Tag Archives: Contemporary Art

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Dennis Revitzky

Born and raised in northwestern Pennsylvania, I graduated from Gannon and Mercyhurst Colleges with a degree in art education
in 1969. I did graduate study in Fine Arts at SUNY Brockport and taught art for 33 years, most of that time in the Livonia, NY
school district. Along with teaching I was also a professional artist, and upon retirement I was able to devote more time to
my artwork,  mainly printmaking and painting.

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I work from home, where I have my work studio and an office/storage room. The subjects of my art are primarily landscape and the figure. In working with landscape I am always aware of the beauty and essence of the place, and I want to convey the mysterious or spiritual elements of that place. I try to allude to something beyond the physical world we perceive; something we are a part of, but difficult to define or understand.

Strange Morning

In my paintings, I attempt to communicate this through a technique I developed which heavily emphasizes texture. I use modeling paste
and other materials on canvas and then apply an underpainting of a deep violet color over the textured surface. The painting is finished
in oils using brush and palette knife.

Letchworth in Spring

My linocuts are more expressionistic. They are original, hand-pulled prints, usually made in small editions. The color prints are made
with only one or two linoleum blocks which are cut away and printed using the reduction method. Some of the colors may be printed
using a stencil technique. In recent years I’ve also been creating linocut monoprints. All my linocuts are made with oil-base inks on
Rives lightweight paper and are printed by hand using a wooden spoon.

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Pompeii Landscape XI

I am a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Boston Printmakers, and Rochester Contemporary. More of my artwork may be seen at the Mill Art Center, Honeoye Falls, and at various places around the internet.

Stop by Main Street Arts to see Dennis’s artwork in our current exhibition, Fifty Landscapes (runs through May 13). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by painter Phyllis Bryce Ely.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Nick Marshall

Hi everyone, my name is Nick Marshall. My recent work, _e_scapes,  is included in Main Street Art’s exhibition “Ink and Paper” and this post will hopefully give you a little more insight to my practice.

_e_scapes started with a series of photographs I made in 2012-13. The images depict found snapshots of seaside vacations that are floating in a chromatic pool of color sampled from the air or water in the vernacular images via the eye dropper tool.

_e_scape

_e_scape

_e_scapes

_e_scape

Shortly after making the photographs I started on a series of paintings that would eventually be exhibited under the same title and hang parallel to the image based works. I didn’t have a studio at the time so I was working out of the living room in my one bedroom apartment.

This would be a good time to mention what I do with the majority of my hours during the week. I’ve been working at the George Eastman Museum since 2010 and was promoted to manager of exhibitions and programs in 2013. In addition to overseeing the installation of the museums exhibitions, I work closely with the curators and creative director to design and layout the shows.  This usually includes us looking through swatch books and laughing at some of the absurdly named paint colors. A few of my personal favorites, “Grandma’s Sweater 787″ and “Applesauce Cake 316-5″.

But really what was of interest to me was the way that the paint manufactures were assigning names and numbers to colors that were intended to represent nature, specifically air and water.

After an exhibition of the work at the Hartnett Gallery in Rochester, Tate Shaw, the director of Visual Studies Workshop, invited me to do a month long residency at VSW with the goal of making a book that would include some of the sketches I’d made for the paintings. I had never made a book before but I’d always wanted to so I jumped at the opportunity. At first my progress was a little slow. It was very difficult for me to take the sketches off the wall and not think about them that way. Once I got them in somewhat of a book form though the sequencing became really exciting and everything started to come together.

VSW Project Space

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

I also used my time at the residency to think about another series I’d been working on of straight images that I knew were related to color and the landscape but couldn’t quite figure out how to tie everything together. Seeing them in the space with the paint swatches made everything click and I began incorporating the swatches. This work is still in progress but it was an added bonus to working in the studio and being able to see these intersections of my work that I hadn’t previously.

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

At the end of the residency I had produced my first draft of the book.  Subsequent drafts would not include the suitcase images and the final version of the book has a different cover that was designed by Travis Johansen and I am MUCH happier with it.

1st draft of _e_scapes book

1st draft of _e_scapes book

1st draft of _e_scapes book

1st draft of _e_scapes book

The book starts with Dawn’s Early Light C57-1 and progresses through the day, enduring a rainstorm with the sun eventually coming back out and fading into a Peaceful Night 590F-7.

