Corn Hill

Corn Hill Poster 2013
Original Painting was 24x24
Oil on Map Covered Canvas   |   Rochester, NY
Collection of Corn Hill Association

Growing up in Rochester, you learn to pack in as much fun as you can during the nice weather months.  The spring/summer season is chock full of festivals and activities every weekend starting with the Lilac festival in the spring.  Each festival has a different feel, and for fine art, the Corn Hill Art Festival has always been the one to attend.  Full of quality work and talented artists and artisans.  

As many of you already know, I began showing my work about a year ago.  It started at the Members show at the Phoenix Village art center, and then the Emerging artist tent in Manayunk...but the very first outdoor festival with my own booth was at Corn Hill last year (2012).  

This was our first attempt at putting up our old EZ up tent...they say one person can assemble it in about 5 minutes by themselves...[cough, cough]  We managed to do it in just under 2 hours.  
This was our first booth setup and display.  Elementary indeed!  :)
Although it is a very elementary attempt at a display, it warms my hear to see it.  If you could only imagine the excitement racing through us at the time.  It was our very first show, in our very own tent...at Corn Hill!  We hung all of the paintings with wire from the tent frame.  Every time the wind would blow everything in the tent swayed back and forth.  A few times, even passers by would help us hunker down the work when a gust would come.  

A week before the show, my dad had called and said that he saw the Corn Hill Poster for 2012 in the Democrat and Chronicle.  He said that I should submit for it next year.  Honestly, I was totally overwhelmed with the idea of just showing at this venue, that it didn't really cross my mind again.   Early on this year I received an email out of the blue with an invitation to submit a concept for the poster.  [insert happy dance].  I went to work...I had some images of the area that I had collected on previous trips to Rochester, but I was missing something.  I contacted several friends and family members from Rochester and they were ready to help.  Within a few weeks, I had several dozen photos of the Corn Hill area to help develop the concept for the piece.       

The theme happened organically.  As I was working on my composition and thumbnail sketches I noticed that I kept touching on three elements over and over again - Community, History, and Urban Life.  So, I had my theme.   Everything fell into place from there.  

History - the focal point is an old historic house that was formally the residence of an artist - how appropriate.  I didn't even find that out until I had settled on that image and I was researching.          

Community - the image is painting on a canvas covered by a map of the streets of the Corn Hill Neighborhood.  Additionally, in the mid ground, you can see newer town homes of the residents of Corn Hill.  

Urban life - in this composite, I chose to weave the iconic Rochester skyline into the background. 
Close up of the map in the background.
One evening in April, I was in my studio with my sister and Eric and the email came in that my concept was selected.  Hopping and jumping up and down ensued with small bursts of quiet squeals [the boys were sleeping so I couldn't get too rowdy].  It was such an exciting moment.  And here we are today.  

Last week was the unveiling in Rochester.  

To my friends and family, I just want to say thank you so much for supporting me and my dream to pursue my art.  I am honored and humbled that an organization such a Corn Hill would select my work to represent them and in turn become part of their rich and wonderful history.  


into light
oil on newspaper covered canvas

"Into Light" came about during the show I did in Harrisburg over Memorial Day.  At most shows I paint.  I love to paint, and I love that people can see how paintings come to be - ugly duckling stage and all.  I get asked all the time whether it bothers me to have people looking over my shoulder.  My response is emphatically no...I LOVE IT.  People get excited to see a painting in action, and their excitement is contagious and goes directly into the painting.  My demo pieces are always so full of life and energy from all the patrons that come by.  In essence, it ends up being a collaboration.  "Into Light" is no exception. It is one of my favorite pieces and straddles a wonderful line between a quiet calmness to a sense of light and excitement.


Studio Scare

Holy S&%#!  [INSERT LOTS MORE EXPLATIVES]  Tonight, while sitting at my computer working on my bookkeeping, with some silly reality tv show playing in the background, a black swish came flying by my head.  Bat!  Bat!  Flying around the studio.  Me - leaping from my chair into the hallway barricading the door with big canvases because the door is blocked by my table full of paints. No way this bat is getting into the house! It finally settled onto a little ledge, I ran down and grabbed Eric, and with the creative use of a laundry basket and box top, the bat is safely out of the window.  I am now flying high on an adrenalin rush, and figured that in a few days it may be comical.  For now, I am just glad its gone and I have my studio back to myself.
My Studio - pre bat scare!


Open Studio Tour

On Wednesday of last week, after two weeks of going back and forth with the sales guys at Flourish, I purchased my new fancy art show tent.  It was a major investment, and continues to give me anxiety when I really think about it. I used it for the first time this weekend...and it was awesome!

The Chester County Open Studio Tour happened this weekend.  It was my very first year on the tour and Jeff Schaller was kind enough to have me as a guest artist at his studio in Downingtown. There were five artists there, including Jeff and they all had quite a bit more experience then me...which was great because I learned so much.

Saturday was cloudy but the rain held off.  It was pretty steady all day, and I met some really wonderful patrons.  Sunday, it drizzled all day...but people kept coming by steadily, many of whom were back for the second day in a row.  I met some great folks, had a great time joking around with the other artists and have huge studio envy thanks to Jeff Schaller's amazing set up!

It was a GREAT weekend...especially since I spent it in my new tent!  If you didn't get a chance to make it out for the tour this year, you can check out all of the artists that participated on the website link above.  Sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on next years events.


Quiet Moment

A Quiet Moment After the Opening Night Reception
Opening night at the art show has come and gone.  The month is winding down - just one more week in the gallery.  I knew a year ago, that this would be a game changer for me.  You see, my whole life, I've imagined walking into a gallery and seeing my work on the walls.  My.Whole.Life.  For lack of a better phrase - it is a total surreal feeling to have it happen.  I am very proud to have accomplished such a high reaching dream.  More then that though, I feel such gratitude.  Gratitude for Kathy, at the Art Center, for believing in me and giving me the little shove I needed.  Gratitude for my family, especially Eric, for supporting me.  Gratitude for old and new friends for cheering me on and believing in my vision.  I feel humbled that so many people came out for the party and that many of my pieces will be finding new homes next week.  Paris Rooftops, in particular, is going to be difficult to part with - but I know after meeting the new owners that she will be well loved.  I am going to sit back for a moment and enjoy where I am at right now - well, that is until the thought of "what comes next" pops into my head.  Any moment now.



We had a beautiful weather weekend. So in addition to spending a ton of time outside with the boys, I made a good dent in the list of frames that I need to construct before the show.

On Sunday we lugged the table saw and chop saw outside and got to work. Luckily, I had already made my run to Home Depot last weekend to get the wood. See photo below! Our poor little car hates when I make wood runs. :)

At this point I have all my wood cut and ready to assemble. Hooray! Up next, assembling the pieces, clamping, sanding, priming, painting, varnishing, installing and finally wiring. I am starting to understand why it is so expensive to have a framer do the work!


Buried Deep in an Old Tote

Back in December, my parents came to visit for the holiday. With them they brought lots of boxes. Some presents for under the tree, and others from storage in their garage that I left there a long, long time ago.

Most of the storage boxes were full of old text books from college. I found some old photos and negatives inside of a white envelope. I found slides of artwork from high school. And I found this letter below. It's funny what you forget over time. I have always loved making art, and inside of the old dusty boxes was a gentle and lovely reminder of that.