Liberty, PA Main Street scene Christmas cards available

Like every year, I made a painting to use for our Christmas card. This year’s painting is an 11×14 oil on canvas and depicts Main Street in Liberty. There’s Sammy’s holiday market-with Sammy himself sweeping snow, the post office and the church. Then I uploaded my design to the printers website and waited impatiently for their arrival. I was mostly worried about how the colors would look as they tend to come out much more saturated then I want.

But today, my beautifully printed Christmas cards finally arrived and I’m very pleased with the result:

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Text inside:
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I’m also excited to announce that they’re available for purchase!
The cards are printed on heavy quality paper with linen finish (the best available).
Dimensions: 4 5/8″ x7 1/8″
Value: only $10 for 5 cards including envelopes.
To order, drop me a line at bsnelderwaardbrion@gmail.com, give me a call at 570-404-2191 or stop by at my studio!

Paintings for my show, newsletter and the making of our Christmas card painting

I’ve been working hard on a couple of paintings, some miniatures, some bigger ones and also, I’m still playing around with making my own muslin mounted hardboards. It’s working pretty well but I haven’t taken pics of the process yet so I will do that the next time I’m preparing another board.

The pressure is on, even though my show in March seems far away, I know it will be here in a heart beat. Just like our baby and my family who’s coming over to help out and who will be there at the reception as well. Yes I’m getting stressed out.
I have about 27 paintings for the show at the moment but I there are still a couple of paintings I really want to include. And these still have to be painted or repainted.
Then I want to scan each painting, some need to be oiled out and varnished and then oh, the framing debacle. I’m getting there though. Every night I do a little bit and everytime I cross something off my list it feels really great. Like, when you’re walking around in rubber boots and your socks end up bunched around your arch or the balls of your feet, and then you take off your boots and pull up your socks. Aaah what a relief!

I’ve also redesigned my website, and created a different blog to share stories about my paintings:http://artbybibisnelderwaardbrion.wordpress.com/.

AND I’ve started sending out newsletters. Well, I’ve just sent out one about a week ago but I’m getting great feedback on the content. In my newsletter I’m sharing progress pictures of paintings I’m working on. In the first newsletter I shared progess pictures of a painting for our Christmas card and I was almost done, but now that we have snow and beautiful sunny days, I’m changing the scene!
This photo shows the first layer.
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If you want to join me on my journey and see how this painting is coming along, sign up for my newsletter to see the progess pictures by clicking this link: http://eepurl.com/mcyWL. I won’t abuse your email address!

Canvas or boards?

Canvas:
While I love the convenience of purchasing stretched canvases, I’m often not too fond of the texture. Some require a layer of gesso, or even two. Or three! I’ve purchased and tried many many stretched canvases in my almost two years of painting and I’ve come to really like the smooth and yet not too smooth surface and price of Jerrysartarama’s Practica canvases.
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They work particularly well for plein air painting. I take them out of the box, toss them in my car and off we go. No gessoing. And to keep the sun from shining through my canvas, I put a same-size panel behind it. I also like that it doesn’t suck the life out of my paint. The colors pretty much keep their freshness. They aslo smell somewhat nice which is always a bonus.
The only thing is, I guess I don’t particularly like the bounce of canvases in general.
I could paint on an unstretched canvas on a board and stretch the canvas afterwards but I’d have to wait weeks or months for the paint to dry before I could do that and that takes too long for me. Also, even with canvas pliers, I don’t seem to have what it takes to stretch the canvas properly.
Or I could just glue the canvas to the board. If I could find a roll of canvas I liked enough.

Boards:
I’ve used quite a few different kinds of those too. I love Ampersand boards and I thought I’d use them all the time if I had money coming out the wazoo.
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But then, a few weeks ago, a friend gave me 2 4-packs of Panelli panels. 1 pack of 8x10s and 1 pack of 9x12s. The ‘Telati’ panels to be precise.
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Boy oh boy do I love those! They’re a little less smooth than the Practica canvases and the Ampersand boards,
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but now I realize that this is the surface I’ve been looking for all along! (That may change in a couple of months, you know how it goes) And I love how they accept the paint. I’m looking at some plein air paintings I did on our trip to Maine and now, two weeks later, the colors are still fresh as if applied yesterday! Wait, could it be that they’ve magically become even more beautiful?
One downside is that when I’m not careful the edges get easily dinged up because it’s not really hardboard but some type of hard cardboard.
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Another downside of Telati panels is dat the biggest size available is 18×24. Some paintings just require bigger or odd sized supports.
For instance, I’d like to make a 5 feet wide painting which I can’t buy from Panelli and ordering a stretched canvas that size online is simply unaffordable.

I could make my own odd or big size stretched canvases using a roll of canvas, stapler, canvas pliers and stretcher bars that come in any size. But again, haven’t found a roll of canvas I like enough.
So, it might be a good idea to make my own custom size Panelli Telati type panels.
To make these I will have to:
-get masonite sheets (8×4 ft at Lowes)
-cut the sheets to size using the terrifying table saw or have my husband do it
-clean up all the saw dust
-get 1×2’s and gorilla glue to make a cradle if I want to make a big painting, and I do.
-cut the 1×2’s to size and right angle and actually make the cradle (using that terrifying table saw again)
-probably buy wood filler too.
-buy muslin or cotton
-get acrylic medium to glue the fabric to the panel and allow to dry
-trim the edges
-gesso
And I’m thinking of applying a thin layer of shellac to prevent the gesso from absorbing paint.