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

I hope you can make it out to see Ink and Paper at Main Street Arts. There are a lot of really great books and I’m grateful to be a part of the exhibition.

View Nick’s artwork online at www.n-marshall.com. Stop by Main Street Arts to see his artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper (runs through Friday, March 25). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by book artist Amanda Chestnut.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Amanda Chestnut: Exploring Racial Identity Through Artist’s Books

Growing up out side of Binghamton, New York afforded me a bucolic, nonpareil childhood that combined a rigorous academic environment with a loving and supportive community. Largely sheltered from cultural strife, these seemingly unobtainable ideals are part of my motivation in asking difficult questions through my artwork.

Why do you have to make everything about race? installed at Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York, January-February, 2015

Why do you have to make everything about race? installed at Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York, January-February, 2015

Why can’t life be perfect? Where does this historic burden come from, and do we all carry it, even if only some of us actively choose to? In earning an MFA in visual studies from Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, I developed the ability to ask these questions through my artwork. Experiences at VSW formed who I am as an artist today.

from The Frederick Douglass Archive Project, in collaboration with Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2013

from The Frederick Douglass Archive Project, in collaboration with Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2013

I have been making photographs for 20 years, and had entered VSW with the intension of continuing to do so. I left VSW making books, instillations, and writing poetry. At VSW I learned to look to artists like Elizabeth Tonnard and Claudia Rankine for inspiration, as they deftly walk the line between literature and image art while exploring political ideas. The late artist and exhibitions guru Rick Hock would often ask us, “Why photographs?” He emphasized the necessity of choosing an appropriate medium for all works. Rick’s influence encouraged me in my explorations of poetry, bookmaking, and alternative mediums (like hair).

Actress Mae Johnson and Athlete Jesse Owens, in the folder "African Americans/Civil Rights/Jesse Owens," Part of the Soibelman Collection of Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, 2013

Actress Mae Johnson and Athlete Jesse Owens, in the folder “African Americans/Civil Rights/Jesse Owens,” Part of the Soibelman Collection of Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, 2013

Through VSW I was able to speak with artist Carla Williams, who validated my efforts in finding my voice as an artist of color. Finding this voice and using it well is a continual thought for me; I find Langston Hughes’ essay The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain from 1926 to be an interesting exploration of what it is to be an artist of color in America.

Since graduating a year ago in 2015, I’ve had residency opportunities at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in Woodstock, New York, and at the Genesee Center for Arts and Education, where I am currently in residence in Printing and Book Arts.

Cyanotype Book 4 was made during my time at Woodstock. The materials were in large part a felicitous combination of available materials and a printer that was insistent on not working. While waiting for technology to cooperate, I explored the cyanotypes, eventually compiling them into four unique yet similar books. My hair has been a continuing theme in my work because it has been a continuing theme in my life, as it is for many women of color. I spent many years allowing myself to be defined by my hair. This single feature, more than any other part of my body, has been used by others to measure how black I am, how white I am, how smart I am, how much money I have, and how much I am worth as an individual. While I know this is a societal/cultural burden that I do not have to make my own, I can’t help but explore why hair means so much.

I often ask myself, “How do I quantify hurt?” I wonder if the struggles that my my parents faced as an interracial couple, the brutality faced by my father because of the color of his skin, and the atrocities that were committed upon his ancestors all reside in me somewhere.

Through my books I have learned that my personal history is a shared history. I’ve been approached by many people with statements of solidarity. While many of the experiences that drive my work are deeply personal and often private in nature, in sharing them I’ve learned I’m not alone. This gives me strength to continue carrying this historical burden.

View Amanda’s artwork online at www.amandachestnut.com. Upcoming shows and classes, current projects, and cat photos can be found on Instagram @mandanut.

Stop by Main Street Arts to see her artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper (runs through Friday, March 25). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by mixed media artist Peter Sowiski.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Peter Sowiski: Papermaker

I was born in Pittsburgh, trained as a printmaker in Ohio, and spent my teaching career at SUNY Buffalo State. I began making paper for prints almost forty years ago, and since that time have been led down a road of broadened involvement with paper as a medium.

Rooster, 2005, colored pulps, relief, screen print

Rooster, 2005, colored pulps, relief, screen print

The work has been a personal affirmation of both the image and its support, which has formed the basis of my philosophy as a pulp painter- that economy of equipment and processes can yield complexity and sophistication. Looking at military might through these pieces keeps us aware of the high tech, high stakes times we find ourselves in.

