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.


Count down to Opening Night

Last May, I put a couple of pieces into the members show at the Phoenix Village Art Center.  To my excitement, one of the pieces I entered took home best in show, to which I was given a solo show.  Dale Shuffler, a ceramic sculptor, also took home a best in show for a 3D piece that he entered.  So, we are sharing the space at the art center throughout the month of April.

I've been editing and adding to my body of work for the show over the past 10 months. Now, just 4 weeks away, the anticipation is building and I'm definitely feeling like we are in crunch time.  So, I'm going to make an attempt to keep an updated blog -daily is my goal- partly because I think it will be interesting to follow the 30 days leading up to a show, and partly because I'd like to remember this years from now.

I just finished up the postcards (shown above).  I ordered them through Vistaprint for a great price.

Here is a new piece that I am just now wrapping up...
Opening Night
20x20 Oil on Newspaper Covered Canvas
©2013 Teresa Haag


A Day in the Life

I heart San Francisco. I am not sure whether I just took amazing ref photos while visiting or if it is just the nature of the city...but I feel inspired by and compelled to paint San Francisco every time I flip through images for future work.

These rooftops are from Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39. We were on a city tour with one of Eric's colleagues who lives in town. I love the series of angles and the muted colors that remind me of the bay.


Center City Rooftops

Center City Rooftops
24in. x 48in.
Oil on Newspaper Covered Canvas
©2013 Teresa Haag
Sometime, way back, before kids when my husband and I still had adventures, we spent a weekend at the Ritz in Center City Philly with a couple of our best friends.  The view was spectacular.  This view was from our wrap around bathroom with built in steam shower and jetted tub.  Heck yeah!  

Now, I can look forward to the day when we can go back...someday.

I'll be putting this piece in my upcoming exhibition at the Phoenix Village Art Center in April.



Last year at the Inner Harbor Art Festival in Baltimore, a couple stopped by my booth and chatted with me for some time.  Marlene and Sam have since become good friends and I went to visit them yesterday at their home just outside of Baltimore.  
Marlene is a portrait artist who has been thinking about making the leap to show her work at outdoor exhibitions for some time.  Back in the fall I was visiting with her when she made it clear that she was ready to do it, so we ordered in all the equipment she would need to get going.  Part of exhibiting your work at art festivals includes an application process in which a jury reviews your work and a photo of your display.  My trip yesterday was to help her set up the booth and display her paintings so we could photograph it for the applications.  

Setting up the booth in her backyard in the crazy wind!

Panorama of the booth.  I love my new iPhone. :)
We knew it was going to be sunny...but man was it windy.  She got a real taste of what it could be like in a summer storm! All in all, I think that the booth came out looking great.  

After the photo shoot, we formatted the images and got her applications in.  It was a great day, and as always, I had a lovely time with my new(ish) friends.  


Hotel Arcata

It's crunch time.  April is my solo show at the Phoenix Village Art Center.  So, I'm on a mission right now.  The boys are in NY with their grandma for the next few days. So, I am free to paint and prepare.  I've been working on a couple of different projects.  Tonight, I'll share with you my Hotel Arcata piece. 

In 2008, Eric and I took a road trip around the country.  We spent a few days driving up the Pacific Coast Highway and pulled over in Arcata for the night.  The night we got in, we put our bags in the room and roamed around for a bit.  We found a great little pizza joint and stopped at a gritty little pub to listen to a band that was playing.  When we woke up, it was cold and draped in fog.  There was a park in the center of town that was full of teenagers sleeping on benches and lining the walls of the businesses along the street.  
Hotel Arcata
Oil on Canvas 2013

Progress Photos
Left - Final Image
Top Right - Pencil Sketch
Middle Right - Block in
Bottom Right - Almost Finished


Picking up Where You Left Off

With almost every painting I work on, I get to a place that I think, "There is no way this painting is going to work." I have learned to embrace this point instead of throwing in the towel (which I have done many, many times). You see, I find that the best things comes from a challenge.

Below is where I am at with the piece.  I've also included a reference photo.  I started the painting on location.  I was standing on E Pratt Street overlooking the Inner Harbor.  I got it sketched and blocked in there. I took the photo for reference back in the studio.

Inner Harbor
24x30 Oil on Canvas

Inner Harbor Reference Photo


2013 is here...what's in store?

Isn't it funny how your brain isn't really able to focus on the new year until the tree is down and the lights all packed away? Christmas has always been my most favorite time of year, but I was really ready to move forward into the new year this time around. Not because 2012 was bad - in fact 2012 was a game changer for us...but because I am just so excited to see what this year has to bring.

My solo show is in April. Pretty much all my efforts these days are directed toward work for the show. I was feeling bad about my lack of activity on my blog, Facebook, twitter...blah, blah, blah. Here's the deal, I will post when I can and when I can't, it's because I am in the studio painting. Quality over quantity, right?

I am in the midst of outdoor exhibition applications. As my acceptance emails come in, I'll post the dates and details in the right sidebar of the blog and on my website.

South Philly Rooftops
36x48 Oil on Paper Covered Canvas