Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New TraillWorks Site is Launched, Plus New BLOG!

FINALLY, more than three years in the making, has been redesigned and is now live! It's been quite a challenge over the past several years working with an outdated site and many designers who didn't quite get me. After much research, I decided to use a template site to help me construct and host, since I have little html knowledge. 

There are still pages to complete and content to add and change, but after months of work, I wanted to share the new site. Now that it's hosted by, I will have the flexibility to update and change elements as my art develops. 

So, take a look around, there's lots to see. What's new? I have a dedicated portfolio of my own work, including works in-progress, sketches and a page dedicated to commissions (still in design). There's a blog hosted directly on my site:, but you can still link to my old blog on Blogger to see archived posts. The lesson page has been updated and most exciting of all; there is a shopping cart on my site and you can begin making purchases such as lessons and a new product: ARTaments.

In honor of the launch of the site, find the link to ARTaments on the site and share the page on Facebook or Twitter with #ARTaments. Each person who shares will receive $10 off their ARTament order. LEARN more about #ARTaments here.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Open Orange OPENING Friday

For the first time in two years, I will be exhibiting my work! After moving to West Orange last August, setting up my studio in September, and then settling into a routine with my boys, I started exploring opportunities in the area. West Orange sits right next to Orange, a city that is experiencing a renaissance. Once a center of hat-making, it is now trying to pick itself up and revitalizing an urban area through the arts. TraillWorks: Studio on the 3rd Floor, is located just up the hill from this area now called the Valley Arts District. I'm still getting to know Valley Arts and all it offers. Click here for a great introduction of their initiatives by Patrick Morrissy, Executive Director of Hands, Inc. 

I'm please and honored to be included in the inaugural juried exhibition, Open Orange, sponsored by the ValleyArts district of Orange and West Orange, NJ. This is my first juried show appearance and acceptance in a couple of years, and first exhibit opportunity in my new hometown. The exhibit was open to NJ artists and NY metropolitan area artists working in two-dimensional media. This contemporary art exhibition will be held in the new ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery and nearby spaces in the Valley Arts District and celebrates this growing artist community. The show runs from May 9th - June 8th.

I had the pleasure of meeting the co-chairs of the show: artist Jeremy Moss, and Nigel FreemanDirector of African American Fine Art at New York's Swann Auction Galleries. The nationally prominent jurors were Antonio Sergio Bessa, director of curatorial and educational programs, Bronx Museum, Deidre Harris-Kelley, co-director of the Romare Bearden Foundation and Naima J. Keith, assistant curator, the Studio Museum of Harlem

The opening reception will take place this Friday evening from 6 - 9pm at the Firehouse Gallery, located at 580 Forest Street in Orange. Lee and I will be there to celebrate the opening and enjoy a night out sans children! For more information about the exhibit, visit

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Join Me in a Collaborative Painting at Peters Valley

It's been over six years since my relationship with a fantastic arts center in New Jersey began. Peters Valley Craft Center, located in Layton, NJ, is an amazing campus dedicated to the education and support of artists and craftspeople. We first became acquainted when I was accepted for a month-long residency in 2008. Over the course of those six years I've continued to be involved with the center in numerous ways when I ran TraillWorks in Newton, NJ.

Peters Valley Studio Open House and Bevans Day
Past Peters Valley Studio Open House and Bevans Day

Last year I was honored when director, Kristin Muller, invited me to teach a workshop during their summer session. Unfortunately circumstances didn't allow for it to run, but we are regrouping this year and I'm teaching "Painting the Texture of Tea" in August. 

Tomorrow, Peters Valley is hosting their annual Studio Open House and Bevans Day Event. I will be traveling to Sussex County to paint and sell some of my work in the afternoon. 

And, it wouldn't be a successful demo for me unless I could get the visitors involved. So, I am setting up a canvas, palette, and tea still life for the public during the day. You can stop by, mix a few colors you see in the still life and paint it onto the canvas. My hope is for a truly collaborative piece, added to by many people, that I can then contribute to the Peters Valley Annual Benefit Auction in August. 
Tea Reflections Oil Painting Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Tea Reflections, 8" x 8", Oil on Canvas, ©2014 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

While you're there, snap a photo, share it on Twitter of Facebook with #PVTeaPainting. By the day's end, hopefully we'll have a finished painting to share. If not, I'll complete it in my studio. 

From studio tours, crafts and fine art demonstrations, to kids art activities and live music, this is an outing not to miss. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Painting The Texture of Tea

Maybe it's the second cup of coffee, the time to myself, or that I truly love painting and I forgot how much I missed it! I just finished my first real painting since I closed up my gallery last year in April, and I'm truly giddy. I missed my lunch, I'm blogging, trying to use up every last second before I have to pick up my son at the sitter's. 

Tea Reflections, Oil on Canvas, 8" x 8", ©2014  Jennie Traill Schaeffer

I've been working on this off and on since last Wednesday; about three or four painting sessions, maybe a total of six hours. This piece was done with a sample set of oils by M. Graham, including only five colors: napthol red, azo yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalocyanine green and titanium white. I loved the consistency and color quality of these oils; buttery, dense, and bound with walnut oil something new I'm trying. I'll touch on this in a future post.