I’d really much rather paint then spend time in the garage making my own panels but I’m going to try it.

As I’m typing this, I have everything I need except for the fabric. I’ll probably get three different fabrics at Walmart and try them on smaller boards first.

So, to answer my own opening question, I guess I like canvas ON board. Why choose?:-).

62 Hours of Art

How can I describe the awesomeness of:
-connecting with like-minded fun people
-working on projects you totally dig
-being embraced with your corky ideas and people will actually enthusiastically join
-dancing at a garage disco with people who dance just as freely as you
-finally shaving your head on one side, like you’ve been wanting to do for years
-being a living statue all dressed in white and posing in a forest with 14 other living statues
-dress up parties
-feeling free and so happy you could almost cry just because you’ve missed this so much
Thanks a million, Beulahland in Cameron Mills, NY for organizing this awesome 62 Hours of Art event. I hope there will be a 63 Hours next year!

Change

I never thought I would be doing anything but paint for the rest of my life. It’s what I’ve chosen to do and it’s what I love. I was balancing painting, time with my hubby, all the necessary household chores (like, vacuum cleaning and scrubbing toilets, like, once a month, or so),and even regular visits to the gym to stay in shape, yes, I was enjoying my chosen path. I thought I would be doing this until well into my 70’s or 80’s. I’d be known as one of the fittest looking 80-year old, and hopefully successful, artists in the United States. Or something else interestingly weird. And we would travel abroad and live a life like in La Dolce Vita. We’d also travel the States in my Google self driving car, I’d be painting beautiful scenes on the spot and we’d be meeting interesting people, all good stuff.

It may come as a shock to most readers -since I’ve noticed that here in the United States it’s kind of a no-no for a woman- but I never had a child wish. (Okay, just breathe….)
Having reached the age of 40 (FORTY!) I thought the recent changes in my body were a sign of menopause. Boy, were we in for a huge surprise, because:
We are pregnant!

It took us, and especially me, some time to accept and get used to the idea. I still feel panicked and overwhelmed. We want to be the best parents we can be but what style are we going to apply, and just think of all the changes we will have to make in our lives, our home situation and finances!
These last weeks I’ve been mostly reading up on being pregnant and parenthood, trying to get used to the growing bodily discomfort like swelling, nausea and mood swings. I can’t say it’s been a party but after having met the family practitioner a few days ago, I feel a lot more at ease with the whole process of child birth and I feel like I can maybe start to enjoy this bun in ye olde oven.

Of course, one of the biggest worries(next to, will it be a healthy baby and a lot of other things), is how I will combine motherhood with being an artist because I do not want to give up art or even put it aside for a little while.
First example:
Our baby will be due close or on the date of the reception for my first show in March. I may have to postpone….

Tioga River

Tioga River 9x12
Tioga River

9×12 oil on canvas
I painted this early May and thought I would share.
North of Blossburg, on the old 15, I spotted this nice view of the Tioga River.
This river is so intriguing to me… I love it’s orange color but this color is a result of pollution from coal mining. Maybe I shouldn’t like it and maybe I really shouldn’t have made this painting because it’s almost a celebration of coal mine pollution. On the other hand, I like to focus on the positive and that orange color definitely makes this river more interesting. I probably wouldn’t have painted it otherwise.

To see more of my work, please visit my galery on fineartamerica or my website. If you are interested in purchasing any of my paintings, please contact me at: bsnelderwaardbrion@gmail.com

Gmeiner Juried Art Show (third place!) And Laurel Festival Arts & Crafts Fair

The juried art show at the Gmeiner is a really good show this year. I’m not saying that because the three paintings I submitted got in, or because my Yak painting won 3rd place:
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but mostly because this year, there were a lot more artists and a lot more paintings. As a result, the overall quality is pretty impressive and the diversity in mediums and subjects really makes it a visually pleasing show.
The reception took place two weeks ago and was one of the busiest I’ve attended so far. I was very pleased.
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I didn’t have much time for a more elaborate write up because I was preparing for the annual Laurel Festival. Yeah I know, I wasn’t very successful last year but I thought to give it another try.

This year, I did a little better. At least I made a profit, met some interesting people and most likely will be getting some commissions that are right up my alley so that’s going to be fun!
Two days of sitting in my booth may sound like doing nothing but I’m exhausted! I also painted the scene behind my booth (the food court and people eating) and one lady was so delighted that I painted her husband (he was actually already a focal point-a food vendor) that she bought it.
Am I going to sign up next year? I don’t know. I have an idea on how to improve it so I can paint a little more but I would need a different spot….
My display of this year:
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It’s not really a great idea to lean or hang stuff from the tent frame but I hope to have a better system next time, maybe homemade pro panels:-).