The Arena Art Group Exhibition”, March 22- April 20. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM, Friday 8:30 AM – 5 PM and Saturday and Sunday 12-5 PM. I will be one a selection of fifteen Arena Group members whose work will be on display.

The opening reception will be Thursday, March 22, 1-3 PM with informal artist talks, 2 to 3 PM.

The FLCC Foundation is sponsoring an evening reception Friday, March 23,  from 4:00- 6:30 PM. Both receptions are free and open to the public.

The beautiful images on the poster and postcard belong to, from left to right: Dan Neuberger, Jeanne Beck, Richard Harvey, and Stu Chait. I was quite pleased that the college’s graphic design staff selected my painting for publicity.

Made in New York 2012, Schweinfurth Art Center

My “Pages 4” piece is heading off to Auburn, NY  this week for Made in New York 2012, a juried exhibition at Schweinfurth Art Center.  I’m delighted to be included in this exhibition, which is always a wonderful mix of mediums and ideas.




“Made in New York 2012” runs March 31- May 20, 2012. The reception and awards ceremony will be Saturday, March 31, 3-5 PM.