Little Bird detail, 2013, colored pulps

Little Bird detail, 2013, colored pulps

I usually work over a base sheet formed in a Nepalese or Asian style. I paint with thin applications of pigmented abaca or cotton fiber. With stock batches of the primaries plus black, I use turkey basters and custom containers for applications of thin washes, enabling quick adjustments of color and consistency. Additionally, I stencil, pour, spray, hand manipulate, or do whatever it takes to drive the image into being. In printed works, I employ traditional processes along with the paper approaches.

pulling base sheet

pulling base sheet

The pieces spring from remembered visions, rooted in diverse sources. I recall my early All-American attraction to weaponry as favorite toys. This connects to my adult fascinations and fears as represented from the late 90′s onward in simple, darker works. I have been making studies of strategic aircraft and service personnel for large installations as well as smaller, intimate print combinations. The works tip a hat to impressionism, photographic “focus,” traditions of printmaking, pattern and pop art, and seek symbiosis between the delicate physical qualities of the paper and the powerful visual qualities of subject, so that they cohere on even terms.

Light Attack, 2013-16, detail, colored pulps

Light Attack, 2013-16, detail, colored pulps

View Peter’s artwork online at www.abaca-press.com/peter/about.html. Stop by Main Street Arts to see his artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper (runs through Friday, March 25). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by book and multimedia artist Candace Hicks.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Candace Hicks

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My studio is starting to look like a depot for packing materials. I have had a lot of work out lately, and it’s all come back at the same time. These boxes held wooden boxes with illusionistic rooms inside.

Cloud illusion 2

The rooms are constructed so that the cloud that floats back and forth appears to shrink and grow as it traverses the room.  These photos were taken without the fish-eye lens that smoothes the illusion.  A room that is smaller on one side with a sloped floor is known as an Ames room.

Cloud illusion

A miniature servo attached to a wheel pulls the cloud back and forth.

Inside Ames

With the fish-eye lens in place the room looks straight.  Many years ago I made comic strips starring a cloud.  Not just any cloud! This was a thought cloud, the sort that normally appears in comics.  In my comic strips the thought cloud was the character.  In my Ames room sculptures, the cloud has returned and paces like a bored prisoner.

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Here I’m adding a separate battery pack for the lights.  Soon it will be time to repack them and ship them to the next exhibit.

View Candace’s artwork online at www.candacehicks.com. Stop by Main Street Arts to see her artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper. The exhibition is up through Friday, March 25. Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by printmaker and book artist Jenna Rodriguez.

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Alicia Taylor

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One of the best ways I’ve found to focus my scattered mind is to allow myself to be completely captivated by the elements of the earth. I grew up in a house overlooking a large body of water and my fascination with water and the power that it can contain will never cease.

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I observe and investigate these natural forces as a way to process my own bodily experience in this very tangible world and think about ways to perhaps reach for those parts of it that are intangible.

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My studio  practice feels most like an evolving  cartography and an attempt find pattern  in the mapping of my mind and it’s movement through the ideas that hold my attention. The first book I ever made was in 3rd grade, titled “Why Pine Trees Don’t Lose Their Leaves” (below) in which I wrote an imagined story about the Pine Tree being bravest and most determined of all the trees to grow tall enough to reach the great tree spirit in the sky. When he did, he was rewarded by getting to keep his needles all year long.

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I included this here because there’s a distinct connection between my childhood instincts and curiosities that my current work is diving deeper into, dealing with the desire to understand why things happen the way they do.

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My ongoing book project began a couple years ago, while I was living with and caring for my grandfather who was progressing quickly through the stages of dementia. During this time, I found a handwritten poem titled “The Search” in a plastic bag at a thrift store. I understood the poem to be a placeholder for what my grandfather would never again be able to articulate. I began writing in his voice, and collecting and scanning the thousands of images he’d taken during his lifetime as a way to understand him and the loss he was encountering daily.

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I became increasingly interested in the way our minds work and spent a lot of time researching the physical/medical aspects of memory and memory loss. I found peace in the way everything in our bodies, down to the forms and lines of cells and nerves  could be mapped out, labeled, and understood in a scientific sense, like the image above. I made lots of drawings and paintings in reaction to this.

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I also took pictures everyday, following my interest in conveying time and change through the evidence of it in my environment.

