Monday, July 30, 2007

Photo Essay of an Opening

Photos © Lee Goldberg

There is much too much for me to write about this past Saturday's opening of ICON at Wired Gallery in Bethlehem, PA. And, I have too much painting to do to wax poetic on all that happened. But, briefly there was an energetic crowd, a loud, live band, and a Pop model from which I and other artists painted. The above photos were taken by Lee, my husband, and they give a very accurate portrayal of the exhibit. You must visit Bethlehem! And, Musikfest is coming up!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Watching Artists Paint

Seeing an artist at work is a rare, mystical event. Though recently many galleries, art festivals and artists themselves are taking to the act in public. It's a great way to see what goes on from start to finish since few people have had this opportunity.

This weekend at Wired Gallery in Bethlehem, PA, you have the opportunity to see 5 artists at work painting from a live model. I imagine for this public show the model will be clothed. I have not personally painted from a live model in about three years so this is your opportunity to see a very rusty emerging artist attempt the figure from life. Its assured to be entertaining at the least. Hope to see you in Bethlehem and come for the Top Ten Reasons to visit.

Top Ten Reasons
to travel to Bethlehem this Saturday to
Attend the Opening Reception of ICON:
  1. View and Buy Contemporary POP Art
  2. Watch Jennie Paint
  3. See a Live POP Model
  4. Listen to Live Classic Rock
  5. Eat and Drink Free Food
  6. Meet Lots of Artists
  7. Attend Bethlehem’s 1st Annual Artwalk from 4 - 8pm
  8. Eat at one of Bethlehem’s Fine Eateries
  9. Shop Downtown Bethlehem’s finest Shops and Galleries for special sales and offers.
  10. Go to eDavid Gallery to view a limited public exhibit of drawings/prints by Artist, Edward Hopper

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ah! The Beauty of a Fence

Susans' Fence, Oil Pastel on Arches, 9 3/4" x 9 1/8", © 2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

$129 mounted | $149 matted

Email Jennie to Order

"The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said, 'This is mine,' and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society."

Unfortunately, a fence can be so old and neighbors can forget who owns their fence which determines what is theirs. Neighbors can be wonderful, they can also be not so wonderful. Lee and I have been blessed by not-so wonderful neighbors and it's been a struggle for nearly two years since our old fence was torn down without our permission by the dears. We've tried talking civilly to them, considered legal recourse which would lead only more aggravation, but without avail. We installed the beautiful dog-ear, board on board fence last fall and no, our neighbors are not now good since we put it in, but we now have our privacy. It was one of the best decisions we've made on our home.

Whenever we sit outside we always note how beautiful our fence is. I wish our situation was easier and we could have made amends, but the fence was the right solution. Last summer my mom gave me Black-Eyed Susans from her garden; this year they doubled in size and are dazzling! When I was thinking about what to draw today for my coffee hour drawing, I realized how beautiful it was outside and went to create the brilliance of my flowers against the fence, against the sky. The image is rather deceiving -- kind of a suburban bliss. Drawing behind my fence I did feel blissful this morning.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Hydrangeas from my Garden, 7 1/4" x 10 3/4", Watercolor on Arches, ©2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

My sister gave me a gorgeous Hydrangea plant when I moved into our home. I planted it two years ago, last summer no blooms. Finally this season it is bursting with flowers and color, starting out as a purple and changing to pinks. Over a week ago, I learned to cut a hydrangea and to make it last you must singe the end removing a waxy film that prevents the veins from drinking water. The flowers from more than a week ago still look stunning.

The above Coffee Hour Drawing of my Hydrangea is done in watercolor, a medium I have tended to relegate to my sketch book. It's not a medium I am overly comfortable with but have had a recent interest in working with something more transparent and loose in my drawings. My students have been inspiring me with the work they are doing and so I'm urged to play with mediums I'm not used to.

Enough with the computer -- I need a good night's sleep to prepare to paint tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the next post . . . Watching Jennie Paint.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

SOLD to the Client of the Art Consultant!

I've finally had my first sale through my blog! It was an exciting event, my art consultant, who acts like a "matchmaker" to fit artists with collectors, saw my blog and forwarded on to all of her collectors. Almost instantly she emailed me with a firm buyer. It was terrific!