I began this piece with a quick colored pencil drawing, then started applying local color. I gradually built up more local color, thicker paint, and finally the brightest highlights and whites. The part I had the most trouble with was the tea bag. I began trying to replicate all of the highlights and text on the bag (it's a Stash tea bag), but it never seemed to work (my brushes are too thick) and the detail took away from the tea cup. I finally ended up destroying all of the detail on the bag by brushing over it with some of the creamy yellows from the mug. It felt good to make that very committed risk; the outcome is much better. 

Can't wait to share more future paintings with you. But, in the meantime, I'll be submitting this work to the Annual Faculty and Studio Assistant Exhibition in the Sally D. Francisco Gallery from May 31- August 3, 2014 at Peters Valley Craft Center. 

If you're interested in exploring painting tea and its paraphernalia, then consider joining me this summer for a three-day workshop, Painting The Texture of Tea, at Peters Valley in beautiful Sussex County, NJ. You can visit me and get a preview of the upcoming workshop during their annual Bevan's Day Open House on May 4th, where I will be painting throughout the afternoon. Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's been Some Year! A Look Back . . . and Ahead.

I hate to say that it's been more than a year since my last blog post, but heck, I've been a bit busy. Unfortunately with our life in flux last year (selling and moving so quickly, closing my retail gallery and studio in Newton, having a baby, and now adjusting to life with two children) I never made a formal announcement about the birth of Auggie (pictured below). Considering all of our life changes, I've been on an extended maternity leave from my business.

This month I've found a part-time sitter for my youngest - five hours a week -which feels like an eternity of time! So, little by little, I am weaning from my maternity and settling in by painting some new pieces, preparing for an upcoming workshop, teaching some lessons, redesigning my marketing materials, and beginning a web redesign! I will be blogging more in the forthcoming year, but I'm home full-time with a 10-month old and my 5-year old when he is not in pre-k, so at this point I'm not ready to schedule a commitment. 

Here's a brief visual overview of what I've been working on over the past year:

One of the few sketches (Joel watching a movie) I completed prior to giving birth to Auggie.
Living in a temporary apartment for six months, boxes were everywhere.
Most of my art supplies were in storage, inaccessible.

August (Auggie) born May 15th
Joel snuggling with his little brother (summer '13)

Shot of the STUDIO - TraillWorks on the 3rd Floor. I was ready for lessons by the end of September.
We purchased a home in West Orange and moved in at the end of August.

Joel breaking in the studio, making woodblock prints place cards for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Our new home in West Orange during the December snow storms.

Auggie growing up, March 2014

In my next few blog posts I'll share more about some of the art I've managed to squeeze in over the past year, as well as lessons and workshops I've been teaching, and some other shots of my studio. In the meantime, stay in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter, where you'll find me the most. It's great to get back to the studio, and to my art!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Take an Artist Retreat Weekend in Sussex County, NJ

TraillWorks has two fantastic workshops coming up for the month of March. Both are one day workshops taught by teaching artists. These are great opportunities to explore a new medium or hone your skills / approach. And, we're partnering with the local Wooden Duck Bed & Breakfast, to offer you a discounted stay should you sign up for either workshop and want to make a weekend artist retreat out of it. If you reserve a room at the inn, you'll have an opportunity to save 10% on your workshop enrollment at TraillWorks!

Floral Watercolor by Marilyn Rose

The first workshop on Sunday, March 3rd, is Fabulous Flower Watercolors with Marilyn Rose, of West Caldwell, NJ. She is know for her fast and free approach and can be found in plein air events on the East Coast. I met Marilyn when she participated in our Paint Newton event last summer and have exhibited her works at TraillWorks since. She will definitely help you crawl out of your watercolor shell and find a renewed or new love for the medium. 

Woodblock Prints in Progress by Amanda Gordon Miller

The second workshop on Saturday, March 23rd, is Woodblock Printing with Amanda Gordon Miller, of Baltimore Maryland. Amanda and I attended Syracuse University together; she was a very talented painter. We didn't keep in touch, but about two years ago, I found her on Facebook and she has been exhibiting at the gallery since. Her work moved in the direction of printmaking when she had children, as a result of looking for a process she felt she could handle at home. She now is a resident artist in the Howard County Center for the Arts and teaches art and design at two community colleges in Maryland. 

Learn more about both workshops and the Wooden Duck Bed & Breakfast offer at

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Figure Drawing at TraillWorks Ending

It's been a good year and TraillWorks has enjoyed offering artists of Sussex County figure drawing opportunities. After much thought, an attempt to build our audience in January and the impending changes at TraillWorks, we've decided to end figure drawing open studios. 

Thank you to all of the models and artists who have created a great environment in which to draw and develop a community at TraillWorks. 

There are plenty of opportunities over the next couple of months to take advantage of what TraillWorks offers, from lessons, workshops, and exhibits. Stay in touch on our web site or Facebook page for events and news about future plans.