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The manipulation of material, in the form of recycling paper and re-casting it as a new form brought a level of hope to the process for me. The above sculpture was made after turning my childhood sandbox into a big vat for pulling large handmade sheets of paper, only possible with the collaboration of my family members. These collaborative actions are what I understand now to be the thread that can link this project together.

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This book will likely be in the works for a couple more years, as it’s something I need time and space away from to  be able to navigate effectively. So there are a lot of other projects that dominate my time in the studio.

studio1 ice study

Right now, it’s textile projects, collaborative paintings and returning to the study of water as it undulates between freezing and thawing in the many tributaries in the forest behind my house.

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View Alicia’s artwork online at www.aliciahopetaylor.com. Stop by Main Street Arts to see Alicia’s artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper. The exhibition is up through Friday, March 25. Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by Rochester printmaker and photographer Rebecca Lomuto.

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Emily Glass

I spent my childhood outside in rural Vermont, taking care of animals and watching wildlife grow. As a kid I photographed my surrounding world extensively, always documenting, always looking. I loved art classes in high school and first worked with oil paint at the State University of New York Potsdam in 2004.  I found the challenge of oil exciting and completely engrossing.

24 by 42.5 inches, Oil on Canvas, 2015

I Discard (in progress during the residency), 24 by 42.5 inches, Oil on Canvas, 2015

I think of my work as a mix of abstraction and realism.  With it, I seek to communicate subtle narrative and commentary on our current culture. I am beginning a shift into using more plant-based imagery and questioning what it means to have a particular plant on a dinner table or in a yard.  The privileges and beliefs that come with iceberg lettuce versus arugula (or dandelion leaves versus cabbage) reveal differences in class systems and political associations.

My residency studio at the Vermont Studio Center

My studio at the Vermont Studio Center

In the Flora and Fauna exhibition, four paintings were started at a residency at Vermont Studio Center (VSC) in June 2015.

Here is an excerpt from my time there:

While parts of the country were fighting drought, the Vermont sky opened up with rain.  I would keep the windows open, breath in the wet air and paint for hours.  When the rain broke (about every two days or so), I was exhausted from painting and needed to think before beginning again. During those breaks in the rain I spent my time walking, writing and reading outside, documenting what caught my eye and turning over thoughts. Everything was so green, so rich.

Studio Workbench

Studio Workbench

It was summer but the rainy days were cold. I wore a fleece hat and kept an extra pair of dry socks in my studio for the next rainfall painting session.

I have only mentioned my working habits at the residency, which was one half of the experience.  The other half were the 45 or so wonderful visual artists and writers that were also residing at VSC and whom I shared my meals with.  The experience is one I recommend to anyone looking for a nourishing and intensive space to develop work.

My Agent Says the Neighbors are Nice, Oil Paint on Canvas, 43 by 180 inches, 2014

My Agent Says the Neighbors are Nice, Oil Paint on Canvas, 43 by 180 inches, 2014

During the year I teach painting and drawing at Rochester Institute of Technology and spend as much time as possible in my home studio, developing oily canvases and putting together plans for future works.

View Emily’s artwork online at emilyglassart.com. Stop by Main Street Arts to see Emily’s work in our current exhibition, Flora and Fauna. The exhibition is up through Friday, February 12. Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by encaustic painter Kristen T. Woodward.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Emily Falco: Creating a Watercolor Still-Life in 5 Steps

Hello fellow art lovers -

It’s a warm, rainy, December evening here in Ithaca; not too typical of western New York this time of year! It’s this type of inclement weather that for me, forecasts a painting night.

Welcome to the studio!

Welcome to the studio!

For my introductory post, I wanted to give you readers out there a little more than an “about the artist” spiel. So here is a quick tutorial to describe one of my favorite painting techniques; in this case, to create a simple still life in just a few steps.

I work almost solely in watercolor, a medium that folks often tell me is “the most unforgiving,” or “the hardest.” I beg to differ – I’ve had a lot of practice, no doubt, but you can turn all the “cons” of watercolor into “pros” with time, patience and technique. There are difficulties with every type of painting, sculpture, what have you. That being said, I hope that if you are interested in painting with watercolor, but intimidated to work with it, that this tutorial might give you a fresh perspective, allowing you to delve into water paint in a whole new way.

Here’s our subject:

To celebrate the seasons of both coasts, I've chosen a persimmon and a sprig of juniper.

