Saturday, January 29, 2011

TraillWorks Student Saturday

Harry the duck interpreted by four new students, a money tree leaf studied, a sea turtle rendered in color, and abstract tile designs are some of the many works created by just a few of TraillWorks' students in the fall of 2010. Read on to learn about the works, their intent and process.

Harry in the Attic, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Katelyn, Age 10
Harry Inside / Outside, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Cailey, Age 10

In Katelyn's Harry, check out all of the textures, the depth of the rooms, and the sense of foreground emphasized by the roof of the dollhouse. Way to go Katelyn on an inventive composition, theme, and creative use of texture and color.
Cailey's Harry also explores interiors and exteriors, a little more abstractly. In her piece Harry is looking beyond a window from the inside out, looking into an artist's studio. Check out her incredible use of markered contour lines, unity of colors and very interesting structure to her artwork.

Farmland, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Maddie, Age 6
McDonald's Harry, Marker and Pastel, ©2010 Ava, Age 6
Can you find the ducks in Maddie's and Ava's works above? They're in there. But what emerged in both are two very different visions. Maddie turned her work into a rolling farm filled with vivid blues, purples, and pinks, while Ava was influenced by McDonald's, repeating large m's and other architectural forms, using an earthier palette of pinks, browns, and blacks, with a hint of pink.

Leaf Series, 8" x 24", Mixed Media, ©2010 Rachel, Age 7
Leaf Series, 24" x 8", Colored and Pastel Pencils, ©2010 Noa, Age 9
The next two pieces are two examples of serial leaf drawings many of my students did in the fall. All used leaves from the studio's money tree for reference, leaving my tree quite plucked and pruned in an odd shape! But, all for a good purpose. Students had the option of using a variety of colored surfaces, colored pencils, pastels, and other drawing materials. The emphasis of the piece was on drawing the leaf from observation and developing a transition of some sort. The finished works were all mounted on foam core and then either left white, as in Noa's case, or collaged, painted, or drew into the background to unify the three pieces and bind them together with sewn elements, simple bookmaking techniques, as in Rachel's.

Sea Turtles, 16" x 12", Colored Pencil on Watercolor, ©2010 Will, Age 10

Will's artwork was influenced by a book he brought into class on sea turtles. He's a very creative kid who now has an ongoing sketchbook of drawings and ideas, so often his projects are developed by his interests. This piece is composed of actually several parts, one not seen. I introduced Will to the art of salt and watercolor to create a background tone which would mimic the sea. He then composed the picture, drawing the main sea turtle from reference photo, and then inventing the other fish! This was completed with colored pencils. The partner piece not shown is a clay sculpture of a sea turtle. 

Crayon Reflection, 20" x 16", Acrylic on Canvas, ©2010 Phoebe Nezamis, Age 15

Finally, the painting above was recently finished by Phoebe, a freshman in high school. Phoebe's been taking lessons with her mom and brother since last summer and is also a very creative thinker. The project intent was to develop a still life painting in acrylic, after learning to mix colors in gouache and draw an object from observation in charcoal. After several, maybe ten or more, thumbnail sketches Phoebe came up with this clever composition which utilized a mirror! Super challenging! She did an excellent job at replicating the colors of the crayons and then coming up with an engaging compositional structure. Her idea was somewhat influenced by Wayne Thiebaud, and probably a little of Richard Diebenkorn. The yellow background was my suggestion, as one of several options. What a stunning piece! 

My students currently are working on some exciting pieces and getting ready for our TraillWorks Student Show set for March, coinciding with Youth Art Month. So look for my Student Saturday post next month with info about the exhibit and more new student work. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jennie Traill Schaeffer on Social Media Mania - Sussex County Magazine

Yesterday my mail arrived and with it was a large envelope from the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce. I was very curious what was inside, and upon opening it found a copy of the 2010/2011 Sussex County Magazine, published annually by the chamber. My memory is a little fuzzy, because I thought I had gotten a copy last year and had it out at TraillWorks. So I paged through it and as the leaves were turning, a bright blue page with the Facebook logo got my attention. As I started scanning the article, I saw my name! I don't know if I missed this due to "mommy brain" or if it is a new publication from the one I had. 

Be that as it may, last year the chamber emailed its members for feedback on how they were using social media in their business. The chamber intended to use some of the responses in an article to be published in the next Sussex County Magazine, and low and behold, they used my comments! It pays to respond to those little requests organizations ask for. You never know what may get published. 

I've been using Facebook and Twitter for almost a year now, with varying results, but I see it as an integral piece of my marketing plan and am even now pursuing a new web design for that is more social media integrated. I mention in the article my use of contests to increase my fan base and I'm currently doing just that as part of David Ohlerking's exhibition at TraillWorks, which runs through January 29th. Every week I'm posting one of his photos to my Facebook page and asking fans to write on the wall their guess where David created the painting. At the end of each week through the 29th, I'm randomly drawing one winner who will receive a $25 gift certificate for use at TraillWorks. You can read more about the contest on my previous blog post.

In addition to my comments, Gene Ventimiglia of Ventimiglia Vineyards, Mountain Creek, The DavidHenry Agency, and Crystal Springs Resorts all give great examples of how they are capitalizing on social media.  Plus, Katrina Foster, principal of KKPR Marketing and Public Relations, a local young entrepreneur, lends some expert advice in using social media in small businesses. 

To read the article in its entirety, visit the, hover on the "media" tab to bring down a drop down menu and select "read Sussex County Magazine" to download a pdf file. Seems complicated, but this is where my technology wanes. If you know of an easier way to convert their pdf to a file that others can easily browse through like a magazine, please leave me a comment and I'll edit this blog post with a more user-friendly format.  And, thank you to the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce for seeing value in my experiences to publish it in your magazine!

Friday, January 7, 2011

David Ohlerking Contest

painting by David Ohlerking, 32" x 28", Oil on panel, ©2010 David Ohlerking
It's contest time at TraillWorks again! In honor of the New Year and another three weeks of David Ohlerking's exhibit, David Ohlerking Paints Newton at TraillWorks, I'm going to hold a series of contests on our Facebook page. 

Here's the scoop, visit our Facebook page, check out the latest David Ohlerking artwork posted on our wall. Take a guess at where the work was painted by posting your answer on our wall. Here's the best part, you don't even have to be right to win. Of all the guesses posted, right or wrong, I will select one winner randomly every week. You have an entire week to guess the answer. Posts must be up by midnight every Saturday. A winner will be selected and announced the following Tuesday. Each winner will be emailed a $25 gift certificate (good on artwork, jewelry, lessons, scarves, anything in the gallery)! Winners may not be selected more than one time. 

So, today's has been posted and you only have through tomorrow to enter. Click here to go directly to the post. I'll post a new one on Tuesday, you'll have until the 22nd to enter, and there will be one more posted on the 25th, having until the 29th to enter.

Your best bet is to become a fan of TraillWorks so you'll receive constant updates on your Facebook newsfeed.  

Best of luck and enjoy David's work. It's great digitally, but even better in person. Catch it through the 29th!