This is the winning piece. I must finish more arduous, neck aching computer tasks before I get into my studio!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Canonization of a Wedding Cake

Study for Enthroned Wedding Cake, 6" x 8", Oil Pastel on Arches, © 2007

mounted | $149 matted

I've finally started working on a full scale version of my wedding cake today. If you saw my sketches from Italy I made a very quick study of an Antonello da Messina painting that struck me because of the seemingly contemporary approach to its composition. I had intended to use it as a basis for a future painting and 4 months later, here it is.

While leafing through my art history books to find some reference materials for students I came across a painting by van der Weyden entitled The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning. Both paintings, painted during the Renaissance, seem to employ a theatrical, modernistic space that I was extraordinarily drawn to. The title for my study is in keeping with the Messina and van der Weyden paintings, as well as my "Sainted Appliances". The idolized wedding cake is now in its proper setting.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summering in the Hamptons

Rosen Pool, 9.5" x 6.5", Watercolor Sketch, ©2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

The Hamptons are truly an ideal sort of fantasy land. I had never been, but my husband Lee and I had the opportunity this past weekend. We drove out to Long Island on Thursday evening to leave all our troubles behind and do nothing but relax. And that we did.

This sketch hopefully conveys the utter serenity of the place. It was a beautiful weekend, warm and sunny. We stayed at my sister-in-law's in-law's home where we had open access to the pool above, tennis courts, a hot tub, and the beach within driving distance.

The Hamptons has long been a respite for artists as the locale was at one point much more rural and less inundated by development and of course more reasonable properties. Jackson Pollock did his greatest works on the Island and living artist, Peter Beard maintains a residence on Montauk. I can see why, however the Hamptons of today are not within reach of an emerging artist unless through some generous friend or family. I am very fortunate to have spent this weekend away and hope to return sometime as a guest.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fine Art as Wedding Gift

Cones for Erica & Adam, 12" x 16", Oil on Mounted Canvas Paper, © 2007

Why not commission or purchase art as a wedding gift?

Artwork has the potential to be a very unique and memorable gift. As the wedding season is in full-swing consider giving the gift of art. Especially with many of today's couples getting married at an older age and having lived together as a couple, traditional gifts to stock up the house may not be necessary. This is a great alternative.

I've been painting some larger oil paintings for close friends and family as they get married and it is always a treasured gift. The above painting was completed last month and is six-months overdue for my sister-in-law who was married in December. Lee, my husband, built the frame. He does this only for very special gifts since he does have a full time job.

If you know the couple, commissioning a work could be a great approach. You could have the artist depict a scene from the locale of the couple's honeymoon, the locale of the destination wedding, a portrait of their new home. Or if you'd like to commemorate something from the wedding, a painting of the couple's wedding cake is a terrific idea. If you're interested in commissioning a painting, be aware that an artist may need about six weeks lead time to complete the work and get it to you.
Wedding Day III, 8" x 8", Oil on Panel, ©2006 - the Artist's wedding cake topper

Or, if you want to purchase a "ready-made" artwork, there are numerous small galleries and boutique shops all over the country where art is priced reasonably for a meaningful wedding gift. To find a gallery in your area, search the Gallery Guide's web site. Art at the Mill in Lafayette, NJ is a great gallery with affordable art and the Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA is a fabulous boutique that even has their own wedding registry. Many artists make work that ranges in price so be certain if you like an artist's work but can't afford what you see to inquire further about other available pieces.

The idea for Erica and Adam's painting stemmed from their registry. They requested an ice cream maker on their list and the Goldberg family is known for their love of ice cream. As an engagement gift we bought them a waffle cone maker and cone stand to extend the theme. Naturally the painting of ice cream followed as the wedding gift.

Happy wedding season!

Contact Jennie if you'd like to discuss purchasing or commissioning a unique gift for your next wedding.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A New Saint!

Study for St. Perker, 7" x 10.5", Oil Pastel & Acrylic on Arches, © 2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer


The Coffee Hour Drawings were inspired by this dutiful, gleaming workhorse which provided excellent coffee while inspiring my drawing sessions. This relic of the '70s recently "went to college" as my in-laws often refer to the passing of Wembley, the family dog.

I've heard from so many people upon seeing my painting of a percolator from 2005 how much they love theirs! Each person's description of their bond with the percolator sounds more like a love affair than just an appreciation of its functionality. To honor this great kitchen appliance I've decided to canonize it. Behold St. Perker! Look for more studies and an oil painting in the future.