To celebrate the seasons of both coasts, I’ve chosen a persimmon and a sprig of juniper.

STEP 1: SKETCH IT OUT
You don’t want to put a lot of detail in here. Keep in mind that this isn’t a drawing, you’re just setting up for your painting. Think light pencil strokes.

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STEP 2: THE WASH
Where is the lightest point of your subject? In this case, it’s the highlight on the persimmon. I left a couple highlights on the juniper berries as well. Everything else is darker, right? So paint everything else! Choose a neutral color, and bring your paint all the way to the edges of the paper.

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STEP 3: ESTABLISH YOUR VALUES
This step gives your subject a little body. Choose another (perhaps complementary) neutral color, and loosely block in the shadows and midtones. A lot of detail is not needed.

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STEP 4: ADD IN YOUR COLOR
Ok, now you have your subject defined. It’s time to put the color in! Add a little color into the back and foreground too. Keep your palette simple – limit yourself to just a few colors.

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STEP 5: ADD THE DARK, DETAIL, & FINISHING TOUCHES
Now that your subject is colored, you need to finish it off with the darkest value. This will make it pop! Add a little texture, color the background a bit more, etc. Voila! You have a little painting, in just 5 steps.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Emily Falco is an artist nationally recognized for the romantic quality portrayed in her watercolor representations of everyday perspectives. In this early stage of her career, she has lived and painted throughout New York State, from New York City through the Hudson Valley to the Adirondack Mountains and into Ithaca where she currently resides.

Falco’s work has garnered national attention as a featured artist in American Artist Watercolor magazine, and on NBC’s Martha Stewart Live television program.  Since 2008, Falco has continuously exhibited her work in solo, joint and group shows, including a recent solo exhibition at Cornell University. She holds a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.

For more information please visit: http://emilyfalco.com/


Stop by Main Street Arts to see two of Emily Falco’s watercolor paintings in our current exhibition, Small Works 2015 (one of which was an award winning piece!). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by fabric sculptor & collage artist Jody MacDonald.

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Jody MacDonald: Connection is Key

Hello, my name is Jody.  Welcome to my studio!

Studio

My work space – there is a big, beautiful window where I’m standing that provides the most fantastic natural light to work by.

First, let me share a few biographical tidbits to put my work into context:

  •  When I was a child I liked to engage in role-play, often as animals and insects.
  • I attended the famed bealart program in London, ON, Canada (1986-89), double-majoring in textiles and printmaking.
  • I received my undergrad diploma from Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1996) where I focused on sculpture, performance, and installation.
  • It took me 15 years to obtain the academic credits required for my BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University in Vancouver. I was only able to take one class per semester, so that’s what I did.  Never let life be an obstacle to attaining your goals!
  • In July of 2014 I moved my home and studio practice from Vancouver to Long Island City, NY.
  • I still like to engage in role-play, though now it is mostly through my artwork.

For the past 12 years I’ve been an object maker, creating textile-based, figurative sculptures and drawings that challenge concepts of identity, stereotype, social power dynamics, and the perception of “genuine” vs. “imitation”. I relish dark humor, always work in multiples, and I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to craftsmanship and detail.

Obsessive Detail

(L) Detail of a British Military Coat from Wardrobe (1755) – 3/16″ custom crafted buttons and those tiny buttonholes are functional. (R) Detail of mini skinny jeans, new work in progress – approx. 4″ wide (I did make the hangers, but the teeny clothespins were a cherished find).

A common element in my artwork that makes it readily distinguishable is the use of my face in every piece, either as a collaged component in works-on-paper or as a photo transfer on fabric in sculptural pieces.

(L) Detail from a work-on-paper in the Survival Games series. (R) Detail from Jurassic Measures, a textile sculpture from the Will The Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up? series.

There are many reasons why an artist might choose to use themselves in their work, such as convenience or legal issues. The reason I use my face? To communicate that I am imperfectly implicated in the issues that I point a critical finger at. We’re all in it together ;-)

Much of my work is created in a diminutive scale – figures stand about 20” tall and drawings are generally 15” x 22” or smaller. I do this to gently coax the viewer closer to the work where they will discover subtle details and develop an intimate connection with the piece.

Showing Scale

Head and hand of a new sculpture in progress.

Ultimately, connection is what being an artist is all about for me – making an emotional or intellectual connection with another person… oh, and making tiny things.

Although on occasion I’ve used found objects in my pieces, I make 98% of the miniature clothing and accessories you see in my artwork.

Shirt and Garters

(L) Detail of wolf figure in Chestnut Complex (Slim Shady series). (R) Detail of one of the lingerie outfits for Favorite Ways With Pheasant (Slim Shady series).

I LOVE the challenge of trying to replicate an Oxford shirt, a garter belt, a Brown Bess musket, or a canoe in 1/4 scale.

Brown Bess Musket

Detail of the Brown Bess musket from Wardrobe (1755), part of the Slim Shady series.

Canoe Interior Detail

Detail – interior of the large, 4 foot canoe from Chestnut Complex (Slim Shady series). The ribs and planking are made out of wood veneer.

There’s so much more I’d like to share with you – here are a couple of ways we can connect:

Visit my website/blog to see more of my art and learn more about my process: jodymacdonald.ca. Follow my Facebook page to see sneak peeks of works-in-progress and general art musings a couple of times per week. Thanks for visiting!

Stop by Main Street Arts to see Jody MacDonald’s artwork in our current exhibition, Small Works 2015. Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by Finger Lakes painter Kari Ganoung Ruiz.

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Kari Ganoung Ruiz: En Plein Air

I’m Kari Ganoung Ruiz, and my studio is the great outdoors!

Painting near Saranac Lake, NY August 2015. Photo by Dave Martin

Painting near Saranac Lake, NY August 2015. Photo by Dave Martin

My husband Diego Ruiz and I currently live in Union Springs, NY on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake. I grew up in Interlaken, NY near the Finger Lakes National Forest, setting the stage early for my deep appreciation of the natural landscape. I was always drawing as a kid; filling up as many sketchbooks as I could get my hands on. Fortunately, many of my teachers up through high school were creative and excited about teaching and learning, no matter the subject; helping me keep my mind open to an alternate career path such as “artist”!

I attended Ashland University in Ohio, graduating in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science in Fine Art. My husband and I were married in 2000 and we decided to make the Finger Lakes Region our home; searching for a community to develop our studio. We opened Copperesque in 2007, a boutique picture framing and stained glass studio here in Union Springs .

Taughannock Falls, painted on location spring 2015. Private collection

Taughannock Falls, painted on location spring 2015. 6″x8″ Private collection

Within the last 3 years I’ve become increasingly excited about painting outside directly from life, taking part in plein air festivals throughout New York state and beyond. One of Diego’s artistic passions is stereo photography; currently working on his 5th and 6th 3D books! Both of our endeavors involve travel, so in the fall of 2014 we decided to move our shop from storefront to cyberspace to free the constraints on our time and location.

Painting near the Ventura Pier in CA during The Representational Art Conference 2015. Photo courtesy BritBrat Studio

Painting near the Ventura Pier in California during The Representational Art Conference 2015. Photo courtesy BritBrat Studio

The Lifeguard Tower, 8"x8"... the piece I was working on in the picture above!

The Lifeguard Tower, 8″x8″… the piece I was working on in the picture above!

I’m currently painting in oils and concentrating on the landscape. Many of my paintings are completed outside in one session; trying to capture more than a likeness of the place, but the essence of what made it speak to me. Studying through painting outside has taught me a great deal in the last few years about the science of the natural world. Something new is learned each plein air session, even if that something is what the air feels like right before being drenched by a sudden rainstorm!  I do have a studio in which work progresses on commissioned paintings and larger or more detailed work not easily done outside. It’s a small, upstairs room in our home where I can work in relative quiet. Painting outside in winter is an interesting challenge, and the subtle color shifts of the snow are seductive, but it’s great to have a warm studio to come back to!

Painted during the Adirondack Plein Air Festivals... one of my favorite experience painting outside this year! 11"x14", available

Painted during the Adirondack Plein Air Festival… one of my favorite experiences painting outside this year! 11″x14″, available

You can see many of my paintings at our Pop-up Gallery in Aurora, New York this December 1-31st, and always online at kariganoungruiz.com. I have also just started a blog, so please follow along on my adventures: Go Paint Outside!

Stop by Main Street Arts to see Kari Ganoung Ruiz’s paintings in our current exhibition, Small Works 2015 (including a juror’s choice award winning piece!)

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by Rochester artist Bob Conge.